Rogue River Rafting
Grave Creek to Foster Bar
Length: 35 miles/ 3 to 5 days
Class: III (one IV)
Gradient: 24 ft/mile
Season: Year Round
Recommended Flows: 1000 to 5000 cfs at Agness
Shuttle: 2 hours/ 50 miles; winter: 4+ hours / 183 miles; contact Galice Resort for shuttles
Flow Information: 3 day forecast or one week forecast
River Temperature: Current Water Temperature
Permits: Required, lottery from May 15th to October 15. Cancellations can be picked up day of at Smulin or through the call-in process. Outside the lottery season is a self-registration permit is obtained at Smulin BLM.
A Rogue River rafting trip from Grave Creek to Foster Bar is the destination whitewater rafting trip of Oregon. The Rogue has the distinction of being one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers. Since 1987 the Wild Rogue Wilderness Area has protected the lands around the lower half of the wilderness run. There is a push to expand the wilderness area to include the upper part of this run. Looking for information on a one-day Rogue Rafting Trip try the Nugget Powerhouse Section.
Everyone from 5 year-olds to 95 year-olds has fun on the river. The river is long enough to be interesting yet short enough that there is plenty of time for drifting, hiking and hanging out in camp. While the rapids are fun and splashy, they are ideal to run in rafts and inflatable kayaks. There is abundant wildlife: bears, eagles, osprey, otters, salmon, and deer. The weather is hot in the summer however it is not too hot. The water is warm enough to want to jump in however cool enough to be refreshing on a hot summer day. The side creeks are cool, refreshing grottoes. During the fall it cools but isn’t too cold.
Four day trips are most popular however the river can be run in 2, 5, or up to a maximum of 7 days. Federal agencies permit 120 people per day to float the river on private trips between May 15th – October 15th. The lottery for Rogue River rafting permits is fairly competitive. It is much easier to get on the river by taking a commercial Rogue Rafting Trip.
Rogue River Highlights
Mile 0: Put-in
Put-in at Grave Creek Boat Ramp and the end of Galice Road. There are multiple put-ins upstream the increase the length of the trip. The Alameda put-in is also fairly popular.
Mile 0.1: Grave Creek Rapid (III)
Grave Creek Rapid has a two distinctive drops. The first pushes boats into a rock wall on the left and the second, Grave Creek Falls has a couple of big waves with a nice pool below.
Mile 1.8: Rainey Falls (III, IV or V)
Scout Rainey Falls on river left. There are 3 options: the main class V drop on the left, the class IV middle chute and the class III fish ladder on the right. Getting into the middle and right chutes can be a bit tricky.
Mile 4.3: Tyee Rapid (III)
Lots of boats have been ripped at Tyee, watch out for the hole in the center and stay off the wall on the right.
Mile 8: Black Bar Falls (III)
Upper Black Bar Falls (III) is one of the trickier rapids of the Rogue, the most common route is to enter far right and avoid the rock wall on the bottom right shore. After a pool and a bend to the right the river drops down Lower Black Bar Falls (II).
Mile 8.5: Black Bar Lodge
Hidden away on river left, Black Bar Lodge is the typical first night stop for those doing a 3 or 4 day Lodge Trip on the Rogue.
Mile 10.2: Horseshoe Bend (II)
The river takes a broad sweeping bend to the right. There is a huge camp on river right bench up high.
Mile 19.4: The Ranch
On river right, this area is the last camping before Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar. While it is typically busy, the historic Rogue River Ranch is worth a visit. A quarter mile downstream is Marial Lodge as with all the lodges reservations are required.
Mile 19.5: Mule Creek Canyon (III)
This iconic western rapid has a tricky set of entrance rocks (Jaws) followed by a memorable narrow walled canyon. Within the canyon lies Coffee Pot a bubbling section of whitewater that has flipped many inflatable kayaks. Keep an eye out for Stair Creek on the left at the bottom of the rapid.
Mile 22.3: Blossom Bar (IV)
The signature rapid of the Rogue is best scouted from river right. The standard run is to pull from left to right into a tight chute to avoid wrapping on the Picket Fence and then proceed downstream through more wrap rocks.
Mile 22.9: Devil’s Stair Rapid (III)
Around a sharp corner just downstream is Devil’s Stair Rapid. Watch out for Jet Boats, they are allowed to travel to the bottom of Blossom Bar Rapid.
Mile 23.5: Paradise Lodge
High on the right bank is Paradise Lodge, a common second night stop for Lodge trips. A quarter mile downstream on river left is Half Moon Bar Lodge, both lodges require reservations.
Mile 35.0: Foster Bar Take-out
Take-out is on river right. There are bathrooms and a groover dumping station here.