I would go ahead and put-in upstream from Graves Creek. Even though the road parallels the river until you get to Graves Creek, its still a good float to add some miles and time. You can camp between Graves and Rainie Falls the first night, or get past Rainie later in the afternoon and camp within the next couple of miles (Whiskey Creek, Doe Creek, Tyee etc are all good camps). Its about 4 miles from Argo to Graves, 5.5 from Almeda to Graves, 6.5 from Rand to Graves, 8 from Galice to Graves. I occasionally put in at Almeda just to add miles, and the road doesn't bother me at all knowing I'll be away from it all once I past Graves. I would plan on camping below Graves the first night, it pretty much sucks to camp anywhere above Graves.
If you have any pressing questions about the Rogue feel free to ask more questions or send me a message. I grew up in Grants Pass and have over 300 trips down there as a guide and private boater.
And yea, I definitely recommend the Illinois if you can hit it up. Its a true wilderness (dont get hurt, only way out besides boat is helicopter), whereas the Rogue isn't. Its the Rogue's meaner sister (nowadays) , and the Rogue would have been as hard if not harder than the Illinois if Glen and Taylor hadn't tossed sacks of dynamite in blossom, clay hill, Kelsey falls, among many more.
Take your fly rod if you do.. a 5 wgt will be good. Steelhead fishing is fun down there, half pounders will surprise you with their fighting and the hogs... oh man... those are fun... If its summer time or high/muddy water, don't bother.
who was even more reluctant to spend time on a class III river trip. We were expecting the worst, however the Rogue turned out to be a REAL GEM and one we would repeat again many times over if we have the chance.
The whitewater is class III but the camps, scenery and wildlife are just SPECTACULAR... we were blown away! 100% thumbs up !!!
I am considering doing a trip through the wilderness section in September. I did Almeda to Graves yesterday and there was much more flat water to paddle through than I expected. I enjoyed the scenery but paddling all of that flat water became exhausting very quickly (especially with all the wind resistance). Can anyone tell me if the wild section is the same way with mostly large sections of flat water between each rapid?
Yes,there are flatwater sections between rapids, the Rogue is a classic, western pool/drop river, but don't be deterred by that. I would say, however, that Mule creek canyon in the wild and scenic section is by no means flat. It warrants close attention, not only because of coffeepot, but because much of it is so narrow and rafts and dories do get jammed up in there occasionally. Did a Rogue trip last September, from Almeda to cache bar or Foster bar, (cache might be on a different river). Anyway, it was a fine time to be there, lots of dories with fishermen, one on our own trip. Some advice on Rainie Falls. Most people choose to detour around the falls through the fish ladder, which can be a laborious task if the water is low. We chose to run or rigs though a stairstep slot river right of the falls,, and left of the fish ladder. We just lined up our rafts, shipped our oars and rode it out, much quicker than the fish ladder. Back to the flatwater, it is the whole experience, flat water included that will bring me back, and it just complements the rapids that much more!
P.S. watch out for the picket fence at Blossom!
I've been considering a Rogue trip and have heard wildly varying reports as to what it is like. Does it compare to any of the other classics? Middle Fork? When would be the best time of year for flows? Could it be made into March trip? Thanks.
I did a kayak self-support middlefork trip this spring at around 5.3 feet, (highish) water and was NEVER bored, we were always in moving water and almost always in class III water, except for the class IV stuff. That said, my trip down the Rogue was much more mellow, but I was rafting in September at low water. Nevertheless,it was still challenging in a 16' gear boat, (particularly Blossom Bar) and I can see how the two rivers parallel each other in many ways. First, I have heard that the Middlefork is more mellow at around 3 feet, and I can see how the features, i.e. Dagger falls vs. Rainie falls, are similar to each other. the other similarity is that even though you are in alleged wilderness, there are fly-in ,(or 4-wheel in) lodges or ranches scattered down each river. The scenery on the Rogue is continuously beautiful like the middlefork, but more of what you'd think of as Pacific Northwest-type heavily forested steep canyon sides. Both rivers have great side hikes and other things that diverted my attention. One thing I would advise on the Rogue, is to hire a shuttle driver to take you back to Almeda or wherever,,because damn road is usually only one lane wide, with pullouts on the corners and was by all means the most dangerous part of our trip. Let an experienced shuttle driver with a cb radio do it for you, that way you can polish off the rest of your beer from the trip. Check at the Sundance River Center in Galice about March conditions. I know last year they had some flood-like conditions that flooded/floated their cabins around that are above the river about 20 feet! All in all a definite classic,and worth doing.
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