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I have my first Rogue trip coming up soon. It'll be 3 boats and 6 people and we are looking forward to it. I have a few questions and I'm hoping some folks will share what they know. I just got the updated Leidecker book but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Can anyone recommend a shuttle company? We will have 2 rigs, one with a trailer. It's Grave's to Foster bar right?

We will be driving down the day before put in. Is there anywhere to camp at/near the put in?

I've been reading some of the older posts and it sounds like there are more bears than what I've seen on Idaho rivers. What's standard operating procedure with bears?

Thanks!
 

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Galice store runs shuttle, there are others but we have always used Galice. You can camp at Alameda bar, just downstream from Rand. There is a boat ramp there. No need to go to Graves creek to launch. Be bear safe, keep a clean camp and use the electric bear fences, and/or boxes which are in most of the camps. Watch out for the raccons as well.
Have fun!
 

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Alameda is good and nice put-in as mentioned --- may have a yurt too. Absolutely no reason to go to Graves Creek. There is literally a rapid 100 yards downstream from Graves ramp and I prefer a little warmup :)

I use Sharon at affordable shuttles --- have used her many many times with no issue.

If you want a good meal and some beers stop off at baldinis in Merlin.

Enjoy --- awesome stretch of river!'n


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We camp at Argo, it is free and the last camp before Grave creek. If you head upstream from there you will find other camp grounds to camp at, so I wouldn't worry too much about finding one.
We have always used Galice down there and they have been great to use. They also have rooms, food, and a small general store where you can get last minute forgotten items.
I have done the Rogue in May and September, and and my last May trip I saw a sow and 2 cubs along the water's edge about 2 miles from the takeout. We use the bear fences and boxes, and we keep everything locked up when they aren't available. I would love to go in the middle of summer when the bears are out more.
Have fun, it is a beautiful trip!
 
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I always recommend Affordable Shuttles for shuttles. She has always done right by me. You'll get plenty of opinions on shuttles. primative camping is available at Argo. I typically drive down to grave and scout the put in a Grave's but if it's a shit show Argo is a good alternative. If Your doing a 3 day the extra miles to Argo shouldn't be an issue but Alemdia gets A bit Long. Stop at Raine, Whisky ck, Zane Gray's, Rogue River Ranch and Paradise for a look. The bears don't get hot and heavy till the end of summer usually but they are around. Skunks and Racoons can also also a menace. Scout Blossom. It's easy till it's not and it goes bad fast.

Have fun and be safe.
 

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I always recommend Affordable Shuttles for shuttles. She has always done right by me.
Affordable Shuttles x2

Argo has an outhouse but no water. Get water at the Galice Store or Almeda Campground. If you camp at Argo, rig your boats the day before and launch there to avoid the crowd at Grave Creek.

Bears should not be much of an issue this time of year. Not many dead salmon or berries along the river now. The high country is still green and I think the bears are mostly up there this time of year.

Scout Blossom. It's easy till it's not and it goes bad fast.
Not a boat scout. Too many people die there.
 

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Alameda is a nice campground and very wide, paved boat ramp with tons of room for your party and other groups to rig their boats the day before without being on top of each other. Galice resort for shuttles and even diner the night before. I've seen a bear almost every trip but with the right precautions they have never been a problem. It's a great trip. Have fun.
 

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Alameda. Affordable. Get on the river early to avoid confrontation getting a site. Take as many days as you can afford. Bears? Use the fences where available. Stack coolers outside of your boats and away from sleeping areas.
 

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Good advice above.

If all the raft captains know the moves at Blossom Bar, you are good to go except I recommend a scout from the river right bluff no matter what the experience level.

If any first timers at the oars, make sure to discuss the lines and have them watch a few rafts make the run. Best to watch from the hiker trail just a bit below the critical moves entering the rapid. As mentioned above and in my opinion Blossom Bar is easy till you miss a move and then it can be real nasty. And, it is not over till you clear the last down stream rock. I recommend first timers also get some instruction from the river left eddy stage spot. That first move is easy if you line up, row with the right power and hit the spin spot to get around the picket fence. A pin on the picket fence tho is not good. Awesome rapid, rest of the river is a joy to row and the camps are all outstanding. YouTube has a bunch of good videos of Blossom Bar to get a good feeling of the line at Blossom.
 

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Almeda

I like Almeda for camping and launching. It is a county park with a full-time park host making it one of the safest launch sites although it sounds like you won't be leaving an unattended vehicle overnight. The county website has good pictures. Pay all your fees. Fines are steep.
 

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We were there a year ago May on an OARS trip and I don't remember seeing any bear enclosures or recall any discussion of special bear precautions.
 

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I'm crossing my fingers that the water will hold out - our launch is the weekend after labor day.

Likely not ideal flows for a group that will all be Personal First Descents.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, a ton of good information. If anyone else has opinions please feel free to chime in.

Thank you buzzards, I appreciate it!
 

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We were there a year ago May on an OARS trip and I don't remember seeing any bear enclosures or recall any discussion of special bear precautions.
Me too, two years ago in May. No bear concerns by the OARS folks, and no incidents.

And, of course, in case it hasn't been made plain enough by now, Blossom is THE crux of this run - more difficult than the rest of the river put together (ok, that doesn't really make any sense, but it's true) - and kills more boaters than Lava or Crystal. The student (this was a rowing clinic) rowing the boat I was in (not my turn to row) made the right move at the right time, but his oar strokes were ineffective, and the guide/instructor had to jump on the sticks at the last second. We couldn't have been more than 10ft from the Picket Fence when she took over - it was very vivid.
 

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Me too, two years ago in May. No bear concerns by the OARS folks, and no incidents.

And, of course, in case it hasn't been made plain enough by now, Blossom is THE crux of this run - more difficult than the rest of the river put together (ok, that doesn't really make any sense, but it's true) - and kills more boaters than Lava or Crystal. The student (this was a rowing clinic) rowing the boat I was in (not my turn to row) made the right move at the right time, but his oar strokes were ineffective, and the guide/instructor had to jump on the sticks at the last second. We couldn't have been more than 10ft from the Picket Fence when she took over - it was very vivid.
Oars sounds like a junkshow. Letting Custy's row blossom and not discussing the largest carnivore in the lower 48 is pretty amateur. I've lost a couple coolers and my buddy lost three of his best laying hens in 08. The bear fences hold a few coolers/dryboxes and still sleep 4 comfortably. Recommend using! Paradise has cold beer at high prices and the deck is beautiful but don't pet the dog,he has mange.
 

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Bears, blossom and beauty

Bears are there for sure, I don't think I have ever NOT seen a bear. The fences are there as well, you just have to look for them. My experience is that there are a lot more bears after blossom bar. We had one came into camp two or three times one night at Upper Half Moon bar. Had to chase it off with rocks and what not. We even used the fence but either we were too stupid to turn it on or the battery had died.

Blossom Bar is not an enjoyable swim and while technical is not in the category of extremely difficult (IMO). Regardless, I scout it every time.

Beautiful river and awesome campsites --- have a blast!!!
 

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Oars sounds like a junkshow. Letting Custy's row blossom and not discussing the largest carnivore in the lower 48 is pretty amateur.
Maybe you have a point on the bears, but maybe they were discussed and I forgot (I honestly think that's possible, as the rapids were my focus, as you might imagine for a newbie). And we had no problems, and apparenty a lot of other folks don't either.

But I have to disagree with you strenuously on the issue of letting us row Blossom. We were customers, but we were also instructees; they were guides, but they were also instructors. If you're teaching people to row, how the fuck are you supposed to do that by not letting them row ?!? I assure you that we scouted, and discussed the lines, at great length; the TL also discussed the death toll and asked each rower to consider if he/she really wanted to row it (and offered the non-rowing students the walkaround option). Finally, our TL (and I presume, the other guide/instructors) was enough of a badass to easily rescue the situation even when she had to jump on the oars at the last second, as I described.
 

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Bears are there for sure, I don't think I have ever NOT seen a bear. The fences are there as well, you just have to look for them. My experience is that there are a lot more bears after blossom bar. We had one came into camp two or three times one night at Upper Half Moon bar. Had to chase it off with rocks and what not. We even used the fence but either we were too stupid to turn it on or the battery had died.

Blossom Bar is not an enjoyable swim and while technical is not in the category of extremely difficult (IMO). Regardless, I scout it every time.

Beautiful river and awesome campsites --- have a blast!!!

Half moon is a bear sanctuary. They eat the garbage from paradise and the scraps left from the jet boat tourons. I hit one in the forehead with a rock and he seemed unfazed. Half moon blows but would recommend if you like temps in the 90's at 10am. It does have a crapper, so that's nice.
 

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Maybe you have a point on the bears, but maybe they were discussed and I forgot (I honestly think that's possible, as the rapids were my focus, as you might imagine for a newbie). And we had no problems, and apparenty a lot of other folks don't either.

But I have to disagree with you strenuously on the issue of letting us row Blossom. We were customers, but we were also instructees; they were guides, but they were also instructors. If you're teaching people to row, how the fuck are you supposed to do that by not letting them row ?!? I assure you that we scouted, and discussed the lines, at great length; the TL also discussed the death toll and asked each rower to consider if he/she really wanted to row it (and offered the non-rowing students the walkaround option). Finally, our TL (and I presume, the other guide/instructors) was enough of a badass to easily rescue the situation even when she had to jump on the oars at the last second, as I described.
You have a 34 mile run with one 200 yard rapid that poses a threat. There's no reason a noob should be running that and the fact she had to "jump in at the last second" proves my point.
 
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