May 4th: Arrive at 11 AM at the Rogue River Center (210 Merlin Road, Merlin, Oregon) to meet the head guide and receive a trip orientation. Orientation will include information on the layout of the Rogue River trail including daily miles and where the steeper sections of the trail. The trip orientation will also include a basic white water rafting orientation to prepare you for any raft riding you choose to do. This is also when you will be supplied with a dry bag to pack your personal items. This is the bag to put everything you want to access at night. It will go on the raft where it will not be very accessible during the day so anything you want on the trail needs to go in a separate bag that the raft will carry or in a small camelback or backpack if you choose to wear one. When everyone has their bags packed, vans will be loaded and the group will drive the 20 minutes down the Rogue River to the trail-head. At Grave Creek boat ramp the group will meet the rest of the guides and have a last conversation about the trail before starting the run down river.
This first day on the trail has plenty of beautiful viewpoints. Journey from river level to high above on the canyon walls before eventually returning to river level where a boat will ferry everyone across the river to the lodge for the evening. The first day at 9.3 miles is the shortest day of the trip making for a nice warm-up. Tonight is Blackbar lodge where you can relax on the lawn as deer graze only feet away.
Day 2. Your second day running the Rogue River trail has 18.6 miles making it the longest day of the trip. Today the trail often retreats back into beautiful tributary canyon’s but not at the expense of plenty of spectacular river views. The final miles of the day are a few of the most spectacular miles of trail anywhere. As the river squeezes into Mule Creek Canyon the trail has been cut into the rocks topping the canyon and the view are spectacular. Just before coming to the lodge you run past Blossom Bar rapid where you can stop and watch the rafts navigate this famous bit of white water before the final leg into the lodge.
Day 3. The final day on the trail has 13.6 miles and probably the most diverse terrain of any of the days. Today the trail leaves the river and cuts through the lush forest behind Brushy Bar. This is a beautiful journey through a deeply green thicket with a beautiful fern filled forest floor. After this luscious rain forest section of the trail you return back near the river and navigate ¾ of mile running on bedrock before climbing back onto soft trail to finish out. The last 3 miles of the trail are the steepest and contain the longest climb on the trail. Some people opt to hop on and ride at this point, but that’s not you.
At the trips conclusion you will be shuttled back to your car in Merlin Oregon.