Rogue, North Fork, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V+) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||109 fpm|
|Max Gradient||164 fpm|
|ROGUE RIVER BELOW PROSPECT, OR|
|usgs-14330000||85 - 10000 cfs||IV(V+)||00h43m||752 cfs (running)|
|See flow page for details. See flow page for release details.|
The heart of this reach was dewatered by PacifiCorp's Prospect Hydropower Project. American Whitewater worked to restore whitewater opportunities and real-time flow information when the project was relicensed in 2008. Please check the PacifiCorp Prospect Whitewater page for current information for scheduled whitewater opportunities and planned outages (i.e. days when the powerhouse is not operating and the full flow of the river is returned to the natural river channel).
This is a great Class IV creek type run. The first 1.3 miles from Mill Creek Falls to North Fork/Prospect powerhouse contains 10 to 15 Class IV drops. Below the powerhouse the Rogue eases off to Class III but the powerhouse adds up to an additional 1000 cfs. This Class III section is approximately 2 miles in length but requires a hike out at the end once you reach the reservoir.
For the more adventurous, you can tackle the Avenue of the Giant Boulders above the confluence of Mill Creek Falls. This Class V is sure to keep you busy. Above that is the Class V+ Prospect Falls viewable from the Mill Creek drive bridge (this reach was featured in an Ashland Mine Productions film).
To access the run, take Oregon State Highway 62 to Prospect and turn onto Mill Creek Drive that parallels the highway and takes you through the town of Prospect. The turn onto Mill Creek Drive is at Highway 62 mile 38.5 at the south end of town and mile 45.3 at the north end of town.
Mill Creek Drive has mile markers counting up from south to north and the key locations are as follows:
Mile 1.8, Lost Creek Reservoir take-out: This is the take-out where the North Fork and South Fork join together and end at Lost Creek Reservoir. Here a wire fence with a pull-out for a couple cars marks the start of an old road that has turned to trail. The trail leads down to the reservoir. The trail crosses Skookum Creek which is a good waypoint marking the take-out. This take-out crosses a small piece of private property and permission of the landowner is required. American Whitewater has explored solutions to bring this trail into public ownership and volunteers interested in pursuing this project are encouraged to contact us. Another option is to arrange for a pickup or paddle out on the reservoir.
Mile 4.1, Prospect Powerhouse take-out: This is the turn for the road that leads down to the PacifiCorp powerhouse at river level. In the past paddlers were allowed to drive down the road, but the road is now closed to the public. On release weekends PacifiCorp operates a shuttle service that picks up paddlers at the powerhouse and brings them back up to the put-in at Mill Creek Falls.
Mile 5.3, Mill Creek Falls put-in: The Mill Creek Falls trailhead is a day use area for those viewing this dramatic waterfall that cascades into the North Fork Rogue River. Kayakers (or adventurous rafters) will need to follow the rough social trail down into the gorge (bring ropes). Those seeking a stout class V challenge can continue upstream to the "Avenue of the Giant Boulders."
Mile 5.8, Mill Creek Drive bridge: This bridge crosses the North Fork Rogue and offers a dramatic view down into the the Prospect Falls.