Rogue - 5. Grave Creek (Galice) to Foster Bar (Agness) (34 miles)

Rogue, Oregon, US


5. Grave Creek (Galice) to Foster Bar (Agness) (34 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III(IV) (varies with level)
Length 34 Miles
Avg. Gradient 14 fpm

Lower Black Bar Falls

Lower Black Bar Falls
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 06/05/14 @ 2900 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-14372300 1200 - 30000 cfs III-IV 01h25m 7280 cfs (running)

River Description


PERMITS: Applications for the annual permit lottery (for launch dates between May 15th and October 15th) are accepted between December 1st and January 31st. You can also pick up unconfirmed launch dates by phone. Weekend launches in summer can be tough to get, but if you're flexible you can usually get a permit. Off-season permits are available by request. Additional information on permits can be found on the Rogue National Wild and Scenic (NWS) River web site.
SEASON: All year possible. The peak season is May 15th to October 15th and there are wonderful opportunities for winter paddling.
LOGISTICS: The Grave Creek put-in is reached off I-5 exit 61 by heading west towards Galice. Overnight parking and camping are not allowed at the launch site. Camping and an alternative launch site can be found 4 miles upstream at Almeda Bar. The preferred shuttle route is the Bear Camp Road (FR 23) to Foster Bar Landing. The 44 mile drive takes about two hours (one way). This option may be closed due to snow or debris slides. The long route is 193 miles and takes about five hours (one way) on Oregon Highway 199, but this is along paved roads and is open through the winter. The Rogue NWS River web site has shuttle maps and current conditions. Many take advantage of one of the local shuttle services or a Rogue River rafting outfitter.
DESCRIPTION: Trips on the Rogue typically last 3-4 days and you have the unique option of camping or staying at the wilderness lodges spaced along the course of the run. Most of the information you'll need to plan a trip can be found on the BLM's Rogue NWS River web site. They even offer a full floater's guide in pdf format.You can either take a guided trip (some outfitters are geared towards kayakers and provide raft support for those who want to enjoy the river and have someone else worry about all the logistics) or organize your own non-commercial trip. If you're interested in the later, you will need to obtain a float permit.
Although this is one of the nation's original Wild and Scenic Rivers that retains its ancient forests, the river has a long history of human impacts. Upstream dams decimated native salmon and steelhead runs that made this river famous, but recent efforts to remove Savage Rapids Dam, Gold Hill Dam, Gold Ray Dam, and breach Elk Creek Dam are a sign of hope.  On the run itself, extensive blasting during the 1930's and 1940's cleared boulders and "cleaned up" the rapids. Finally, jet boats zip up and down the last few miles of the run. Despite these impacts, the Rogue remains one of the Pacific Northwest's most popular multi-day whitewater trips. Warm water, great pool-drop rapids, and beautiful scenery make this a true classic.
Starting at the Grave Creek Boat Ramp (river mile 68.5, elevation 630') class III whitewater begins immediately with Grave Creek Falls.The first major rapid, Rainie Falls (class V), comes within two miles of the put-in at an obvious horizon line. If you're thinking about running the falls you'll want to get out and scout. The best vantage is on river left and this is also the best side to portage kayaks. An alternative is the "fish ladder" which is an artificial channel blasted out along river right. The "mid chute" is a Class IV chute down the middle that offers another option.
The river continues with more class II and III rapids before arriving at Rogue River Ranch. This is a good place to stop and prepare for Mule Creek Canyon at mile 21. This section offers the longest continuous whitewater on the run with good class III rapids through a narrow canyon. Soon after leaving this canyon at mile 23 you'll arrive at Blossom Bar (class IV) which is the second major rapid on this run. Scout the drop from river right. Jet boats can travel upstream as far as Blossom Falls so you may encounter them on the remaining 12 miles of the run.
Most take out at Foster Bar Boat Ramp (river mile 33.7) which is 34 miles from the Grave Creek put-in. The river continues 33.7 miles to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, but there are fewer rapids and a road along the river.

Permit Information

Lottery for permits issued during regulated use season of May 15 through October 15.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-12-05 03:29:12


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.6Rainie FallsIV+Photo
4.1Tyee RapidIIIPhoto
4.6Wildcat RapidsIII
8.2Blackbar Falls: Upper and LowerIIIPhoto
10.3Horseshoe BendIIIPhoto
15.2Winkle Bar - Zane Grey CabinN/APhoto
20.8Mule Creek CanyonIIIPhoto
22.6Blossom BarIVPhoto
29.2Clay Hill RapidsIIIPhoto
34.3Foster Bar take outN/ATakeout Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Rainie Falls (Class IV+, Mile 1.6)

Rainie Falls

Rainie Falls
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/05/06 @ 1450 cfs

A wide bedrock ledge blocks the river.  The main current flows steeply over the left side into powerful reversals.   Scattered boulders gaurd the middle and right top, but a route exist through the rocks to a center chute.   A narrow and shallow "fish Ladder" was blasted into the bedrock on the far river right side.

Tyee Rapid (Class III, Mile 4.1)

Tyee Rapids

Tyee Rapids
Photo of Mark and Mike by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/05/06 @ 1450 cfs

A long and wide gravel bar on the left pushes the river against the right side.  The channel curves back to the left, then splits around a large midstream boulder. 

Wildcat Rapids (Class III, Mile 4.6)

The river splits around a long island and picks up speed.   When the channels converge the river bends to the right through the main part of the rapid.

Blackbar Falls: Upper and Lower (Class III, Mile 8.2)

Lower Black Bar Falls

Lower Black Bar Falls
Photo of David Wilson by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/05/06 @ 1450 cfs

Upper Black Bar Falls is a steep drop into a big curling wave.  Lower Black Bar Falls, follows the upper drop after a short distance of calm water.   Each drop is pretty steep, dropping into big waves.   The lower is considered a bit easier.

Horseshoe Bend (Class III, Mile 10.3)

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/06/06 @ 1450 cfs

The river curves to the right around a large gravel bar, then curves back to the left around a narrow gooseneck of hillside.   The current pushes against the cliffs and boulders on the outside of each curve, creating waves and turbulence.   Two constrictions create bigger drops.

Winkle Bar - Zane Grey Cabin (Class N/A, Mile 15.2)

Zane Grey's Cabin

Zane Grey's Cabin
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/06/06 @ 1450 cfs

This area is private property, but river runners are allowed to land and walk up to look at the log cabin.   The property was owned in the 1920's by famous western novelist, Zane Grey. 

Mule Creek Canyon (Class III, Mile 20.8)


Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 06/05/14 @ 2900 cfs

The river enters a very narrow and scenic inner canyon.   Interesting and challenging hydraulics are created by the current bouncing off the walls in the narrow confines. 

Blossom Bar (Class IV, Mile 22.6)

Blossom Bar

Blossom Bar
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 06/05/14 @ 2900 cfs

Huge boulders block the center and right side at the top of this rapid.   The main current flows down the left side, straight into a "picket fence" of wrap boulders and potential sieves. 


Boaters must enter on the left, but move quickly right behind the large boulders.  From there they must maneuver past and around a series of boulders.

Clay Hill Rapids (Class III, Mile 29.2)

Clay Hill Rapids

Clay Hill Rapids
Photo of Mark and Mike by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/03/06 @ 1350 cfs

These are the last rapids on any significant size before Foster Bar.  Clay Hill Creek comes in on the right before the rapid.   Below this rapid the geology changes from volcanic to sedimentary.

Foster Bar take out (Class N/A, Mile 34.3)

Foster Bar, boat ramp

Foster Bar, boat ramp
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 10/03/06 @ 1350 cfs

The take out is on river right just past the mouth of Foster Creek.  Derig on a big, wide and treeless gravel bar.  

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 6 2011 (2303 days ago)
Nick SindersonDetails
I'm lucky enough to live in S. Oregon so this run is in my extended backyard and I been down it
around 20 times. Mostly as a spur of the moment mid week grab a couple of cancellation spots, book
a room at the lodge two day kayak trip. If you can plan and act quick this is a great way to go,
esp. for kayakers. I just throw in a pair of shorts, shirt, flip flops, wag bag and a lunch into
the back of the boat and away we go. I've been down on many flow levels, But my favorite levels are
between 3,200 to 4,000cfs on the Agness gauge. Between these parameters; the water moves thru the
pools, the rapids have more push and this is to my mind the best level for playboating, you'll find
some great waves scattered about down below Paradise at these flows. Below 3,000cfs, I'll bring a
longer boat to ease the paddling effort thru the long slow pools. I highly recommend hiking up to
the waterslide on Tate's tons of fun! Blossom is a pretty easy move but don't
underestimate it and get yourself in a class 4 frame of mind when running it .
September 30 2009 (2797 days ago)
x (1)
At 1500cfs The Fishladder sneak (Rainey Falls) is a boney but easy III. Big rafts will get stuck a
lot, you can still line dories easily. Tyee is an easy III (not a IV), and Blossom is a III+ with a
must make move to avoid the Picket Fence. We did it in 3 days, I would highly recommend 5 days
unless you like to row flatwater a whole lot.
September 19 2008 (3173 days ago)
x (1)
Rainie can be run one of three ways. There are class III, IV, and V options.
January 6 2007 (3795 days ago)
andy heldDetails
The header info for this reach says Class II-III. The text describes Rainie as a V and Blossom Bar
as a IV. I think Blossom is a III+ and Rainie is a IV+. Either way, the header info (II-III) is
incorrect. -ah

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Associated Projects

  • Conservation System
    The National Landscape Conservation System represents the crown jewels of BLM lands and rivers.
  • Kalmiopsis Rivers (OR/CA)
    American Whitewater is working to protect the wild rivers of Southwestern Oregon and Northern California from the threats of nickel strip mines.
  • Restoring the Rogue (OR)
    One of the great Rivers of the West, preserving the the Wild Rogue and restoring upstream reaches impacted by dams are priorities for American Whitewater.