Rogue River Rafting & Camping
Family Friendly Rafting on the Rogue River
Rafting the Rogue River
Four days rafting the Rogue River in Southern Oregon makes the ideal introductory whitewater camping trip. Class II and III rapids interlaced with calm stretches provide ample time to enjoy the scenery and swimming in the warm water. As one of the original eight National Wild and Scenic Rivers the beautiful canyon contains unique with old-growth forests, numerous waterfalls, and the iconic Mule Creek Canyon. The one Class IV rapid, Blossom Bar can be walked to avoid the technical ride requiring strategic maneuvering through swift channels and boulders.
Starting near Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River flows west through the Siskiyou Mountains into the Pacific Ocean. Our rafting trip begins just outside of Grants Pass, floating 40 miles through the Siskiyous and Wild Rogue Wilderness Area ending just 30 miles from the ocean.
This trip offers a variety of activities outside of the rafting and camping. Experience hikes to dramatic view points along the Rogue River trail, cool swimming holes, fishing, and stories of Native Americans, cowboys, and gold miners who once ventured into this wild country. Outstanding wildlife viewing on the Rogue includes bears, bald eagles, osprey, otters, and salmon. Inflatable kayaks provide a popular way to increase the level of thrill in the whitewater. In addition, trips can be customized to run 3 or 5 days as well.
Where to Start
Not sure what we mean by paddle rafts, oar rafts and duckies. Interested in forgoing camping to stay in a lodge or learn about luxury trip options. Give us a call or send us an email, We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the process to help you find your perfect rafting trip at the same price you would get directly from the outfitter.
Rogue River Rafting Trip Details
Rafting Launch Day
Meet at 9:00 am on the day your trip in front of the Galice Resort in Galice, Oregon. The head guide for your trip will pass out drybags so you can pack your overnight gear and answer any last minute questions. Come dressed for rafting and having eaten a hearty breakfast. The restaurant and small store at the Galice Resort serve breakfast (currently the store is being renovated).
A 5-minute shuttle van ride takes you to the put-in. After a short safety and orientation briefing, expect to launch on the river mid-morning.
The Rogue starts off fairly mellow and after a few miles fun rapids begin including Grave Creek Rapid. There will be a stop for a riverside lunch and then you will continue with more rapids interspersed with calm stretches down to camp. After unloading gear off the rafts everyone decides upon their campsites for the evening. For those new to camping the guides will give a hand selecting a spot and getting settled – don’t hesitate to ask. While at camp you have time to hike, swim, relax and eat appetizers before dinner.
Video: Rafting the Rogue with our Partner Outfitter
Days 2 and 3
Expect a breakfast call around 8 am with fresh coffee ready earlier. After breakfast everyone packs their dry bags and the rafts get loaded, getting the trip on the water around 10 am. Rogue trips typically float 8 to 12 miles over 4 to 5 hours each day with multiple stops to visit old homesteads, scout rapids, and partake in a riverside lunch. The iconic Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar Rapid lie downstream of the historic Rogue River Ranch on the morning of third day of the trip. Flow variations can change the itinerary.
Last Day Rafting the Rogue River
The last morning includes some mellow rapids and beautiful scenery. At the Foster Bar take-out, you and the head guide will ride in a van for 3 hours getting you back to Galice around 4 pm. Those that get car sick may want to sit in front and be prepared with Dramamine for the windy van ride.
Rafting Price Includes
All the group camping and river-related safety equipment is included along with plenty of fresh food and snacks starting with lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day. There will be plenty of water but if you would like soda, beer, wine, or liquor with your dinner, please bring your own, (beer and soda in cans; wine in boxes or bags; hard liquor in plastic bottles).
Sleeping bags, pads and tents are available at no additional cost but you must request them. Please indicate your gear requests in your trip registration. The price also includes transportation from Galice to the put-in point, and take-out point back to Galice.
Guides appreciate gratuities for their efforts. Typically, tips range around 10% to 15% of the trip cost and can be given to the head guide to be evenly distributed amongst the crew. That being said, the choice to tip is yours and depends upon your feelings about the trip and tipping in general as well as your financial means.
What to Expect
Making the most of your trip
We find people have the most fun when they remain flexible. Rafting trips are an adventure and the guides are continually adjusting the days plans to make the most of each day as it is presented. It can be nice to leave your watch behind.
Rogue River Weather
Southwestern Oregon’s summer weather usually sees highs ranging from 80°F – 90°F with temperatures dropping into the 60’s°F at night. Although known as a wet state, very little rain falls on the Rogue during the summer months. However, you can expect some overcast and cool days do occur, so be prepared with layers and good rain gear.
Rafts & Group Size
Your main forms of transport will be oar rafts, a paddleboat, and inflatable kayaks for those who wish for a more interactive experience. Typically 18 feet long, oar powered rafts carry three guests plus the guide, who maneuvers the raft with a set of oars mounted on the raft. Normally three to five boats travel together with group sizes limited by the Bureau of Land Management to 22 guests maximum.
The 14-foot long paddle raft carries six people plus a guide. Each person paddles as a guide calls out the paddling commands. When water levels are suitable, single, and two-person inflatable kayaks let you challenge the rapids on your own terms. Please note that space in the paddle raft and inflatable kayaks is not guaranteed. If more people that wish to ride in these boats than spaces available, paddlers will rotate so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
Whether you’re an experienced camper or it’s your first time under the stars, river camping is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Everyone participates in setting up and breaking down camp. The guides set up a clean, private camp toilet first thing upon arrival at camp and dismantle it lastly in the morning.
There will be plenty of healthy tasty food on the trip. A full breakfast with cowboy coffee gets the day going. A riverside picnic sets the scene for lunch. Dinners can be anything from a steak, grilled filet of salmon, or a Mexican feast and may be followed by a hot, Dutch oven dessert. There are plenty of snacks and water available throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included, but you are welcome to bring your own. When signing up for the trip you will have an opportunity to share any special dietary requirements.
Packing for your river trip
You will be provided with a suggested packing list after signing up for the trip. The key equipment is good river footwear and clothing that protects you from the rain and the sun. While rain rarely falls in the summer, proper rain gear will make it a much more joyful experience if it does. Here are some rain gear, footwear, and other clothing options we recommend.
Fishing the Rogue
Fishing on the Rogue River is popular particularly in the fall. Those wishing to fish can purchase an Oregon License on-line through Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Please bring poles protected in sturdy cases.
Getting There and Away
The Galice Resort is about 35 minutes from Grants Pass. Cars can be left in the Galice Resort parking lot while on your trip. You will be shuttled back to your car at the end of the trip. Some people choose to have their cars shuttled to the take-out making it easier to head out to the Oregon coast. Shuttle arrangements can be made the morning of your trip with the Galice Resort.
Thirty miles south of Grants Pass is Medford, Oregon the location of the closest airport (MFR). Galice Resort (541-476-3818) provides van transportation between the airport to Grants Pass. Due to potential delays, it is not recommend to fly out of Medford the evening the trip ends.
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Best family trip EVER !
This trip is our family’s favorite, EVER.
Being on the river with 3 generations, no digital devices, just enjoying each other in such a magical environment. The rapids, the warm water, the wild life, the idyllic camps, the yummy food, and of course the guides, every aspect was beyond our expectations. The guides are friends who clearly cared about us and set a great example of what it is to be a human on this planet.
Rivers and Oceans made it special and easy from inception to the end of our journey.
We can’t wait to travel again on a river trip and Rivers and Oceans will be our first call.
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