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Old 08-21-2014   #41
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
I've run the Rogue five or ssix times a year for the past ten years and I think they are doing pretty good with the way they manage it. The people at the Rand station are great and they help you out anyway they can. The campsites generally are void of trash, unlike most other public campsites.
I have had to pass on just as many designated campsites that private boaters occupied as commercial outfitters anytime. The outfitters go by the same rules as private boaters. We are both allowed to split our groups the first day on the river, as long as you both have a groover and a copy of the permit. After the first day its questionable, but only one private boater has been written up for this in fraction in the past twelve years.
If you really want to secure a camping spot, you rafters need to make friends with some kayakers. Sure the outfitters send out rabbits in the morning. They are loaded down and slow. We send out cheetahs, kayakers, after we see the rabbits go by. They are much faster and secure a campsite just the same.
Even if you don't get the site you want, it gives you a chance to check out other beautiful places.
It tends to be what you make it. I thought I should add, I am a private boater.

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Old 08-21-2014   #42
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I've done 2 trips in May and 1 in September. I haven't had much of an issue with crowds, I think I'll dress a little warmer and head south During the school months
It would be fun to do a warm trip down there though.

Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 08-21-2014   #43
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
Might be harder to find a kayaker/ cheetah that will carry a groover.

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Old 08-21-2014   #44
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
Groovers come in all different sizes. I've gotten by, at the Rand station, with a wag bag and a 32oz nalgene .bottle. Good for two days on the river for one person.
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Old 08-21-2014   #45
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Most Excellent Post Mr. Malloy! Thank you for clearly laying out some very workable solutions! Folks can e-mail their concerns directly to Becky Brown at
Yours, tom
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Old 08-25-2014   #46
Ashlandistan, Oregon
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 64
Great discussion. Just got off the Rogue guiding a lodge to lodge trip and thus avoided the camp race vibe. This past week the ranger at Rand mentioned a good deal of tension occurring in the last few weeks regarding camps. They were encouraging all boaters to write their desired camps on the white board, but I witnessed several groups refuse. I did see a very high percentage of privates sending race boats. Ironically, none of them got the camp they were racing for due to groups laying over at these desirable camps. It was emphasized by these groups their displeasure in small groups laying over at desirable camps.
This brings up two points that I have not seen addressed in this discussion. First, I am curious as to why the white board only lists the camps for groups launching the day you are. This provides only part of the picture as everyone starts stacking up at Mule Creek and below. Secondly, how do you all feel about how layovers impact the camp search and what is an agreeable solution?
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Old 08-25-2014   #47
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Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to group size and how busy the camps are. The BLM lets 100 individuals launch per day regardless of group size so on any given day you can have 5 groups of 20 or 20 groups of 5 launching you would imagine the camping situation would be a little tougher for the latter. The day we launched there were 16 private launches.If the trend is to not share camps then that means 16 groups are competing for the same camps within one day's float from the boat ramp.
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Old 09-08-2014   #48
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 68
Wouldn't work

There is a board at Rand where you can post where you plan to camp. It is on a first come first serve basis and on the honor system. It helps a little I guess, but a lot of people don't know about it. I don't think a camp reservation system would work for the Rogue. Too many small campsites and too many groups of people. It works on the MF because they limit the number of groups per day. On the Rogue, it is all about head count. You could have 15 groups launching on any given day and the small groups may then be forced to take a large campsite. I think the rangers need to stress the importance of sharing campsites, not hogging two campsites, and take the campsite that fits your group size. Also keep the hikers out of river campsites like Whiskey Creek and the Ranch.
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Old 09-08-2014   #49
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
The two prior posts are excellent and highlight the main issues.

As someone who loves a 1 boat Rogue float, it is interesting that such trips are seen as problematic. I'm pretty sure I've stayed at places no other group is ever aiming for, and I've had first-rate camps. Frankly, it is easier to do the Rogue this way as you are out of phase in terms of what is "desireable" in a camp, lessening competition. Such a mindset is anathema to river time.

The reality of crowded rivers rewards those who can look just a little outside the norm - lower flow, smaller camp, colder weather will always be a good trade if the goal is p&q on busy rivers.

I think the golden rule (as usual) is a good one. Don't layover with 1 boat in a destination camp on a busy river. But if I'm there in Oct in the rain, I just might do it.

Camp sharing is great for extroverts. Us introverts go to the river expressly to avoid such forced social interactions. There ain't nothing I hate more that sharing camps. Has nothing to do with how awesome your crew might be.
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Old 09-08-2014   #50
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NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
Assigned camps on the Rogue

Yes the commercials routinely send rabbit boats down river while their main group meanders down. It's the worst I have seen on any river and I run most of the permitted rivers almost every year. Assigned camps has become necessary on the Rogue.

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