MEETING PLACE: Morrison's Lodge in Merlin Oregon
RIVER RATING: Class II-IV
TRIP MILES: 45 Miles
PUT-IN: Grave Creek
TAKE-OUT: Foster Bar
RETURN TIME: We will arrive at Foster Bar approximately 3:00 PM. For guests that wish to explore the coast, arrangements can be made with Morrison's Lodge to have your vehicle shuttled to Foster Bar. ROW provides shuttle service for guests returning to Morrison's lodge where guests can plan to arrive back to Morrison's Lodge in Merlin Oregon approximately 5:00 - 5:30 PM PST.
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 7
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayak
Day 0 - ARRIVE IN MERLIN, OR; ORIENTATION MEETING
Travel to Merlin, Oregon and meet your Team Leader at Morrison's Lodge at 5:45 pm for a one-hour orientation meeting to answer last minute questions. You will receive your waterproof gear bags to pack. Dinner is on your own.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Recommend staying at Morrison's Lodge (Not Included in trip cost)
- MEALS INCLUDED: none
Day 1 - RAINIE FALLS; BLACK BAR LODGE
On the ﬁrst day of your Rogue River rafting trip, we greet you at 7:45 am at Morrison's Lodge. We will then depart for the Rand Boat Launch put-in as a group. We then ﬁt you with the correct sized PFD (personal ﬂotation device) and then give a safety talk to prepare you for the trip. After the safety talk, we divide into oar rafts, paddle rafts, and inﬂatable kayaks or "duckies" as we call them. Anyone who drove their own vehicle to Merlin can park their cars at Morrison's Lodge in a secure area to stay during the Rogue River rafting trip. We like to launch at Rand Boat Launch because it is away from the clusters of people that can be at the Galice Resort during the height of the summer. The river starts off gently, but it isn’t long before we come to our ﬁrst fun rapids. Sometime before noon, we enter the Congressionally-designated Wild & Scenic section of the Wild Rogue River at a rapid called Grave Creek. Generally, we will eat lunch the ﬁrst day around the Class V rafting rapid called Rainie Falls (guests walk around this rapid). The afternoon is ﬁlled with several Class II and Class III rapids and we arrive at Black Bar Lodge around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. While you are being assigned to your cabin and cleaning up, we prepare the evenings hors d’oeuvres as well as complimentary regional wine, beer, and sodas for you to enjoy before dinner. You might want to take a short hike around the property, visit with your fellow travelers, or play a few games that are offered at the lodge. Around 7:00 pm dinner is served in the cozy lodge dining room. Lodge dinners are served family-style with long tables. After dinner, guests can play cards, visit, play the lodge guitar or go outside and gaze at a star-ﬁlled sky. Around 10:00 pm the Black Bar Lodge's generator is shut down, so we encourage you to bring ﬂashlights since the property can get very dark.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Black Bar Lodge
- MEALS INCLUDED: L, D
Day 2 - ROGUE RIVER RANCH; MARIAL LODGE
Coffee and tea are served in the lodge dining room around 7:00 am with breakfast served about 7:30. After breakfast, it’s time to pack up and then we carry our gear back to the rafts in the river and launch around 9:00 am for another day of exploring and fun. Today on your Rogue River rafting trip in Oregon you go through a series of bouncing, exciting Class II and III rapids. We stop for lunch somewhere along the way, perhaps at a historic site or spot with a good walk. Later in the afternoon, we arrive at the Rogue River Ranch. The Rogue River Ranch is a fascinating place to visit and a vivid example of early pioneer history. Later in the afternoon, we arrive at Marial Lodge, home for our second night. Once again, guests are assigned cabins and then we serve our delicious hors-d'oeuvres for the ROW “happy hour.” Dinner is served around 6:30 pm here and again is a family-style affair, this time with round tables. After dinner, one of our guides will generally lead guests on a nice hike down a trail that leads to a spectacular waterfall. Then enjoy the deck with calming views of the river canyon before heading to bed. The power generator is never turned off at this lodge, so there is power available all night.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Marial Lodge
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L, D
Day 3-4 - MULE CREEK CANYON; BLOSSOM BAR; DEVILS STAIRCASE
Wake up to the sound of birdsong and quiet. Breakfast is served around 8:00 am. After breakfast, everyone packs up and then we back for rafting on the Rogue River around 9:00 am. The third day is where the most spectacular rapids occur when rafting the Rogue River. Guests experience Mule Creek Canyon, Blossom Bar, and Devils Staircase rapids--all three of which are Class IV. On our 4-day trips, we stop at Paradise Lodge on day 3, which allows us some extra time in the afternoon to do some ﬁshing, read a book, play some cards, or enjoy the company of those around you! After those three rapids, the rest of the trip is relatively easy Class II and III rapids. When the sun is high overhead we stop at a shady spot for lunch. After another bountiful riverside lunch, we continue to the take-out at Foster Bar. We generally arrive about 3:00 pm and then load up into vans for the two-hour drive over the mountains back to Morrison's Lodge. We would plan to have you back at your vehicle around 5:00 or 5:30 pm.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Half Moon Bar Lodge (4-day trips)
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L, on last day; B, L, D on day 3 of 4-day trip
The Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River is located in Southwest Oregon 20 miles northwest of the city of Grants Pass. The nearest airline service is located in the city of Medford about 50 miles from our Rogue River launch point in Merlin, Oregon. Interstate 5 is the main highway into the area.
Whether driving or ﬂying, we encourage you to arrive in the area the night before your trip. There are a number of motels and campgrounds in the area and reservations are strongly recommended. The following lodge and motels are easy to ﬁnd:
Merlin Area Accommodations:
- Morrison’s Lodge (800) 826-1963
- Galice Resort (541) 476-3818
- Doubletree Ranch (541) 476-0120
Grants Pass Motels:
- Best Western (800) 553-7666
- Holiday Inn Express (800) 838-7666
- The Riverside Inn (800) 334-4567
- La Quinta 541-472-0152
- Hampton Inn 541-474-5690
- Rogue Regency Inn (800) 535-5805
- Camping is available near Galice at Indian Mary Campground and at Alameda Bar. Reservations are needed during the summer and can be made through the Park Service at (541) 474-5285.
We recommend that guests arrive in the area the night before launch day. We will meet you at Morrison’s Lodge near Merlin, Oregon at 5:45 pm the evening prior to your departure date for a one-hour orientation meeting to answer last-minute questions and give you your waterproof bags to pack. This is an important meeting, so please be on time. The next morning, we will meet you around 7:45 am at Morrison’s and transport you to the launch point for your trip. Please have breakfast on your own before we meet.
The return trip to Morrison’s includes a scenic 2-hour van shuttle (this shuttle is included in your trip fees) back over the mountains, which arrives at approximately 5 pm.
If You Drive:
From I-5 (north or south) take Exit 61 to Merlin. Merlin is 3 miles west of I-5. Turn left (west) onto Merlin-Galice Road and go 12 1⁄2 miles. You will cross a large, yellow bridge over the Rogue River about two miles before you reach Morrison's Lodge, which will be on your right.
If You Fly:
The nearest airport is located in Medford, Oregon – the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport – which is approximately 28 miles south of Grants Pass. United, United Express, Horizon/Alaska and Delta Connection service this airport. We will meet you at 5:45 PM the night before your adventure at Morrison's Lodge; We suggest an Uber/Lyft or taxi to Morrison's Lodge. Town and Country Taxi can be reached at (541) 476-7773. Please note: The fees that these shuttle companies charge are in addition to your trip fees. Private aircraft can ﬂy into Grants Pass, Oregon Airport-FAA identiﬁer, 3S8. The airport is 5 miles from Grants Pass and about 20 minutes from our meeting point at Morrison’s Lodge.
We highly recommend checking the weather prior to your trip for an updated forecast and current conditions. We recommend the following websites.
Weather in any river canyon can vary widely day to day. However, the Rogue’s typical daytime temperatures can climb into the 80’s & 90’s, with the water temperature generally 60-70 degrees. Early and late season trips can also have temperatures ranging from 60-80. While blue skies & sunshine are predominant, rain can happen any time so please bring rain gear!
Helpful Weather Related Tips:
Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Packing properly for a river trip is CRITICAL to your enjoyment while on the river. We recommend that you prepare yourself for three basic scenarios:
Take care of these, and you are free to let the river and the canyon work their magic.
Weather in the northwest is unpredictable. You must come prepared for cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes even on the same day! The following information will help you be prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected events of your trip. You may not use all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all!
DRYBAGS THAT ROW PROVIDES
- One large waterproof bag for each person (13” in diameter x 24” tall when closed) This bag will contain the majority your personal items. This bag is NOT accessible during the day.
One small waterproof day bag for each person (9" in diameter x 20" tall) This bag is for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
If you are on our CAMPING trip: We will provide each guest with a sleeping bag, pad, and liner. We also supply tents (double occupancy), tables, chairs, etc.
If you are on our LODGE trip: Your cabin/room has beds and showers…you don’t need to bring bedding or towels, but you will need to bring your own shampoo.
River attire is very casual – comfort and convenience take precedence over style!
1 pair of river shoes or sandals or sneakers that can get wet (must have a secure ankle strap, no flip-flops or crocs!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen or Merrell. Tennis shoes with wool or synthetic socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold.
- Two T-Shirts (1 quick dry and 1 cotton for a hot day) □ 1 long sleeve shirt for sun protection and/or cool evenings
- 1 synthetic fleece or wool mid-weight sweater for layering on cool days.
- Mid-weight to light-weight long synthetic underwear tops and bottoms. Best worn over a swimsuit and undershorts.
- 2 pair of shorts/swimsuits
- Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
- Sun hat or visor
- Rain gear (this is a critical item! - rain jacket or windbreaker without the cotton liner works well…most guests have something in their closet.)
- Water bottle with carabiner (on hot days you should drink lots of water – we provide water to refill your bottle)
- Sunscreen (no oil or sweet smelling types – they contaminate life jackets and attract bees)
- Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
- 1 bath towel & washcloth & biodegradable soap (camp trips only)
Paddling or bike gloves (for inflatable kayak paddling) - optional
- Hiking Boot / Shoe
- River shoes – a pair of sandals like Chaco, Teva, etc. that you do not mind getting wet.
- Day use backpack for carrying extra clothes during the day
- Rain gear (rain jacket or windbreaker without the cotton liner works well…most guests have something in their closet.)
- Hat or visor
- Extra dry socks
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle with carabiner
- 2 pairs of shorts or swimsuit
- 1 pair of long pants – zip off pants are a great option
- 1 lightweight long sleeve shirt for sun protection or cool days
- 1 short sleeve t-shirt
- 1 synthetic fleece or wool mid-weight sweater for layering on cool days.
Special Note for Hikers:
All hiking guests need to be prepared to raft. Hikers are welcome to get into, or out of a raft at lunch or other points along the trail that provide river access if they are tired, injured or just want more or less river time. It is required to get into a raft to cross the river at Black Bar Lodge and to float out the last section of the trip.
OPTIONAL FOR ALL TRIPS:
- Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card is recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case is also highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
- Bee sting kit for those allergic to bees.
- Cards, Games, Books, Musical instruments, journal, etc.
- Plastic garbage bags (2-3) for separating dirty/wet clothing
AT THE LODGE OR IN CAMP:
- 1 pair of evening shoes (tennis shoes, sandals, hiking shoes, flip-flops or crocs acceptable at the lodges, etc.)
- 1 pair light trousers (jogging pants, sweats, khaki pants, etc.)
- 1 synthetic light or mid-weight fleece/sweater
- 1 button up shirt
- Insect repellent
- Small flashlight
- Personal toiletries
- Socks & Undergarments
*** Since the lodges use generators for electricity, please no hair dryers or curling irons.
LAYERING FOR OUTDOOR COMFORT
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester. A cotton T-shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
- LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. A snug-fitting underwear or mid-weight fleece layer made of synthetic fibers work best. You do not want to wear cotton on the river on cool rainy days. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
- LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
- LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
Tips can be given to the ROW Team Leader at the end of the trip in the form of cash or personal check. The Team Leader distributes them equally among the guides and gives a portion to ROW’s behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes like our drivers and food shoppers.
Some of our favorite books about the Rogue River
Rogue River Feud, by Zane Grey (Penguin Books).
This is an enlightening and easy to read book about water politics in the West. One of Zane Grey’s lesser known books, the Rogue River Feud masterfully and beautifully describes the scenery and tranquility of the Rogue River. This is an excellent choice to bring with you into the river canyon. On each ROW departure we stop by Zane Grey’s cabin (time permitting) along the river to gain a better understanding of exactly where he was while working through the Novel. A great book for any rafting or hiking journey in the Rogue River canyon.
The Rogue River Guidebook: A comprehensive guide from Prospect to Gold Beach, by Matt Leidecker
Matt Leidecker covers more than just the Wild and Scenic section. This guide contains detailed topographic maps, user friendly mile-by-mile text and photographs for one of the most popular, most beautiful, multi-day runs in the United States. This is an excellent book to carry with you on our guided trip. This book combines knowledge of where you’re going with an understanding of the areas basic history and geography.
The River Reader, by John A. Murray (The Lyons Press, 1998).
A collection of writings that is composed of both classic selections and contemporary writings from twenty-two diverse writers that are devoted to a single environmental subject. It is the finest essays on rivers by Hemingway, Barry Lopez, Annie Dillard, and others.
Illahe, by Kay Atwood.
Illahe tells the captivating story of the miners, packers, farmers. And families who settled southern Oregon’s rugged Rogue River Canyon in the 1860’s. If you’re a history buff this book is for you. Kay Atwood does a remarkable job of re-telling first had accounts from the early days in the canyon. She utilizes journals, diaries and interviews with decedents from those who originally journeyed into the unknown isolation that was the Rogue River Canyon. Feel the stories and emotions of floods, harsh winters and constant isolation as these people chose to make their home in this beautiful river wilderness. This is a great read right before a rafting trip down the Rogue River canyon.
The Rogue, a River to Run, by Florence Arman with Glen Woolridge.
Here is a spectacular book about THE Rogue River legend. Glen Woolridge started running the Rogue River in 1915 and was still running it into the 1980’s. He was the first person to travel up the Rogue River from Gold Beach Oregon to Grants Pass Oregon in 1947. The next year he became the first person to travel up the Salmon River “river of no return” in Idaho from Riggins to Salmon. This book is a piece of history about a man who made history on the Rogue River. If you want to understand the sense of adventure that surrounds the Rogue River this is your book.
Watch - Camping with ROW Adventures
Watch - Bathroom Facilities on the River
Watch - Packing for a Day on the River
Weather Report - Check the weather before you go
Exploring Southern Oregon - Rogue River extension ideas
Travel Oregon - Oregon State travel website
White Water Craft Guide - Types of crafts we utilize on river trips
Historic Lodges of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River - Lodge to lodge river trip on the Rogue River
Understanding Leave No Trace on the River - Helpful ways to travel through river environments sustainably.
Multi-Day Rafting Trips for Beginners - Learn why the Rogue River is great for beginner rafters!
Terms & Conditions
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