Difficulty II
Length 33.4 Miles
Gauge ROGUE RIVER AT GRANTS PASS, OR
Flow Range 1000 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 26 minutes ago 2810 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/04/2019 7:48 pm

River Description


Grants Pass to Hog Creek
 
This 19 mile stretch begins in Grants Pass, where the river flows through town. This section is more open and a less scenic as it passes by riverside development and agricultural land for the first few miles. Jet boat tours that run down to Hellgate Canyon run their trips through this section.
 
Hog Creek to Graves Creek
 
This 14.5 mile section of the Rogue offers great options for a day trip with some fun rapids, nice beaches, rock ledges for jumping into the river, and even a riverside restaurant where you can grab a cold drink or a full meal. With several nice river camps along the way, you could enjoy a fun overnight trip on this stretch or add it as an extra day for multi-day trips continuing downstream. This segment is also an exceptional instructional reach. With warm water, consistent flows through the summer, and plenty of good features to practice on there is hardly a better place to learn to kayak in the entire Pacific Northwest.
 
This section begins at the Hog Creek Boat Ramp which can be a bustle of activity on summer weekends with guided trips, experienced paddlers, young people of questionable experience out on a party float, and the occasional fleet of jet boats bringing tourists down for a look at Hellgate Canyon.
 
The current is swift at the put-in as the river heads into Hog Creek Rapid, an easy riffle just before the entrance to Hellgate Canyon. The walls rise up dramatically before you as you enter Hellgate Canyon and if it looks familiar, you may recognize it as the site of the jump scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The canyon is short so take time to enjoy it. You will find some ledges that are good fun for jumping into the river. For many years the canyon was considered as a dam site but the river is now fully protected from hydropower development under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
 
Leaving the canyon, you will arrive at class II+ Dunn Rapid where the river goes through a series of waves and small holes making it one of the more challenging rapids on this stretch. More fun but easy class II whitewater continues on down to the Hellgate Bridge.
 
As you pass Indian Mary, you will encounter an easy class II rapid and a short distance downstream you will enter the Taylor Creek Gorge. While not as dramatic as Hellgate Canyon, the bedrock walls that rise up from either side of the river offer more fun platforms for leaping into the river. 
 
Morrison's Lodge is tucked into the cove on river left at the downstream end of the gorge. An easy rapid forms the exit from this wide spot in the river but then the river enters a mile and a half long stretch of flatwater that feels longer particularly during hot summer days when flows are lower. It's one of the few sections on this run where you really do need to paddle to make progress. 
 
The flatwater finally ends at Ennis Riffle which is an easy class II rapid, but then you start another mile of flatwater. The action finally picks up as you enter the rapid at Carpenter Island which is class II. Coming up in quick succession is Upper Galice which is a class II+ bedrock channel that can be one of the more technical drops on the run. Lower Galice is another class II+ that is just downstream. 
 
After running this sequence of whitewater, you arrive at Galice Resort. A public boat ramp is available on river left and you can also pull out here (be sure your boats are out of the way) and head up for drinks or a meal out on the deck overlooking the river.
 
For the next few miles, the rapids of Rocky Riffle, Chair Riffle, and Island Riffle are all easy class II- with stretches of flatwater in between. You will pass the rough boat ramp at Rand and then the nice concrete ramp at Almeda as you boat through this stretch.
 
Just downstream of Almeda Park, a popular campground used for staging and launching overnight trips, the river the river passes by the Almeda Mine on river right. The mine is evident by the colorful mineralization of the nearby soils, and it is actively discharging acid mine drainage into the Rogue River. The river passes through an easy class II rapid at the mine site. Bailey is another easy rapid about half a mile downstream.
 
As you enter a short canyon with steep rock walls you will pass by one of the more popular sites for jumping off the rocks into the Rogue River. A couple of platforms on river right provide the launch point for aerial displays as boaters leap into the river below. It constitutes a required stop for nearly all trips who boat this section. 
 
Just downstream lies Argo Rapid, considered by many to be the most difficult one on this section. At high flows the hole at the base can flip rafts but at more moderate flows you will likely have less trouble as long as you don't get hung up on the rocks. The Argo launch site is immediately downstream of this rapid.
 
The last real rapid on this section is Wooldridge Rapid which you will recognize as the Grave Creek Bridge comes into view. The take-out is located just downstream of the bridge on river right. Permits are required for overnight trips that continue on downstream.
 
Logistics:
 
Baker Park Boat Ramp in Grants Pass (river mile 101.9)
This access is on river left downstream of the Highway 199 Bridge in Grants Pass.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 4.8, Hog Creek (river mile 83.0)
This is a primary launch point for day trips on the Rogue River and on hot summer weekends this site can be quite a scene. It is just upstream of the scenic Hellgate Canyon. The launch area has two boat ramps at river level and short-term parking for staging. Once you are done rigging, run your car up to the upper parking lot.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 5.5 Hellgate Overlook
This is a pull-out and overlook high above the river that gives you an overview of Hellgate Canyon. No river access is available from this site. 
 
Grave Creek Road mile 6.2 Hellgate Bridge
Where the Galice Road crosses the Rogue River at Hellgate Bridge, there are pull-outs upstream river right and downstream river left and right of the bridge. You will not find formal access for boaters, but the area is popular for day use during the summer as there are several small beaches and some good rocks for jumping into the river.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 7.0 Indian Mary Park
This is a Josephine County Park that has a boat ramp and is a bit more manicured than other camping areas along the river. It is popular with the RV crowd and the sites are packed in tight.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 7.7 Rainbow
 Rainbow is a day-use area with no formal access for boaters but you can hike down a short trail to a great band of cliffs along the river, Taylor Creek Gorge, that make a popular stop for river trips where you can leap into the river.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 8.4 Morrison's Lodge
Morrison's is one of the private lodges along the river for those looking for the highest level of comfort for their overnight stay.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 8.5 USFS road turns off for Briggs Valley
 
Grave Creek Road mile 9.8 Ennis Riffle
The Ennis Riffle recreation site has a boat ramp and is managed by the BLM as a dispersed recreation site where overnight camping is allowed. There are toilet facilities but no drinking water available. Several simple riverside camps are dispersed along an approximately half mile stretch of river. If you are coming in late at night, you can almost always find a spot to throw down a tent here.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 10.8 Carpenter's Island
Carpenter's Island is a day-use area with no formal access for boaters but you can hike down a short trail to the river. 
 
Grave Creek Road mile 11.3 Bear Camp Road
The Bear Camp Road is the shortest shuttle route to the coast and the take-out for the multi-day wilderness stretch of the Wild and Scenic Rogue.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 11.5 Galice Boat Ramp and Galice Resort
The Galice Resort is a great place to get a burger or ice cream. The outdoor patio is wonderful in the summer and you can catch live music on weekends. The store has a few basic odds and ends: sunscreen, maps, and cold drinks. Simple cabins are available for rent. The boat ramp is the standard take-out for those renting rafts from the Galice Resort so things can get a little crowded during hot summer days. If you are boating past and decide to stop for a drink or a full meal just be sure to pull your boats up away from the ramp.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 12.5 dispersed site
An unmarked road leads down toward the river and accesses some dispersed camping areas.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 13.7 Chair
This is not a particularly good river access but if you have a high clearance vehicle you can access some dispersed camping areas along the river.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 14.0 Rand
This is a river access that is not used as extensively as other areas along the river. It is adjacent to the ranger station, and river access is good via a paved road but the ramp itself is not paved.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 14.1 Smullin Ranger Station
The ranger station has information and is also the check in point for trips headed on the multi-day wilderness run where permits are required. If you are looking to pick up a last-minute cancellation permit, this is the place to be at 7am.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 14.8 Almeda County Park
This County Park is a popular spot for groups to camp the night before a trip. Some groups launch straight from here as an alternate start point for trips on the multi-day wilderness stretch of the Wild and Scenic Rogue. You can rig your boats the night before, camp here, head up to Smullin first thing in the morning to check in with the ranger, and be on your way right after breakfast. The campground can fill up on summer weekends and is patrolled by a camp host so reservations are recommended.
 
Grave Creek Road mile 16.8 Argo
This is a dispersed site that is used as an alternate access for the Rogue River. 
 
Grave Creek Road mile 18.7 Graves Creek access (river mile 68.5)

Rapid Descriptions

Entering Rogue "Wild And Scenic" Area

Class - N/A Mile - -95
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Whitehorse Riffle

Class - N/A Mile - -94
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Bedrock Riffle

Class - N/A Mile - -92.6
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Brushy Chutes / Everton Riffle

Class - N/A Mile - -88.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Hellgate Canyon

Class - N/A Mile - -82.6

Dunn Riffle

Class - II Mile - -81.9

Hellgate Recreation Area

Class - N/A Mile - -81.1

A fun place to hang out just downstream of the Hellgate Bridge accessible by boat or road.

Taylor Creek Gorge

Class - N/A Mile - -79.8

Old Man Riffle

Class - II Mile - -79.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Ennis Riffle

Class - II Mile - -77.9

Upper Galice

Class - II+ Mile - -76.8

Lower Galice

Class - II Mile - -76.4

Rocky Riffle

Class - II Mile - -75.8

Chair Riffle

Class - N/A Mile - -73.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Almeda Riffle

Class - II Mile - -72.3

Bailey

Class - II Mile - -71.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Jump Rock

Class - N/A Mile - -71.4

One of the best places to jump off the rocks into the Rogue River.

Argo Riffle

Class - III Mile - -71

Lower Argo

Class - II Mile - -70.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Wooldridge Rapid

Class - II Mile - -69.1

Comments

default user thumbnail
Nick Sinderson
|
8 years ago

From Galice resort ( or head just upstream to Carpenters Island so as to get get upper Galice Rapid in) down to either Argo or Graves Creek is a great beginner run or relaxing hot summer day float. The best time to make this run is June thru Sept. Air temps can reach into the 100's and water temps into the high 60's or low 70's. There's always enough flow and few hazards and lots of boaters of every type. Shuttles can easily be arranged through Galice resort. Bike shuttles work great too. Most of the run consists of long pools separated by class 2 & 2+ rapids with a couple of playspots in there too. (The big center wave in Argo can be a great surf wave at the some flows). I usually put-in at Carpenters Island and take-out at Graves Creek, if it's a 100 degrees out no sense in hurrying home. Plus by taking out at Graves Creek those who are so inclined can run the first two class 3's on the Canyon Run (Grave Creek Riffle & Falls) and wow their beginner friends. (climb out river left after Grave Creek Falls to the trail and hike the couple of hundred yards back above the boat launch and ferry over to it, beware of poison oak)

Gage Descriptions

Gauge is just upstream of put-in 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.

Gauge/flow analysis (based on gauge data 1968-06-25 to 2008-06-24 )
Drainage area at gauge 2,459 sq.mi.
Minimum mean daily flow during gauge period 195 cfs ( 1964.12.23)
90% of time flow exceeds 1,250 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds 6,310 cfs
Maximum mean daily flow during gauge period 152,000 cfs ( 1964.12.23)
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness')
(under 3 is fairly steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')
5.05

Directions Description


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News

article main photo

Oregon Waterway Access Bill Set to Become Law

6/10/2019
Priscilla Macy

This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.

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Effort to Protect the Rogue Continues (OR)

5/13/2019
Thomas O'Keefe

At the end of last Congress, the House and Senate negotiated a public lands package that ultimately resulted in 256 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers for Oregon when the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law on March 12th, 2019. While rivers like the Molalla and several tributaries of the Rogue were designated Wild and Scenic, the lands surrounding the immediate river corridor were left unprotected. With a commitment to finish the job, and building on the successful effort to move these initiatives out of committee with bipartisan support last Congress, Senator Wyden was joined by Senator Merkley in introducing the Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act (S. 1262) on May 1st, 2019. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 14th, 2019.

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Rogue River Declared Navigable

6/13/2008
Thomas O'Keefe

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.

article main photo

Rogue River Draft Navigability Report Issued

3/18/2008
Thomas O'Keefe

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.

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Rogue River Navigable

10/8/2007
Thomas O'Keefe

Oregon's Department of State Lands recently released a draft navigability report for the Rogue River from RM 68.5 to 157.5 (Grave Creek to Lost Creek Dam)  and reached the preliminary conclusion that this reach is indeed navigable. Paddlers are encouraged to provide comment on the draft report and provide any additional information on the accuracy of data presented and historical uses and condition of the waterway.
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Thomas O'Keefe

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Matt Muir

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Rob

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1205297 10/08/15 Thomas O'Keefe rapid updates
1194651 06/25/08 n/a n/a
1205298 10/08/15 Thomas O'Keefe rapids mapped
1197494 04/04/10 Rob Provide river mile on a few features.
1205246 10/07/15 Thomas O'Keefe some updates
1205299 10/08/15 Thomas O'Keefe rapid added
1212687 06/04/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position