Rogue River Rafting and Camping
The Rogue River flows through one of the most diverse forest ecosystem found in the United States. The diversity of flora and fauna make a rafting trip on the Rogue River both fascinating and spectacular. For those who want to be more immersed in this wondrous nature, we offer a limited number of Rogue River rafting tours that feature camping rather than staying in lodges. We offer these trips in the late summer and early fall. In spring and summer, we primarily offer lodge-based Rogue River rafting tours.
Flowing from Boundary Springs at 5,300 feet above sea level, the headwaters of the Rogue begin their journey not far from Crater Lake National Park. The Rogue flows north as it winds through the mountains, eventually turning west towards the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, tributary creeks join its current, and over eons it has carved a deep canyon of dramatic beauty through the heart of the remote Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. When the river reaches the Pacific, it has traveled some 215 miles from source to sea.
In 1968, the U.S. Congress enacted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This legislation protected just eight rivers known for their outstanding scenic and recreational values to the public, including the Rogue. Today the Act protects over 220 rivers and the fact that Rogue was one of the original eight rivers speaks to its reputation as one of the best whitewater rafting trips in the world.
Not only is the Rogue famous for its fun, intermediate rapids, but also, for the thickly forested mountains with a mix of both evergreens and hardwoods. The rich cultural history of the river includes the stories of the native peoples, early explorers and pioneer settlers. The natural history is complex and fascinating, with hundreds of plant species, birds, mammals and amphibians.
Our camping trip on the Rogue River is normally a four-day trip, however, for private charter groups, we also offer three and five-day camping trips, all of which would cover the same number of river miles. We think four days is a perfect length as it provides enough time to explore the canyon’s many features including frolicking side creeks, historic cabins and the Rogue River trail, an excellent hiking trail the parallels the river.
We hope you will join us on a Rogue River camping trip to raft this spectacular wild and scenic river. You can find more information and details by reading our blogs including one that covers the Best Time of Year to Raft the Rogue River and to learn more about the whitewater on the Rogue, read What Class of Rapids are on the Rogue River.
Honoring Native People and Lands
Recognizing the significance of our travels through Indigenous territory, we would like to recognize the communities whose lands we visit. It is our hope, in doing so, to honor their legacies, their lives, and their descendants. To learn more about territory acknowledgement and specific information about the Native communities of this region, please visit our Territory Acknowledgement page.
Inquire now (trips generally fill well in advance) or you can call 208-765-0841 for any questions.
Images & Videos
Put-In to Camp, Intermediate rapids
Our meeting point is at Morrison’s Lodge not far from Merlin, Oregon. The evening before we have an orientation meeting to answer last-minute questions. From Morrison’s Lodge it’s a brief, 20-minute drive to our launch point where we get everyone fitted with a PFD (personal flotation device) and then have our safety talk. After dividing up into oar-rafts and paddle-rafts, we begin our float.
The first miles are a perfect introduction to rafting with a few easy to moderate rapids. As the sun gets higher in the sky, the air warms and soon we arrive at Grave Creek and our first intermediate Class III rapid.
After letting out some hoots and hollers, we continue through a stretch of calm water with time to soak in the forested beauty of the Rogue River. Soon we arrive at Rainey Falls, a steep class V rapid with a sneak on river right called the Fish Ladder. While guides navigate rafts through the fish ladder, guests walk along a river trail on river left. We reunite just blow the rapids and continue our Rogue River rafting trip.
Next stop might be Whisky Creek where you learn about the trees of the Rogue and early mining history in the canyon. It’s an easy and beautiful walk along the creek to the old homestead.
The afternoon is full of fun as we raft through various rapids such as Tyee, Wildcat and Montgomery. Our camp is chosen based on a variety of factors including our group size, how many others are on the river, weather, and more. Normally we reach camp by late afternoon with time to set up and then relax on the beach, go for a walk or visit with friends, new and old.
Soon your guides present our legendary ROW appetizers followed by dinner. Afterwards we sit under the sky to stargaze and revel in the day’s adventure.
Rapids, Exploration, Rogue River Ranch
Our day begins with the sound of chirping birds and the smell of campfire coffee. After breakfast you take down your tent as we pack up the kitchen and boats. Before long we climb aboard the rafts for another fantastic day of rafting. Rivers have a magical way of bringing everyone together and with no connectivity to the outside world you are free from interruptions. It’s so rare to find places where quality time, true connection and immersion in nature all converge.
Our day is full of whitewater and discovery. We raft through Upper and Lower Black Bar, and then on to Horseshoe Bend. We stop to walk up enchanted side creeks and learn about some of the cultural history of the Rogue. We paddle with laughter and enthusiasm through various Class II and III rapids including Telephone Hole, Meadow Creek, Dulog, Battle Bar riffle and China Bar. When the sun is high overhead, we stop for lunch on a beach or under the trees, often at a place where we share with you some of the Rogue River’s hidden treasures. After lunch the river gifts us with more rapids and diverse forest scenery. One of the enchantments of the Rogue is that the canyon has evergreens on the less-sunny side of the river and oaks on the sunnier side. This creates a diverse ecosystem and particular beauty.
Later in the afternoon, we arrive at the beaches near Mule Creek and the Rogue River Ranch. After we set up camp, if there’s time, we go explore the Rogue River Ranch where pioneer history comes alive. If not today, we visit the next morning.
Another scrumptious dinner and evening under the stars complete our day.
Mule Creek Canyon, Blossom Bar, Devils Staircase
This is a day of dramatic scenery! As we enter Mule Creek Canyon, the river is constricted between narrow walls of volcanic rock that create water features that bubble and boil. There’s no other river canyon quite like it! One of the most narrow and legendary spots is the Coffee Pot, so-called due to the percolating water that surges and roils upwards. It’s a quick, heart-pounding ride through the canyon that ends as the river widens slightly and we pull into a tiny cove to see Staircase Falls drop into the river.
It’s only another mile downstream to Blossom Bar rapid, the most technical and difficult rapid on the river, where guides’ skills are put to the test. We stop to scout, then run the rapid. There is an option to walk around the rapid if anyone prefers to do that.
Once through Blossom Bar, we relax and soak in the inspiring canyon scenery. A few pulls on the oars and we arrive at the Devil’s Stair, a fun constriction rapid where the river again narrows and is turned by a cliff face as it continues downhill towards the sea.
We stop for lunch somewhere near Devil’s Stair, to skip stones, share stories and appreciate the natural wonders around us. The afternoon has some more easy or intermediate rapids, perhaps a side hike and likely, some good wildlife viewing. The Rogue is home to black bear, river otter, rough-legged newts, turtles, osprey, bald eagles, mergansers and more. Keen eyes reward those on the lookout for animals.
We arrive at our last night’s camp and everyone has relaxed into the river’s rhythm. This is one of favorite times of day, as there’s time for exploring, reading a book and connecting with others. ROW guides prepare a grand finale dinner, and the evening spirit is elevated with lively conversation remembering the past few days of rafting adventure.
Rafting, Hiking, Take Out Foster Bar
Our day starts with another bountiful breakfast and if you wish, morning stretches. We load the rafts for the final miles of river replete with our last splashes and waves. The canyon widens somewhat as the mountains soar to our north and south, making way for the river’s path to the Pacific.
Our paddles guide us through more rapids including Clay Hill, Payton and Burnt riffles, and Brewery Hole. Deep breaths of mountain air rejuvenate the spirit and gurgling side creeks make their way over boulders and into the river.
Our final lunch is a time to reflect on the fun and camaraderie of our Rogue River days together. After a celebratory toast and a few more tall tales, we raft onward to our take-out at Foster Bar. Our aim is to arrive by 3:00 pm. Those people who had their cars shuttled will find them here. Others load into a van for the two-hour drive through the mountains to return to Morrison’s Lodge with an anticipated arrival around 5:00 pm.
*Learn more about what class of rapids are found on the Rogue River from veteran ROW Guide and Manager, Tom Scarborough.
ROW Oregon, LLC, doing business as ROW Adventures is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider. ROW Oregon, LLC operates under special use permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District along with the U.S. Forest Service in Siskiyou National Forest. All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
Dates & Rates
|Sep 07, 2024 to Sep 10, 2024
Rogue Riverkeeper Conservation Trip
|Sep 12, 2024 to Sep 15, 2024
|Sep 17, 2024 to Sep 20, 2024
|Sep 27, 2024 to Sep 30, 2024
|Oct 02, 2024 to Oct 05, 2024
|Oct 07, 2024 to Oct 10, 2024
If you are interested in hiking and camping on the Rogue River check out our Rogue River Hiking Page
- Services of our talented adventure consultants and professional guides
- Hand-crafted itineraries
- All meals/beverages as indicated in the itinerary (including beer and wine)
- Clean drinking water available at all times
- All rafting/camping gear
- Specialized equipment needed for activities such as helmets, paddles, personal flotation devices, etc.
- Private pre-tour orientation meeting
- Transportation to/from river meeting points
DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- 6% Land and water access fee
- Airfare/transportation to beginning and ending points
- Shuttling your car from launch to take out point if driving
- Gratuities for guides
- Travel protection plan
- Pre & post-trip hotel reservations
- Items of a personal nature
ROW Oregon, LLC, doing business as ROW Adventures is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider. ROW Oregon, LLC operates under a special use permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District along with the U.S. Forest Service in Siskiyou National Forest. All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.