A Rogue River Whitewater rafting trip is just one way to enjoy this river in southern Oregon. You can enjoy your whitewater experience in a big raft or an inflatible kayak. With today's equipment it is a safe trip.
Enjoy the same scenery that you saw in the movie, Rooster Cogburn.
On a four-day trip which includes the 36-mile Wild and Scenic Area you will at first experience the peace of floating along on the quiet waters while you enjoy the scenery, the wildlife, and then later comes the breathtaking excitement of plenty of rapids.
Whitewater rapids are rated from Class I to Class VI in difficulty. Class I is flat water.
Class VI rapids are extremely difficult and maybe even impossible to go down. Most rapids on the Rogue River are Class II, III, and III+. The Class V rapids are usually walked around on these guided trips. It depends on the level of the water.
Most river guides offer a four-day trip which begins at Galice which is 15 miles west of Grants Pass and ends at Foster Bar. The first morning is a relaxing ride on smooth waters the first seven miles of the trip. Usually lunch is served on the banks of the river at this point before entering the Wild and Scenic Area. The Graves Creek Bridge marks the last point along the river which is accessible by road. The next 36 miles are accessible only by boat or hiking trail and it is here you will see some spectacular scenery.
The guided trips usually camp out along the way with maybe one night in one of the few lodges along the way. You can have trips with all nights spent in lodges but you need to make your reservations well in advance for these as cabins and rooms are limited.
Most trips stop along the way to see interesting sites such as Zane Grey's cabin and to let you move around and get a little exercise.
At the end of your trip, a shuttle bus will take you back to your starting point. This is about a two and a half hour trip through the scenic Coast Range.
Rogue River whitewater rafting trips cost between $700 and $900 per person for a four-day trip. The food is good wholesome camp food and includes three meals per day. The charge for children is a bit less. It depends on the outfitter guide as to the youngest age for children passengers--usually between 6 and 8 years of age.
Noah's Rafting and Fishing have several different options for rafting the Rogue River. They have been at it for a long time and know what they are doing.
Experienced rafters can take their own rafts or rent rafts at Galice. However, it can be a problem to get a permit for the designated wild and scenic portion between Galice and Foster Bar. There are only so many permits issued per day for trip dates May 15 through October 15. The only way these can be obtained is through the Bureau of Land Management Lottery. Noncommercial float permits are $10 per person.
More information on noncommercial float permits from the BLM. If you don't get a permit for the dates you want, it is possible that someone with a permit for those dates will cancel but you won't know until almost the last minute.
From October 16 through May 14 you will still need a permit but these are self issued through the BLM. There is no lottery for these dates. You just fill out a form telling the BLM that you are making the trip.
It's not all whitewater. There are plenty of stretches where the water is calm and your raft just drifts along. This is when you can take plenty of pictures of the scenery and the wildlife. This is wilderness area and the wildlife is abundant. You may see deer, elk, black bear, osprey, bald eagle, blue heron, mink, great horned owls, beaver, mountain lion, bobcat and Canadian geese.
Whitewater rafting on the Rogue River is fun for the whole family and should be included in a family vacation to Oregon.