The Rogue River is located in Southern Oregon. It begins at Crater Lake and travels nearly 220 miles through some of the most beautiful wilderness areas, and empties into the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. Part of America's "Wild Rivers Coast", the mighty Rogue River offers plenty of things for people to do-from riding a jet boat to rafting or kayaking the rapids.
Rogue River History
The Rogue River had been inhabited by native peoples for more than 8,000 years. Some of the tribal names were "Lototen", "Tototutna", Latgawa","Tutuni", and Takelma". European settlers arrived around 1850, and began settling on land belonging to various tribes. Raids ensued on wagon trains and mining areas, culminating in the Rogue Indian War of 1855. In less than 2 years, all of the native peoples who survived the war were relocated on reservations in eastern Oregon.
Trapping and the lure of gold attracted more settlers to the area. Gold Beach, where the Rogue empties into the Pacific, was so named because of the discovery of gold in the sand on the beach. The gold rush did not last too long and miners were displaced by trappers, fishermen, and loggers. The Rogue River is still well known for its epic salmon runs and every year many come from miles around to fish for the "big one".
By the late 1800's there were enough people settled in Gold Beach and along the river to create the need for mail to be delivered by boat from the post office in Gold Beach to the post office in Agness, a tiny community located 32 miles upriver. The first "mail boat" began delivery service in 1895 and is one of only two rural mail by boat routes that continues today.
One of the country's most well-known authors of western novels had a cabin on the mighty Rogue. Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1872. He grew up with three loves: baseball, fishing, and writing. Though he worked as a dentist, he never gave up on his ambition to be a writer. Some of his first novels were rejected by the publishers but he continued to refine his writing style by reading other works by other western novelists, writing based on his travels to the West, and finally moving to California in 1918. Eight years later, Grey bought his one-room cabin on the Rogue and enjoyed fishing and the quietness of the wilderness. Today the cabin is owned by the BLM and can be reached by raft/kayak or by hiking the Rogue River Trail.
Jet Boat Trips
Gold Beach is where the legendary Rogue River meets the Pacific
Ocean. From May 1 to October 31st Jerry’s Rogue Jet Boats
offers excursions up the Rogue.
It all started with the mail boat, which began service in 1895.
Soon after, people began riding with the mail to get to destinations
upriver. The invention of jet boat engines offered an easier way
to navigate the rapids, even when water levels were low. Ferry service
turned into a profitable way to show people the beauty of the
Rogue's upper area.
Even though much of the Rogue is protected by the federally-mandated
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, the jet boats are allowed because
they were in operation before the Act was passed. Still, there are
only so many permits allowed into what is considered the scenic and
wild portions of the river.
Travelers come from all over the world to experience the deep
canyons, waterfalls, and rapids, in the jet boats. The boat pilots
point out the abundant wildlife and share the history of the
river as you journey along one of the most remote areas in the
county. It is not uncommon to see bears, eagles, otters,
osprey, and deer. The trips take all day for the 104 mile and
half a day for the others so you will need to make arrangements
for overnight accommodations. On the jet boat trips you will
see some of the remote lodging located up river. After the boat
trip how about soaking in a private beachfront spa at the Beachcomber.
You won’t find that at any of the other Gold Beach motels
or any other beachfront inn.
Cycling Along the Rogue
There are many great bike rides that can be taken along Hwy 101 or along the Rogue River. There are easy rides or rides that involve some pretty steep grades or climbing. The cool thing is, every ride has spectacular scenery. Here is a link to some great rides north and south, from the Beachcomber. The north rides offer some trips along the Rogue: oregon coast cycling page top of page
Fishing the Rogue
You can fish the Rogue River year round.
Winter steelhead that travel up the Rogue from December through March
are a great tasting fish and are great fighters.
From March through June "Springers"-Spring Chinook Salmon- run up the river
and can be caught from the mouth of the Rogue River all the
way to Agness.
Springers can range from ten to 40 pounds.
Accommodations along the river are open then, and some are
reached by car, while others can only be reached by jet boat.
July through December
the fall Chinook and summer steelhead provide great fishing. From
September through December, Coho salmon weighing five to fifteen
pounds offer great sport. Fishing boats on the river or in Rogue Bay
during late summer boast higher traffic than cars on Hwy 101! Pelicans are fun
to watch as they kamikaze into the water to catch their dinner.
If you don't have your own boat there are several charter services
in Gold Beach (see below).
During the fall and winter you will find great
rates at any of the motels in Gold Beach. We think the Inn of
the Beachcomber is your best lodging value during the off season. There is
nothing better than warming up by an ambient gas-burning stove after your
winter fishing trip on the Rogue. And of course, after you land the big one
in the summer, you can toast your good fortune with a bottle of wine from
from our unique wine shop.
Fishing Guide List
Curry Sport Fishing Association
Contact: Mark Lottis Phone: (541)247-2733 Business Address: PO Box 86-- Ophir, OR 97444
If you take the longest ride on the jet boat you will come to an area on the Rogue known as Blossom Bar. Large rocks in the middle of the river prevent the boat from going further. But rocks and rushing
waters are just what draw many to raft and kayak the mighty Rogue every year. For 34 miles above Blossom Bar, kayakers can shoot the rapids-some, interestingly enough, enhanced by being created with dynamite. There are some places along the river that are so narrow that kayakers must be careful not to get stuck.
The Rogue River offers plenty of excitement and requires Class III skills to navigate the toughest rapids. There are plenty of lodges and camping opportunities, and a few guide businesses offer gear, transportation, and instruction.
There is no better way to get up close and personal with nature than to take a hike. The combination of craggy rocks, lush vegetation, and a variety of elevations makes the Rogue River a great area for hiking. Wildlife and wild flowers abound. There are guided trips or you can plan your own. There is a 40 mile trail called the Rogue River National Recreational Trail that runs from Grave Creek to Foster Bar. Trips can be planned for multiple days with campsites and meal stop-offs. The trail is considered easy to moderate and loses roughly 200 feet in elevation. There is also an eastern route that ends in Grants Pass. The Lower Rogue River Trail is an easy to difficult trail that runs along the north bank of the river between Agness and Gold Beach. It has two trailheads: the eastern trailhead is in Agness, near the Community Building, and a western trailhead is near the Lobster Creek Bridge, 10 miles upriver from Gold Beach.There are numerous trails near the Rogue that are well worth checking out, including the 1/4 mile loop to see the oldest myrtle tree in the world. top of page
The drive up the hill to the small village of Agness, Oregon (pop. 123)
is always worth the 32 miles of winding yet scenic road. You can ask the locals about the
upriver lodging choices. Most of the accommodations are rustic
compared to most motels. History is abundant and the town features
a small museum that tells of the pre-European inhabitants as well as local legends. Agness is the meal stop for the jet boats and
a great place to grab a bite to eat. Cougar Lane Lodge offers diner-type food, while the Singing Springs Resort features a buffet. There is indoor and outdoor seating at both restaurants. The Old Agness Store is a gathering place for locals and tourists alike. In the summer it gets hot in Agness,
which makes the river inviting and cool coastal nights in Gold
Bear Camp Road
Bear Camp Road is a rugged, one lane passage from Agness to Grants Pass, and is so named because of a camp at 4,600 feet. The road is mainly used by hikers, rafters, and kayakers. Because it traverses the top of the Klamath Mountains it is usually covered in snow and impassible for most of the year. This road is not for the faint of heart and is not a recommended shortcut for those who want to come from I-5 to 101, even though GPS would lead you to think otherwise. There have been two persons, in recent years, who have lost their lives after becoming stranded on Bear Camp Road or a road off from it. DeWitt Finley was found on Bear Camp 9 weeks after he had become stranded in snow in 1994, and James Kim died of hypothermia after he decided to hike out from a road near Bear Camp in 2006. The rest of his family was found alive. Another family became stranded near Bear Camp Road but was found when two of the members hiked out and came across some rangers from the BLM. top of page