This reach runs from the town of Gold Hill to Grants Pass with I-5 paralleling the river on the north side and Hwy. 99 paralleling the river on the south side. One barrier to navigation is Savage Rapids dam set to be removed to improve fish passage (this dam is visible from river left at Hwy. 99 mile 5.5 east of Grants Pass).
Logistics: Put-in at Gold Hill Boat Ramp is accessible from I-5 exit 40. Cross the Rogue River and enter the town of Gold Hill. Take Highway 234 north out of town. The boat ramp is located less than a mile out of town on river right at Gold Rogue Sports Park at Highway 234 mile 3.0. River mile 120.2, elevation 1056'. Take-out at Baker Park Boat Ramp in Grants Pass on river left downstream of the Highway 199 Bridge is accessible from I-5 exit 55. Follow Highway 199 from I-5 down to the river. River mile 101.9, elevation 896'. Alternate access points are available to make runs of various shorter length (or combine with upstream runs for greater length).
Removal of this dam (in progress) will no doubt reveal some additional riffles, rips, and rapids in the (nearly six mile) stretch of no 'marked' rapids on the topo maps.
Fact sheet on dam removals scheduled for the Pacific Northwest.
Comments of American Whitewater on the Department of State Lands Navigability Study.
Gauge is just upstream of take-out location, thus provides excellent data for this run. Min/Max/optimum levels for this reach unknown to us at present. If you can provide this info, please do so via the "Comments" tab, "Add a Comment" button.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Savage Rapids. Photo by Roger Funk 5/1/10
Savage Rapids Dam. Photo by Roger Funk 5/1/10
Closeup of hole. Photo by Kipper McNeal
Channel downstream of dam. Photo by Kipper McNeal
Site overview. Photo by Kipper McNeal
Savage Rapids Dam
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
The Oregon Department of State Lands has recently released a Rogue River Navigability Report concluding that the 89 mile stretch of the Rogue River from Lost Creek Dam to Grave Creek meets the federal test for navigability. The paddling community can support this finding by attending a public meeting (3/19) or providing public comment (by 3/26) to the State Land Board.
Oregon's Department of State Land issued a final ruling and determined that the Rogue River from RM 68.5 to 157.5 (Grave Creek to Lost Creek Dam) is indeed navigable. The finding confirms that the state is the owner of the river bed, and the public has the right to use the river.
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