Regional Guide

Paddling - Southern Oregon Cascades and the Southern Coast
Gorp.com

If you're ready for whitewater, launch your raft at Graves Creek on Oregon's famous Rogue River. You'll immediately tumble down Graves Falls, navigate some Class-III and -IV rapids, and then run up against the nasty Rainie Falls. Most sane paddlers avoid this 12-foot cascade, opting instead for the Class-IV triple stairstep right beside it.

Further downriver at Blossom Bar, river rats will face some of the gnarliest whitewater found on the wild and scenic sections of the Rogue. Careful scouting and a bit of luck sends rafts diving over a four-foot fall, veering around obstacles such as Submarine Killer and Volkswagon Rock, and bouncing across a series of three-foot waves.

Hell's Corner Gorge, a five-mile run along the Oregon section of the Klamath River, is this waterway's toughest whitewater. Paddlers face 15 major rapids—such as Gunsmoke, Branding Iron, and Bushwhacker—and many are rated Class V.

With a put-in at Boulder Flat (68 miles upriver from Roseburg), the next 12 miles of the North Umpqua River offers Class-II and -III whitewater. This adventure through Umpqua National Forest takes on rapids with names such as Cardiac Arrest and Toilet Bowl.

Though the Rogue and Umpqua get most of the attention in southern Oregon, the Illinois River also offers excellent rafting trips. This wild and scenic river in Siskiyou National Forest offers 150 rapids along 35 miles of whitewater, from Class II to Class V.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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