“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 source of the Rogue River in southwest Oregon is a mountainside spring next to Crater Lake in the Cascade Mountains. It flows just 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 is 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.
We hike between five and 14 miles daily on uncrowded and well-maintained trails along the Rogue while rafts carry our gear from lodge to lodge. Each afternoon our guides will prepare a beautiful picnic lunch along the rivershore. If you are finished hiking for the day, you can hop in the raft at several points throughout the day and ride the rest of the way to the lodge. In the evening 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 the world’s classic river trips and one of only a handful of places in the world where you can enjoy raft-supported hiking in the remote wilderness by day (you need carry only a small backpack or fanny pack) and spend your nights in comfortable riverside lodges not accessible by roads. The famous Rogue River Trail allows for a true wilderness adventure capped with comfortable and cozy evenings in lodges steeped in pioneer history.
Private Tour Info
Want to make this trip even more memorable? Grab your friends and pick a date.Start planning your private tour
- Dates: May 17 - 21, 2020
- Cost Per Person: $2,800
- Optional Single Supplement: $800
- Private Tour Minimum: 8
- Activities: Hiking & optional rafting
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Guides: Kris Lucky Keys, And Local Guides
Other Info: There is a very limited number of rooms at the lodges we will be staying and therefore, we will only be able to offer a limited number of single supplements.Book this Tour
- Hike Oregon's famous 42-mile Rogue River Trail, with the option of shortening your mileage by hopping into the raft
- 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 cascading waterfalls
- Look for wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, otters, and black bear
Each day we will hike 5 - 14 miles along the Rogue River Canyon, a part of the Siskiyou Mountain Range, adding up to 42 miles total for the trip. We'll take a midday break to have a raft-supported lunch at a beautiful riverside beach and rest for a bit. You'll then have the option of continuing to hike along the trail, or take a ride in the raft to that night's wilderness lodge. 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, fishing at the river’s edge, hiking to side creeks, playing games, or enjoying the peace and quiet of a deck chair and a good book.
We meet you in Ashland, Oregon the first morning of the trip and shuttle to Grants Pass, Oregon, along the banks of the Rogue River. We'll get our gear organized and situated into dry bags, meet the rest of our crew, and hold a quick orientation to go over our plan for the next few days. Once our overnight gear is loaded up on the rafts, we'll be on our way on the trail into the heart of the Rogue River Canyon. We'll hike for a few hours, taking in the beautifully famous Rainey Falls and passing 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. Hiking distance: 10 miles
Today is our longest hiking day where we will pass by historic Battle Bar site and the rustic cabin of well-known Western novelist, Zane Grey. It is not uncommon for folks to jump in the raft for part of today's hike, but since tomorrow is a short hiking day, why not take in every mile you can? We'll make our way to Marial Lodge for the night. Hiking distance: 14 miles
Our hike today is the shortest of the trip but it is no less beautiful! We'll hike 5 miles through the iconic Mule Creek Canyon taking in views of the Blossom Bar rapids. 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 the canyon rim. Hiking distance: 5 miles, plus optional bonus hike
Our last day on the trail takes us through the Huggins Canyon and offers some of the best opportunities to see black bear. By early afternoon, we reach the end of the trail, 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
This morning we'll enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading to the airport to catch your flight home or to pick up a rental car to extend your stay.Book this Tour
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.
NIGHT 4 >> PLAZA INN & SUITES AT ASHLAND CREEK / ASHLAND, OREGON
This downtown spa hotel is a perfect retreat for our final night of tour and located in the heart of downtown.Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
We meet you in Ashland, Oregon early this morning since we have to shuttle to our put-in point and get our gear sorted before beginning our hike. You'll want to fly into Medford the night before the tour. The closest airport is the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (airport code: MFR) and is located about 25 minutes from downtown Ashland. On the last day of the tour, we'll end in Ashland and shuttle you back to the Medford airport so that you can catch an afternoon flight home.
- One Zephyr guides accompany each trip along with several local 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.
Springtime along the Rogue River is beautiful! In May, you can expect temperatures in the 60s during the day and dipping 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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