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Oregon: Rogue River Inn-to-Inn Rafting & Hiking Adventure

May 17 - 21, 2022

“The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.”

John Muir

The Rogue River in Southern Oregon is one of the few places in the entire world where you can do a multi-day hiking tour, staying in inns, that is raft supported. It is truly unique.

The source of the Rogue River in southwest Oregon is a mountainside spring near Crater Lake in the Cascade Mountains. The river then flows 215 miles and drops a mile in elevation before reaching the Pacific Ocean. The lower Rogue River canyon was one of the original eight river sections protected by Congress’ 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The adjacent 40-mile hiking trail takes us through a staggering wilderness playground that offers views of fern-draped grottos, lush forests, narrow canyons of polished rock, beautiful sandy beaches, swimming holes, tumbling side streams, cascading waterfalls, and wildlife such as bald eagles, black bear and river otters.

Our daily distances range from 3.5 to 14 miles. Each day you can choose to spend portions on the raft, which provides a few thrills through rapids and incredible views of the canyon walls from the unusual viewpoint of the river itself. You can also choose walk some or all of the distance on an uncrowded and well-maintained trail along the Rogue while the rafts carry our gear from lodge to lodge.  Please note the trail is extremely well maintained but there are numerous sections cut into a hillside, which might be a little difficult for someone afraid of heights.

Each day our guides will prepare a beautiful picnic lunch along the riverbank. We’ll also have opportunities to learn about the Native Americans, pioneers, and miners who populated this area. In the evening we’ll stay at backcountry lodges where you’ll have the opportunity to relax, recharge, and live simply with a few creature comforts – perhaps reading a book on the deck overlooking the river or enjoying a glass of wine or beer, followed by a good meal and the camaraderie of your trip mates.

The Rogue is one of only a handful of places in the world where you can enjoy raft-supported hiking in the remote wilderness while spending your nights in comfortable riverside lodges not accessible by roads.

Private Tour Info

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Details

  • Dates: May 17 - 21, 2022
  • Cost Per Person: $2,950
  • Optional Single Supplement: $150
  • Activities: Hiking & Rafting
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Guides: To Be Determined

Other Info: IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Due to the short season and limited number of rooms at our river lodges, a single room is only available for the last night of the trip when we are at our Ashland hotel.

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike Oregon's famous 40-mile Rogue River Trail, with the option to hop into the raft each day
  • Stay in comfortable wilderness lodges each night along the trail
  • Carry only a daypack while the rest of our gear gets transported down the river via raft
  • Take in stunning Pacific Northwest scenery, including towering trees, tumbling streams, and rocky canyons
  • Look for wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, otters, and black bear

Each day we will hike or raft 3.5 - 14 miles along the Rogue River Canyon, a part of the Siskiyou Mountain Range, adding up to 40 miles total for the trip. You can choose which sections to hike or raft, with the guidance of your professional raft and hiking guides. We'll take a midday break to have a raft-supported lunch at a beautiful riverside beach and rest for a bit. Appetizers and dinner will be served either in a lodge dining room or on the deck. Evenings are spent relaxing on the deck with a glass of local wine or beer, playing games, or enjoying the peace and quiet of a deck chair and a good book.

DAY 1

We meet you in Ashland, Oregon the first morning of the trip, get our gear situated into dry bags, and shuttle to Grants Pass, Oregon, along the banks of the Rogue River. We'll meet our raft guides and hold a quick orientation to go over our plan for the next few days. We'll then start our hike into the heart of the Rogue River Canyon. Along the way we'll see beautiful Rainey Falls and pass by the Whiskey Creek Cabin, the oldest remaining mining cabin in the Rogue River Canyon. We'll break for a lovely picnic lunch at a riverside beach before continuing on our way to the Black Bar Lodge, our wilderness lodge for the night. Your guides will prepare a gourmet backcountry meal for tonight's dinner. Hiking distance: 10 miles

DAY 2

Today is our longest hiking day, with amazing views from well above the canyon floor, long stretches of oak forest, and even glades of rain forest filled with greenery. We will pass by historic Battle Bar, site of one of the major battles of the 1855 - 1856 war between the local Native Americans and US soldiers. We can stop in to view the rustic cabin of well-known Western novelist Zane Gray. And we are able to tour the historic Rogue River Ranch, which has been turned into sort of a backcountry museum. It is not uncommon for folks to jump in the raft for part of today's hike and those who do will experience a few fun rapids and loads of breathtaking views of the canyon walls. We'll make our way to Marial Lodge for the night, where the lodge owners will prepare dinner for our group. Hiking distance: 14 miles

DAY 3

Our distance today is the shortest of the trip but it is also the single most beautiful section of the river. You will be hard pressed to decide between hiking or rafting the 3.5 miles of the steep-walled Mule Creek Canyon. If you choose to hike, you can look down on those going through Blossom Bar Rapids in the raft. We'll then check into our accommodations for the night, Paradise Lodge, and have time to relax or go on an optional hike up to a nearby peak. Dinner is in the lodge. Hiking distance: 3.5 miles, plus optional bonus hike

DAY 4

Our last day on the trail takes us through the Huggins Canyon and offers some of the best opportunities to see black bear.  Because we have a long drive home after we reach the trailhead, those wishing to hike the entire distance will depart early (around 7:00 AM) and eat breakfast on the trail. Those opting to raft can get out half way and join the hikers. By early afternoon, we reach the end of the trail, have a picnic lunch, load up our gear in the vans, and shuttle back to civilization (Ashland) for the night. We'll check into our hotel, take a nice hot shower, and celebrate our journey with a special farewell dinner. Hiking distance: 11 miles

DAY 5

This morning we'll enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading to the airport to catch a flight home or to pick up a rental car to extend your stay.

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Trip Accommodations

For the first three nights of our tour, the accommodations are rustic but comfortable and may include cabins or rooms. In each room, you’ll find beds made up with fresh linens, bathrooms stocked with plenty of towels, and hot water for showers.

NIGHT 1 >> BLACK BAR LODGE / ROGUE RIVER

After a long day of hiking the Rogue River Trail, we'll be staying in rustic yet comfortable log cabins outfitted with hot showers and comfortable beds and located in the heart of the Rogue Canyon.

NIGHT 2 >> MARIAL LODGE/ ROGUE RIVER

Our lodging tonight offers the comforts of home in the middle of the wilderness with good food, comfortable rooms, and unbeatable scenery.

NIGHT 3 >> PARADISE LODGE / ROGUE RIVER

Deep in the heart of Oregon's wild and scenic Lower Rogue River, this historic lodge is a perfect place to relax after a day of hiking and rafting. It is quite luxurious, especially considering it cannot be reached by road!

NIGHT 4 >> ASHLAND SPRINGS HOTEL / ASHLAND, OREGON

Built in 1925 and lovingly restored, this downtown landmark is a haven of taste reminiscent of small European hotels and a perfect landing spot after "roughing it" at our river lodges.

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Arrival & Departure

We meet you in Ashland, Oregon early on the first day of the trip since we have to shuttle to our put-in point and get our gear sorted before beginning our hike. This means you'll need to arrive the night before. The closest airport is the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (airport code: MFR) and is located about 25 minutes from downtown Ashland, an easy shuttle or taxi ride away.  On the last day of the tour, we'll be in Ashland and you can depart at any time, as we have no scheduled activities.

What's Included?
  • One Zephyr host accompanies each trip, along with local river guides.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room. Due to limited space at the wilderness lodges, there are only a few single supplements available for this trip.
  • All of your meals are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
  • All trail fees and permits are included.
  • Rafts and related equipment are included such as dry bags for your personal gear, personal flotation devices (PFD's), etc.
  • NOT INCLUDED Beverages, desserts, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Weather

Springtime along the Rogue River is beautiful! In May, you can expect temperatures in the 60s or 70s during the day. It may dip down into the 50s at night. Though we are expecting sunny skies, we'd still recommend packing rain gear just in case!

Being Off The Grid

All of us have become more and more attached to technology over the years – email, Facebook, smartphones, tablets, wifi anywhere… It is a positive and a negative, a blessing and a curse. One of the joys of this river trip is that, for the most part, you are completely off the grid. No cell phone service, no email, no Facebook. For many, this can be a little disconcerting in the beginning (it is a BIG change), but in the end, you will likely find it a welcome change of pace and very relaxing.

Extending Your Stay

You might consider spending an extra day or two in Ashland, Oregon to catch a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, check out more of the beautiful hiking trails in the area, or even head two hours northeast to breathtaking Crater Lake National Park.

Type of Person Who Will Enjoy This Tour

This trip is for wilderness lovers who are in reasonable shape and can hike 10 - 15 miles per day. For those days where you may not be feeling your best, there is always the option to hop in the raft and ride to our next stopping point.

Changes to Your Itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.

 

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