Explore the most popular hiking trails near Grants Pass with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Intended on hiking this early today, when parking I saw two cars with windows smashed in, decided against it just as a heads up to everyone. I was very excited to do the hike but didn’t want to deal with that.

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

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

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, and back, 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…)

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

nature trips
4 days ago

Went in early October, beautiful scenery with mossy trees and trickling mini waterfalls. Lots of poison oak popping up so just and avoid it. Trail pretty narrow the whole way with steep drop offs to river so had to hold the 2 year old almost the entire trail. 8 year old loved it though and had no problems.

Love the hike. It was beautiful this time of year and the weather was perfect. Watch out because it’s super rocky and if you trip and fall you could go off the edge as the path is super narrow. I tripped and fell on my way back to my car. I’m a fairly new hiker so it was likely me and not the trail though.

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!

hiking
7 days ago

Did both sides of the river. Beautiful hike.

Loved this hike! The scenery is beautiful. And there are some smaller trails off the main trail to get to the beaches by the water. I’ll definitely be back to hike this trail again.

backpacking
13 days 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. :)

Love this hike! watch out for poison oak!

It's a great hike, but certainly not for anyone who brings a big dog. The trail is very narrow and extremely rocky at certain points. I would also caution against bringing young, inexperienced children on this trail.

Really enjoyed the trail. A lot of awesome manzanita, madrone and oak trees. The trail itself is nice and flat hard pan with a little sand. It appears to be built by mountain bikers because of the formaation and high banks on some of the sharp switchbacks. Just discovered this trail system today and will be back many times.

18 days ago

Enjoyable with a great hard packed base among the oaks, manzanita and madrones. Nice the dog can run free...

great short loop trail with plenty of picturesque spots to stop and enjoy a waterfall or snap a photo of the forest. also dog friendly!

Nice little trail. On the way up came across a final gathering for a kid that hung himself in the woods nearby. Bummer...

hiking
22 days ago

Go to the other side of the river and hike whiskey creek. It’s way better.

on Rogue River Trail

hiking
23 days 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!

on Rogue River Trail

24 days 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.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

I've hiked this a few times and its a great one!

Did this trail today around 5-6pm. Perfect time!! The lighting was beautiful. The whole trail from start to finish was gorgeous!! My dog loved it too, and drinking the fresh creek water! Awesome that this trail is about 5 minutes from my house!(:

Beautiful, easy and my German Shepherd loved the water! We went 5/6/18.

Nice easy hike. Beautiful scenery. Path a little confusing at times

Straight uphill. Nice views

hiking
1 month ago

New favorite hike near Grants Pass. Easy to find, lots of views. A must do :)

Beautiful. Rocky paths with random waterfalls crossing the trail. Shaded the entire way. The falls are more of a drop in the river and less fall but a nice spot to have a snack and sit down. Hike is between easy and moderate. If your kids are hikers and know how to be safe, this trail is fine but if they’re they type of kids that don’t understand potential dangers, I would say skip this trail. There are a couple of drop offs but enough room to be safe as long as you’re paying attention. I wasn’t scared at all but I could see where some people could be.

Worth it.

on Shan Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

There were no trail head marker, a mining claim sign is all that shows the start of the trail. trail is well defined for the first quarter mile. once you cross the tree log bridge, you are almost on your own. the trail seems to disappear and is overgrown with poison oak and the ticks were active.. down to the river was very scenic, we wish the trail had been cleared so it could be followed.

Awesome trail, definitely beautiful in the spring and the fall. It may get too hot in the summer to do this trail. You cannot take a stroller on the trail. It does get sleep through one part. I took my five-year-old and two-year-old and they both did the hike. It was beautiful. Beautiful views , beautiful oak grove, A great hike!

backpacking
2 months ago

Smooth, fresh and vibrant. Great trail.

Great hike! We went towards the very begining of April. It was really muddy, but beautiful. It's an easy, peaceful trail with nice views of the creek, several benches, information plaques, and charming bridges. If you'd like to see more, my family documented our hike here: https://youtu.be/xlRGZwzmxuM

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