Rogue River Trail

HARD 71 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Rogue River Trail is a 40.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Grants Pass, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
40.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,875 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

historic site

This is a trail that cuts through Rogue River Wild and Scenic, and the Rogue River Wilderness on the north shore of the Rogue At Grave Creek, on the South side of the river, there is a short out-and back hike to Raney Falls. The view of the falls is much more impressive from that side than from the north The Rogue River itself is closed to motorized boats from Grave Creek to Blossom Bar rapids. Below Foster Bar the River is open to motorized boats but the bordering land is Wilderness. The river is popular with rafters, kayakers, and drift boaters. There is year round salmon and steelhead fishing. Hikers share campsites with boaters. There are restrictions on fire usage. There is a popular day hike to Whiskey Creek, 3.3 miles one way from the trail head. Whiskey Creek has an old Gold Miner's cabin. It is possible to drive to a spot above Whiskey Creek and make a steep hike down to the cabin; it is far less enjoyable than the river trail There are currently (2013) 3 lodges operating on this trail - Black Bar Lodge, Paradise Lodge, and Marial Lodge. Some people hike this route with day packs and get food and lodging from the lodges. At Black Bar you need to ring their bell for someone to come to row you across. Some people float down the river and hike the approx. 40 miles back

backpacking
12 hours ago

Did this in a leisurely 7 days in mid-July. The scenery was spectacular and the trail was well-engineered and well-maintained. A few things to keep in mind:
- Be prepared for 100-degree temps at this time of year.
- Most of the trail is 50-100 feet above the river, so don't expect to use the river for midday drinking or swimming. There are many campsites by the river, though. At this time of year, there were still plenty of creeks crossing the trail for drinking water.
- Poison oak is everywhere.
- Outside of the designated camping areas, and even inside them, there are few level places to pitch a tent or even to sit down. You're always on the side of a hill. I was glad to have a hammock instead of a tent.
- In many places, you're walking a narrow trail on a steep scree hillside, which can be intimidating.
Beautiful place though!

backpacking
18 days ago

Hands down my favorite backpacking location! I have done it 2 years now and it has become a yearly tradition. Every day offers gorgeous and unique scenery. Just be cautious of the ticks and poison ivy which are everywhere!

IF YOU HAVE A DOG I highly recommend putting dog boots on them for the extremely rocky areas until you get to Blossom Bar. Last year I made the mistake of not bringing boots for my 45lb dog and his feet were really beaten up even though he has pretty tough paw pads and hikes often.

22 days ago

Awesome trail. Hiked from Grave creek to horseshoe bend where we camped for the night. Did a day hike starting late our second day to Kelsie creek to fish and swim. Then hiked out our third day. Beautiful weather and gorgeous views. Loved the challenge of the hike and immediately wanted more. Next time we are hiking the entirety of the trail.

hiking
27 days ago

I went for a day-hike on the Rogue River trail in mid-June, on a partly cloudy day.

I parked at the Grave Creek boat-ramp lot. The first thing I saw was a brand-new jeep with broken windows, doors and hood open. Parking overnight here for a multi-day trip might not be the best idea when planning a backpacking trip. The trailhead IS remote, at least 20 to 30 minutes from populated centers.

The route I followed was an out-and-back with a turnaround point at Black Bar, just across from the lodge. This make it a little shy of the 20 miles mark which I reached by making a side trip to Rainie falls (NOT the official Rainie Falls trails on the south bank, just the .5 miles spur on the north bank) and walking across the bridge to the south bank trailhead upon my return to the parking area.

The 9.3 miles to Black Bar start with a 2 miles section that is probably the most “difficult” one of the route. It is quite rocky, exposed, and consists of a succession of ups and downs that do not provide your legs and lungs with a nice progressive warm-up. All along this section, you can see the Rainie falls trail across the river, on the south bank. One advantage of the lack of cover is that this section provides the best open/sweeping views of the Rogue River Valley (for the first 10 miles anyway as I did not go further than Black Bar…)

The next 5 miles or so are less schizophrenic; the trail has more long-ish level sections, with softer and easier footing, and is shaded most of the time. It is also where the first series of campsites can be found if starting late for a multi-day trip. Large parties, including rafting groups, appear to make Whiskey Creek one of their favorites; there are however more camping options on the west side of the creek where a pit toilet is located.

West of Whiskey creek, and until mile 7 or so, a few short spurs descend to the river’s edge and access a limited number of primitive camp sites. Most of them are in proximity to the few creeks that flow down to the rogue.

The last 2.5 miles, the trail becomes noticeably more rocky and with a bit of an “ascent” west of Bronco creek before descending back down to Bunker creek; this is followed by a shorter ascent to the junction with the Black Bar spur trail dropping down to the river. The edge of the river is quite rocky here with a very narrow sandy incline that does not provide much of a "beach" or comfortable lunch “accommodations”.

At approximately mile 2, the spur trail to Rainie falls (.5 miles round-trip) descends quickly to the valley floor (some campsites here) and then becomes rapidly overgrown and rocky as it cuts its way through the jumble of boulders and lush vegetation covering the river bed. The views of the falls (or rapids?) are not to die for but it is still a spot worth visiting for its proximity to the river.

As noted by many, the valley is a favorite of wildlife too and I came across the mandatory rattlesnake (well, I heard its warning from the steep slope to my left, apparently at eye level… I moved away w/o trying to locate the precise source of the rattle), but also a soaring bald eagle and many more common raptors.

While the area can no doubt be very hot, there were many flowing creeks on this mid-June day and I only carried water for about 5 miles, making short stops to filter and replenish at good flowing streams.

The trails is mostly high up on the north slope of the Valley. A sign around the 1 miles mark shows the historical high water mark at 55 feet above the summer time river bed (!) and that is about the average height of the trail which only dips to the floor at Whisky Creek (vast and flat area) and at a handful of much smaller creeks.
I did not meet anyone on the trail for the 9.3 miles in but met about half a dozen backpacking parties when I retraced my steps in the afternoon. All day, rafts were working their way down the river. Remote but still fairly high-traffic area.

Note: as of June 2018, the link below provides in-depth information about the trail: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5346991.pdf

1 month ago

We only did a couple miles because of time restraint but the ground we covered showed us some amazing landscape. Definitely want to do the whole 40!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing trail! So much history and natural beauty. We did the hike over Memorial Day weekend and the trail was super busy. Normally, it's fairly quiet with lots of space to spread out. That being said, everyone we encountered was friendly and nice and we had no trouble finding a campsite each night. The trail is well marked and/or easy to follow. We only had a couple of places where the trail had been rerouted that gave us pause as to which way to go (mostly the switchbacks on the Foster Bar side). The trail varies quite a bit over the course of the 40 miles. There's grasslands, forested hillsides, rocky outcroppings, and flat-ish meadows to walk through. I think roller coaster is the best way to describe the trail. There is a lot of climbing up and then down. We're both in good shape, but were a bit sore and worn out by the end of the day. I had read that there were parts of the trail that are not good for people with a fear of heights (that's me), but I didn't have any trouble at any point along the trail. There are parts of the trail that are up high above the river, but they didn't feel dangerous or sketchy. All in all, a wonderful hike! Definitely recommend going in the cooler months and when the wildflowers are blooming. :)

hiking
1 month ago

We completed the 40 miles with some raft breaks last week. Weather and wildflowers were perfect so I recommend May. The poison oak and some narrow trails were of concern but the hike was fabulous and well worth it for the views, lodges, creeks, and enjoyment of nature. We saw 4 other hikers on the trail over four days. Our average age was high 60s and no one had any issues - great hike!

1 month ago

awesome trail. my wife and I hiked this trail with a friend in July, it was 100+ degrees but the streams we're cool and refreshing. We did it in 4 days and 4 nights. thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The trail is long but not difficult, very easy.

1 month ago

Very nice early season hike early May. Only went in 9 miles from Graves Creek to just past Bunker Creek. Bunker Creek best campsite we came across. Poison oak got us despite our vigilance (foraging for camp wood is what did it). Lots of wildflowers. Trail has a nice steady elevation. Will be doing the loop next time.

2 months ago

Worth it.

backpacking
3 months ago

Smooth, fresh and vibrant. Great trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

Overall this was an awesome backpacking trip. 4 days was perfect. I took my two golden retrievers and wish I had booties for them. Miles of sharp rocks did a number on their pads. Luckily I ran into friends rafting along the trail, on the third night, and they were able to take one of my dogs for me. Also the ticks were awful, especially the first two days. I did a chewable tick prevention and it obviously didn’t work. The weather was perfect low just under 40 and highs about 70. I cannot imagine hiking this trail in the summer, it would be absolutely miserable. There’s a lot of sun exposure especially on the first half of the trail. I’m pretty sure the map is in River miles and the trail is somewhere between 45 to 50 miles, depending on who you talk to. I may do the trail again soon with the GPS just for my own satisfaction.

hiking
4 months ago

I only went as far as Whiskey Creek cabin, well after a short detour that passed the cabin. It was a great day for the hike. I pretty much had the trial to myself. The only problem that I had was trying to cross some of the waterfalls because of the recent weather. I am a nervous nelly and that is why I had a problem. However, if I could do it, then anyone could. :-) I wil totally do this hike again.

4 months ago

Did this last year and was not disappointed. Best long trail I’ve done in quite a long time.

backpacking
4 months ago

LOVED this trail! My husband and I completed it in a grueling two-day trek. The eastern portion is clearly signed at every landmark with mile markers, but the western part is hardly signed at all (but the trail is still easy to find). The views are breathtaking and it made for a wonderful trip.

7 months ago

I have hiked the entire trail twice and the Mariel, Blossom Bar is my favorite section. These sections can be reached by vehicle and worth the drive for a day hike or spending the night. Awesome hike anytime of the year!

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked the first 7 miles starting at Graves Boat Launch. Must say the beginning was the most difficult with loose rock and uneven footing. Beautiful area. Enjoyed the little cabin at Whiskey Creek. Many beautiful camping spots. Took a dip in the river to cool off. Great day.

hiking
11 months ago

Amazing hike with incredible river and mountain views. The terrain changes allot as the trails goes through forests, alongside cliffs and mountain slopes.
The camp spots were great but difficult to anticipate since not all campsites are easily accessible from the trail.
Seen Deer, Bear, Bald Eagles, Hawks and an Osprey. Some incredible history took place along this trail, I recommend taking along the trail guide and reading about its history. Would like to do it again but in the spring or fall.

backpacking
11 months ago

Top five of my favorite hikes! Finished this trail a few hours ago with 2 great friends. Along the way we encountered a bear on the trail, saw many deer, an osprey and a bald eagle. Incredible trail with way too little accurate info for hikers. The BLM guide we used was generally for rafters so when we counted on a place to camp it would be down a long, steep trail. One day we hiked 4-5 miles longer than planned. So be careful and always carry enough water and expect the unexpected. The trail passes through a lot of different looks. Each place we camped was very different... We hiked it when we knew it was going to be hot but the forecast changed to even hotter so on the west end the forecast was 85 and when we exited it was 97.... Hopefully I'll do this hike again but definitely when the weather is cooler.

backpacking
11 months ago

This is my favorite backpacking trip I've ever taken. Beautiful canyons, cute swimming spots, and great people. There's some farm/resorts in the middle that offer nice resting spots. It's a tough hike for sure (feels like uphill both ways) and it's REALLY hot in the summer, but the views are worth it.

backpacking
Monday, July 10, 2017

So incredibly beautiful out there. Cleansing for the soul. I never wanted to leave the trail. I can't wait to get back out there.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

It was the most rewarding trail I have every backpacked, best if split into 5 days, but do able in 4 day. The experience is indescribable, but I can say that the scenery is majestic. The negative side if I had to pick one would be the mosquitos are in abundance this year due to the wet winter we had. I loved this trail, and will definitely do it once more.

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

For our first time we started at Foster Bar. Unfortunately we stayed at Tacoma Middle Camp and the bears got all our food. They break into the boxes and hoist. Next time we will use the bear fence area. For what we saw it was wonderful can't wait until next year when we get to try again. We won't be sleeping at Tacoma.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This trail is hard. All of the maps we had said 40.5 miles, but our GPS said 49.2. We spoke with a BLM worker and he said all the maps are river miles not trail miles. Do not trust the mile markers on the trail, they lie. BLM was out a day before us, GPS'ing the trail so they can update the maps. We only saw 1 rattler and 1 bear. The bears up by Tate and Tacoma were stealing food, so make use of the bear boxes and fences. There are several spots where the trail had been washed out from mud slides so be careful!

backpacking
Friday, June 23, 2017

2nd time we have done this trail. last year we went from graves creek to foster bar, this year we started at foster bar. We absolutely love this trail, although I would not recommend starting at foster bar. It seems every ridge you hit at noon to 3 in the scolding hot Sun!

backpacking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Just finished this on June 8, 2017. Can't wait to do again and definitely will. There is a lot of trail maintenance that is needed. Had a few slides to navigate. Only one that was real bad. That's the only reason I gave it 4 and not 5. If you have ever considered doing this one. Take the plunge. It is well worth it.

backpacking
Monday, June 12, 2017

A wonderful experience other than the abundant poison oak next to the trail.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Beautiful views on this sometimes very rocky trail. Lots of poison oak to watch out for.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Gorgeous view of the valley and the river. It was covered with beautiful wild flowers everywhere. I would give 5 stars if it had more trees and wider trail. We felt kinda stuck on a 2 foot wide trail in blazing hot sun with lotsa poison oak on both sides. Make sure you wear shoes that supports your ankles and has good traction cuz you will walk on sharp rocks most of the time. Don't forget your sunscreen!!! Because you will burn!! :)

Thursday, September 01, 2016

me and my son took 4 days to go from graves creek to foster bar. what an amazing hike. great camping. only seen 1 bear at Rouge River ranch. a few deer. lots of lizards and squirells.

Load More