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The Rogue River in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Oregonmarker flows about from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Oceanmarker. Known for its salmon runs, whitewater rafting, and rugged scenery, it was one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Many public parks, hiking trails, campgrounds, and boat launches lie along or near the river, which flows largely through national forest lands.

People have lived along the main stem and its tributaries for at least 8,500 years. European explorers made first contact with the native people toward the end of the 18th century and soon began beaver trapping and other activity in the region. Clashes, sometimes deadly, occurred between the natives and the trappers. More intense and frequent clashes with European-American miners and settlers in the late 1840s and early 1850s led to a series of treaties that expanded white control of the land and restricted movement of native groups like the Takelma. The short intervals of relative peace stemming from these treaties did not last and led to the Rogue River Wars of 1855–56, at the end of which nearly all the natives in the Rogue basin were removed to reservations well north of their homeland. After the war, settlers built cabins and established small farms along the Rogue River Canyon. They were relatively isolated from the outside world until 1895, when the Post Office Department added mail-boat service along the lower Rogue. As of 2009, it is one of the two remaining rural mail-boat routes in the United States.

Although the Rogue supports large runs of sea-going fish such as salmon, their migration was blocked or partly blocked in the 20th century by five dams on the river's middle and upper reaches as well as dams on tributaries. Dam removal in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has generated controversy in part because the dams are used to generate electricity, to control stream flow and reduce flooding, to impound lakes for recreation, and to divert water for irrigation and other purposes. As of 2009, compromises had led to removal or planned removal of three of the downstream dams as well as removal of a partly-completed dam on a major tributary.


The Rogue River begins at Boundary Springs on the border between Klamathmarker and Douglasmarker counties near the northern edge of Crater Lake National Park. Although it changes direction many times, it flows generally west for from the Cascade Range through the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forestmarker and the Klamath Mountains to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beachmarker. Communities along its course include Union Creekmarker, Prospectmarker, Trailmarker, Shady Covemarker, Gold Hillmarker, and Rogue Rivermarker, all in Jackson Countymarker; Grants Passmarker, and Galicemarker in Josephine Countymarker, and Agnessmarker, Wedderburnmarker and Gold Beach in Curry County. Significant tributaries include the South Fork Rogue River, Elk Creek, Bear Creek, the Applegate River, and the Illinois River. Arising at above sea level, the river loses more than in elevation by the time it reaches the Pacific.

It was one of the original eight rivers named in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which included of the Rogue, from west of Grants Passmarker to east of Gold Beachmarker. In 1988, an additional of the Rogue between Crater Lake National Parkmarker and the unincorporated community of Prospectmarker was named Wild and Scenic. Of the river's total length, , about 58 percent is Wild and Scenic. The Rogue is one of only three rivers that start in or east of the Cascade Range in Oregon and reach the Pacific Ocean. The others are the Umpqua River and Klamath River. These three Southern Oregonmarker rivers drain the mountains south of the Willamette Valley. The Willamette River and its tributaries drain north into the Columbia River, which starts in British Columbiamarker rather than Oregon.


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) operates five stream gauges along the Rogue River. They are located, from uppermost to lowermost, near Prospectmarker, Eagle Pointmarker, Central Pointmarker, Grants Pass, and Agnessmarker. The average discharge recorded by the gauge north of Agnessmarker, upstream of the Illinois River and at river mile (RM) 29.7 or river kilometer (RK) 47.8, was . The maximum discharge during this period was on December 23, 1964, and the minimum discharge was on July 9 and 10, 1968. This was from a drainage basin of , or about 76 percent of the entire Rogue watershed.


High and Western Cascades

Crater Lake, the remains of Mount Mazama
Arising near Crater Lake, the Rogue River flows from the geologically young High Cascades through the somewhat older Western Cascades and then through the more ancient Klamath Mountains. The High Cascades are composed of volcanic rock produced at intervals from about 7.6 million years ago through geologically recent events such as the catastrophic eruption of Mount Mazamamarker in about 5700 BCE. Mount Mazama hurled of ash into the air, covering much of the western U.S. and Canada with airfall deposits. The volcano’s subsequent collapse formed the caldera of Crater Lake.

Older and more deeply eroded, the Western Cascades are a range of volcanoes lying west of and merging with the High Cascades. They consist of partly altered volcanic rock from vents in both volcanic provinces, including varied lavas and ash tuffs ranging in age from 0 to 40 million years. As the Cascades rose, the Rogue maintained its flow to the ocean by down-cutting, which created steep narrow gorges and rapids in many places. Bear Creek, a Rogue tributary that flows south to north, marks the boundary between the Western Cascades to the east and the Klamath Mountains to the west.

Klamath Mountains

Much more ancient are the exotic terranes that make up the Klamath Mountains through which flows the Rogue west of the Western Cascades. Not until plate tectonics separated North America from Europe and North Africa and pushed it westward did the continent acquire, bit by bit, what became the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon. The Klamath Mountains consist of multiple terranes—former volcanic islands and coral reefs and bits of subduction zones, mantle, and seafloor—that merged offshore over vast stretches of time before colliding with North America as a single block about 150 to 130 million years ago. West of Bear Creek, much of the Rogue River watershed, including the Rogue River canyon, the Kalmiopsis Wildernessmarker, the Illinois River basin, and Mount Ashlandmarker, are composed of exotic terranes.

Among the oldest rocks in Oregon, some of the formations in these terranes date to the Triassic, nearly 250 million years ago. Between 165 and 170 million years ago, in the Jurassic, faulting consolidated the Klamath terranes offshore during what geologists call the Siskiyou orogeny. This three- to five-million-year episode of intense tectonic activity pushed sedimentary rocks deep enough into the mantle to melt them and then forced them to the surface as granit plutons. Belts of plutons, which contain gold and other precious metals, run through the Klamaths and include the Ashland pluton, the Grayback batholith east of Oregon Caves National Monumentmarker, the Grants Pass pluton, the Gold Hill pluton, the Jacksonville pluton, and others. Miners have worked rich deposits of gold, silver, copper, nickel, and other metals in several districts of the Klamaths. Placer mining in the mid-19th century soon led to lode mining for gold. Aside from a mine in eastern Oregon, the Greenback Mine along Grave Creek, a Rogue tributary, was the most productive gold mine in Oregon.

Serpentine, a rock type found along the Illinois River
In Curry County, the lower Rogue passes through the Galice Formation, metamorphos shale and other rocks formed when a small oceanic basin in the merging Klamath terranes was thrust over other Klamath rocks about 155 million years ago. The lowest part of the seafloor of the Josephine Basin, as this ancient sea came to be called, rests on top of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, where it is known as the Josephine ophiolite. Some of its rocks are peridotite, reddish-brown when exposed to oxygen but very dark green inside. According to geologist Ellen Morris Bishop, “These odd tawny peridotites in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness are among the world’s best examples of rocks that form the mantle.” Metamorphosed peridotite appears as serpentine along the west side of the Illinois River. Chemically unsuited for growing plants, widespread serpentinite in the Klamaths partly accounts for the sparse vegetation in parts of the watershed. The Josephine peridotite was a source of valuable chrome, mined in the region between 1917 and 1960.

At the mouth of the Rogue River, along the coast of Curry County, is the Otter Point Formation, a mélange of metamorphosed sedimentary rocks such as shales, sandstones, and chert. Although of Jurassic age, evidence suggests that they faulted north as part of the Gold Beach Terrane after the Klamaths merged with North America. Oregon’s only dinosaur fragments, those of a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur, were found here. In the mid-1960s, a geologist also discovered the beak and teeth of an ichthyosaur in the Otter Point Formation.


First peoples

Supplemental foods for native peoples along the Rogue included bulbs of the camas.
The first humans to inhabit the Rogue River region were, archeologists believe, nomadic hunters and gatherers. Radiocarbon dating suggests that they arrived in southwestern Oregon at least 8,500 years ago, and at least 1,500 years before the first contact with whites the natives established permanent villages along streams. The home villages of various groups shared many cultural elements, such as food, clothing, and shelter types. Intermarriage was common, and although many dialects belonging to three different language groups were spoken in the region, many people knew more than one language. The Indians included Tututni people near the coast and, further upstream, groups of Shasta Costa, Dakubetede, Takelma, Shasta, and Latgawa. Houses in the villages varied somewhat, but were often about wide and long, framed with posts sunk into the ground, and covered with split sugar pine or red cedar planks. People left the villages during about half of the year to gather camas bulbs, sugar-pine bark, acorns, and berries, and hunted deer and elk to supplement their main food, salmon. The total early-1850s Indian population of southern Oregon, including the Umpqua, Coos, Coquille, and Chetco watersheds as well as the Rogue, is estimated to have been about 3,800. The population before the arrival of explorers and European diseases is thought to have been at least one-third larger, but "there is insufficient evidence to estimate aboriginal populations prior to the time of first white contact... ".

Culture clash

The first recorded encounter between whites and coastal southwestern Oregon Indians occurred in 1792 when British explorer George Vancouver anchored off Cape Blanco, about north of the mouth of the Rogue River, and Indians visited the ship in canoes. In 1826, Alexander Roderick McLeod of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) led an overland expedition from HBC's regional headquarters in Fort Vancouvermarker to as far south as the Rogue.
Peter Skene Ogden encountered inland Rogue River natives in 1827.
In 1827 an HBC expedition led by Peter Skene Ogden made the first direct contact between whites and the inland Rogue River natives when, from the Klamath River basin to the south, he crossed the Siskiyou Mountainsmarker to look for beaver along Bear Creek and other streams in the Rogue Valley. Friction between Indians and whites was relatively minor during these early encounters; however, in 1834 an HBC expedition led by Michel Laframboise was reported to have killed 11 Rogue River natives, and shortly thereafter a party led by an American trapper, Ewing Young, shot and killed at least two more. In 1835, Rogue River people killed four whites in a party of eight who were traveling from Oregon to California. Two years later, two of the survivors and others on a cattle drive organized by Young killed the first two Indians they met north of the Klamath River.

The number of whites entering the Rogue River watershed greatly increased after 1846, when a party of 15 men led by Jesse Applegate developed a southern trail, an alternative to the Columbia River segment of the Oregon Trail, that could be used by emigrants headed for the Willamette Valley. Later called the Applegate Trail, the route passed through the Rogue Valley and Bear Creek valley to the vicinity of the future site of Ashland, Oregonmarker, and across the Cascade Range to south of Klamath Lakemarker. Later that year, from 90 to 100 wagons and 450 to 500 emigrants used the new trail, passing through Rogue Indian homelands between the headwaters of Bear Creek and the future site of Grants Passmarker and crossing the Rogue about downstream of it at the mouth of Vannoy Creek. Despite fears on both sides, violence in the Rogue watershed in the 1830s and 1840s was limited; "Indians seemed interested in speeding whites on their way, and whites were happy to get through the region without being attacked."

In 1847, the Whitman massacremarker and the Cayuse War in what became southeastern Washingtonmarker raised fears among white settlers throughout the region and led to the formation of large volunteer militias organized to fight Indians. Far away along the Rogue, tensions intensified in 1848 at the start of the California Gold Rush, when hundreds of men from the Oregon Territorymarker passed through the Rogue Valley on their way to the Sacramento River basin. After Indians attacked a group of returning miners along the Rogue in 1850, former territorial governor Joseph Lane negotiated a peace treaty with Apserkahar, a leader of the Takelma Indians. It promised protection of Indian rights and safe passage through the Rogue Valley for white miners and settlers.

The peace did not last. Miners began prospecting for gold in the watershed, including a Bear Creek tributary called Jackson Creek, where they established a mining camp in 1851 at the site of what later became Jacksonvillemarker. Indian attacks on miners that year led to U.S. Army intervention and fighting near Table Rock between Indians and the combined forces of professional soldiers and volunteer miner militias. John P. Gaines, the new territorial governor, negotiated a new treaty with some but not all of the Indian bands, removing them from Bear Creek and other tributaries on the south side of the main stem. At about the same time, more white emigrants, including women and children, were settling in the region. By 1852, about 28 donation land claims had been filed in the Rogue Valley. Further clashes in 1853 led to the Treaty with the Rogue River that established the Table Rock Indian Reservation across the river from the federal Fort Lane. As the white population increased and Indian losses of land, food sources, and personal safety mounted, bouts of violence upstream and down continued through 1854–55, culminating in the Rogue River War of 1855–56.

Joel Palmer, Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs
from cold, hunger, and disease on the Table Rock Reservation, a group of Takelma returned to their old village at the mouth of Little Butte Creek in October 1855. After a volunteer militia attacked them, killing 23 men, women, and children, they fled downriver, attacking whites from Gold Hill to Galice Creek.Confronted by volunteers and regular army troops, the Indians repulsed them in the Battle of Hungry Hill and again at Black Bar below Whiskey Creek. However, after more fighting, the war ended at Big Bend on the lower Rogue River, when nearly 200 volunteers launched an all-day assault on the remaining Indians. By then, fighting had also ended near the coast, where, before retreating upstream, Indians had killed about 30 whites and burned their cabins near what later became Gold Beach. Most of the Rogue River Indians were removed in 1856 to reservations further north. About 1,400 Indians, some from the defeated Takelma group led by Tecumtum, as well as others captured by soldiers and volunteers along the lower Rogue, were sent to the Coast Reservation, later renamed the Siletz Reservation. To protect 400 Indians still at Table Rock from white attacks, Joel Palmer, the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, ordered their removal, involving a forced march of 33 days, to the newly established Grande Ronde Reservation in Yamhill County, Oregonmarker.


In the 1880s, the Rogue River was the site of a successful experiment to increase the salmon run by seeding the river from a private fish hatchery.

Mail boats

After the Rogue River War, a small number of newcomers began to settle along or near the Rogue River Canyon. These pioneers, some of whom were white gold miners married to Karok Indian women from the Klamath River basin, established gardens and orchards, kept horses, cows, and other livestock, and received occasional shipments of goods sent by pack mule over the mountains. Until the 1890s, these settlers remained relatively isolated from the outside world. In 1883, one of the settlers, Elijah H. Price, proposed a permanent mail route by boat up the Rogue River from Ellensburg (later renamed Gold Beach) to Big Bend, about upstream. The route, Price told the government, would serve perhaps 11 families and no towns. Although the Post Office Department resisted the idea for many years, in early 1895 it agreed to a one-year trial of the water route, established a post office at Price's log cabin at Big Bend, and named Price postmaster. Price's job, for which he received no pay during the trial year, included running the post office and making sure that the mail boat made one round-trip a week. He named the new post office Illahemarker. The name derives from the Chinook Jargon word ilahekh, meaning "land" or "earth".

Propelled by rowing, poling, pushing, pulling, and sometimes by sail, the mail boat delivered letters and small packages, including groceries from Wedderburnmarker where a post office was established later in 1895. At about the same time, the Post Office Department, impressed by the success of the new route, signed a contract for $600 a year with another lower Rogue resident, James Thornton, to take over the mail-boat route. When the water was too high for boating, Thornton delivered the mail by horseback. In 1897, the department established a post office near the confluence of the Rogue and the Illinois rivers, downriver from Illahe. The postmaster named the office Agnes after his daughter, but a transcription error added an extra "s" and the name became Agness. A third Rogue Canyon post office, established in 1903 at Big Meadows but soon re-located to the mouth of Mule Creek, was named Marialmarker after another postmaster's daughter. To avoid difficult rapids, carriers delivered the mail by mule between Illahe and Marial, and after 1908 most mail traveling beyond Agness went by mule. After the Illahe post office closed in 1943, the carrier picked up the daily mail in Agness and delivered it by truck to roadside boxes between Agness and Illahe but not further upstream. According to Gary and Gloria Meier in Whitewater Mailmen, "When the Marial post office closed in 1954, it was the last postal facility in the United States to still be served only by mule pack trains."

The first mail boat was an , double-ended craft made of cedar. By 1930, the mail-boat fleet consisted of three boats, equipped with 60-horsepower Model A Ford engines and designed to carry 10 passengers. By the 1960s, rudderless jet boats powered by twin or triple 280-horsepower engines, began to replace propeller-driven boats. The jet boats could safely negotiate shallow riffles, and the largest could carry nearly 50 passengers. Rogue mail-boat excursions, which had been growing more popular for several decades, began in the 1970s to include trips to as far upriver as Blossom Bar, above Agness. As of 2009, jet boats, functioning mainly as excursion boats, still deliver mail between Gold Beach and Agness. The Rogue River mail boat company is "one of only two mail carriers delivering the mail by boat in the United States"; the other is along the Snake River in eastern Oregon.


In 1926, author Zane Grey bought a miner's cabin at Winkle Bar, near the river. He wrote Western books at this location, including his 1929 novel Rogue River Feud. Another of his books, Tales of Fresh Water Fishing (1928), included a chapter based on a drift-boat trip he took down the lower Rogue in 1925. The Trust for Public Land bought the property at Winkle Bar and transferred it in 2008 to the BLM, which made it accessible to the public.

In the 1930s and 1940s many other celebrities, attracted by the scenery, fishing, rustic lodges, and boat trips, visited the lower Rogue. Famous visitors included actors Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, and Myrna Loy, singer Bing Crosby, author William Faulkner, journalist Ernie Pyle, radio comedians Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, circus performer Emmett Kelly, and football star Norm van Brocklin. Bobby Doerr, a Hall of Famemarker baseball player, married a teacher from Illahe, and made his home along the Rogue. From 1940 to 1990, actress and dancer Ginger Rogers owned the Rogue River Ranch, operated for many years as a dairy farm, near Eagle Point. The historic Craterian Ginger Rogers Theatermarker in Medfordmarker was named after her. Actress Kim Novak and her veterinarian husband bought a home and of land in 1997 near the Rogue River in Sams Valleymarker, where they raise horses and llamas.


The first dam on the Rogue River below its headwaters is a diversion dam at Prospect at RM 172 (RK 277). The concrete dam, high and wide, impounds water from the Rogue and nearby streams and diverts it to lower-elevation power plants, which return the water to the river further downstream. This system, called The Prospect Nos. 1, 2, and 4 Hydroelectric Project, includes separate diversion dams on the Middle Fork Rogue River and Red Blanket Creek, and a water-transport system of canals, flumes, pipes, and penstocks. In 2003, PacifiCorp, the owner of the project, estimated the total annual generation of the project's three powerhouses to be 280,657 megawatt-hour, which was sold to customers in northern Jackson County and southern Douglas County. The project was built in pieces between 1911 and 1944. First licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 1980, it was re-licensed in 2008 for 30 more years at the same generating capacity of about 42 megawatts. The license allows for construction of animal crossings and for measures to protect fisheries.

The William L.
Jess Dam impounds Lost Creek Lake.
Further downstream a flood-control and hydroelectric dam built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) blocks the Rogue River from its mouth and impounds Lost Creek Lakemarker. Through most of the 20th century, three other dams impeded fish passage on the middle reaches of the Rogue River between the lake and Grants Pass. After decades of controversy about water rights, costs, migratory fish, and environmental impacts, removal or modification of these dams as well as a partly-finished dam on Elk Creek, a major tributary of the Rogue, began in 2008. The projects on the main stem involved the Gold Ray Dam and, slightly further downstream, the Gold Hill Dam at Gold Hillmarker, and the Savage Rapids Dammarker near Grants Pass. The proposed changes were meant to improve salmon runs by allowing more fish to reach suitable spawning grounds. As of June 2009, three of the four dams had been removed or altered or were being removed, and the Federal government had allocated money to remove the fourth.

In 2008, the USACE notched the Elk Creek Dam and restored Elk Creek to its original channel. Construction on the controversial dam had been halted by a court injunction more than 20 years earlier when about of the proposed height of was reached. Further controversy delayed the notching for two decades. Elk Creek enters the Rogue River downstream from Lost Creek Lake and upstream of the other three dam sites.

Brothers C.R. and Frank Ray built the original Gold Ray Dam, the uppermost of the three main stem dams, from logs in 1904. They diverted water behind the dam to a powerhouse equipped with rope-driven turbines to generate electricity and installed a fish ladder to help salmon over the dam. The California-Oregon Power Company, which later became Pacific Power, acquired the dam in 1921. Replacing the log dam in 1941 with a concrete structure high, it added a new fish ladder and a fish-counting station. The company closed the hydroelectric plant in 1972, although the fish ladder remained, and biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife continued to use the station to count migrating salmon and steelhead. Officials from Jackson Countymarker, which owns the dam, said they might demolish it as early as the summer of 2010, and its proposed removal caused little controversy. They sought $5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to pay for environmental studies and public outreach to meet legal requirements for dam removal.U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced on June 30, 2009, that the $5 million request had been approved.

In July 2008, the city of Gold Hill removed the last of the Gold Hill Dam, a diversion dam slightly downstream of the Gold Ray Dam. Originally built to generate electricity for a cement company, it was high and long. The dam and a diversion canal delivered water to the city of Gold Hill even after electricity production ended in the 1970s. However, in 2006 Gold Hill installed a pumping station to supply its water.

Savage Rapids Dammarker was upstream from Grants Pass. Built in 1921 to divert river flows for irrigation, the dam was tall and created a reservoir that seasonally extended up to upstream. Its removal began in April 2009, and was completed in October 2009. Twelve newly-installed pumps will provide river water to the irrigation canals serving of the Grants Pass Irrigation District (GPID). Disagreement about the dam and associated water rights began in 1988, when conservation groups protested GPID's plan to draw more water from the Rogue. Further controversy involved costs, dwindling fish runs, and reluctance to destroy the dam.



Rafting the lower Rogue
Soggy Sneakers: A Paddler's Guide to Oregon's Rivers lists several whitewater runs of varying difficulty along the upper, middle, and lower Rogue River and its tributaries. The longest run, northwest of Grants Pass, is "one of the best-known whitewater runs in the United States". Popular among kayakers and rafters, the run consists of class 3+ rapids separated by more gentle stretches and deep pools. Its entire length is classified Wild and Scenic.

The Wild section of the lower Rogue River runs for between Grave Creek and Watson Creek. To protect the river from overuse, a permit process allows a maximum of 120 commercial and noncommercial users a day to run this section. To enter it, boaters must obtain a special-use permit allocated through a random selection process or "lottery" and pick it up at the Smullen Visitor Center of the Rand Ranger Stationmarker downstream of Galice. Other sections of the river are open to jetboats. Two businesses based in Gold Beach offer commercial jetboat trips of up to round-trip on the lower Rogue River. A company based in Grants Pass runs commercial jetboat excursions on the Hellgate section of the river between Grants Pass and Grave Creek.


Near River Bridge Campground along the Upper Rogue River Trail
The Upper Rogue River Trail, a National Recreation Trail, closely follows the river for about from its headwaters at the edge of Crater Lake National Park to the boundary of the Rogue River National Forest at the mountain community of Prospect. Highlights along the trail include a river canyon cut through pumice deposited by the explosion of Mount Mazamamarker about 8,000 years ago; the Rogue Gorge, lined with black lava, and Natural Bridge, where the river flows through a lava tube. Between Farewell Bend and Natural Bridge, the trail passes through the Union Creek Historic District, a site with early 20th century resort buildings and a former ranger station that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Lower Rogue River Trail, a National Recreation Trail of , runs parallel to the river from Grave Creek to Illahemarker, in the Wild Rogue Wildernessmarker, northwest of Grants Pass. The roadless area through which the trail runs is managed by the Siskiyou National Forest and the Medford District of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and covers including of designated federal wilderness. Backpacker use the trail for multiple-day trips, while day hikers take shorter trips. In addition to scenery and wildlife, features include views of rapids and "frantic boaters", lodges at Illahe, Clay Hill Rapids, Paradise Creek, and Marial, and the Rogue River Ranchmarker and museum. Hikers can take jet boats from Gold Beach to some of the lodges between May and November. The trail connects to many shorter side trails as well as to the Illinois River Trail south of Agnessmarker.


Fishing on the Rogue River varies greatly depending on the location. In many places, fishing is good from stream banks and gravel bars, and much of the river is also fished from boats. Upstream of Lost Creek Lake, the main stem, sometimes called the North Fork, supports rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, abundant brook trout, and a few brown trout. Between Lost Creek Lake and Grants Pass there are major fisheries for spring and fall Chinook salmon, Coho salmon from hatcher, summer and winter steelhead, and large resident rainbow trout. The river between Grants Pass and Grave Creek has productive runs of summer and winter steelhead and Chinook, as well as good places to fish for trout. From Grave Creek to Foster Bar, all but the lower of which is closed to jetboats, anglers fish for summer and winter steelhead, spring and fall Chinook, and Coho. Near Agness, the river produces large catches of immature steelhead known as "half-pounders" that return from the ocean to the river in August in large school. Along the lower river, anglers fish for spring and fall Chinook, and near the ocean they catch perch, lingcod, and crab.


Rogue River near Indian Mary Park in Josephine County
Parks along the Rogue River, which begins in the northwest corner of Crater Lake National Park, include Prospect State Scenic Viewpointmarker, a forested area south of Prospectmarker that has picnic tables and a hiking trail leading to waterfalls and the Rogue River. The Joseph H.marker Stewart State Recreation Areamarker has campsites overlooking Lost Creek Lake. Casey State Recreation Sitemarker offers boating, fishing, and picnic areas along the river northeast of Medford. TouVelle State Recreation Sitemarker is a day-use park along the river at the base of Table Rocksmarker and adjacent to the Denman Wildlife Areamarker, about north of Medford. Amenities include picnic sites and opportunities for swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Valley of the Rogue State Parkmarker, east of Grants Pass, is built around of river shoreline. Amenities include a picnic area, campground, meeting hall, and a self-guided interpretive trail.

Between Grants Pass and the Hellgate Recreation Area, Josephine Countymarker manages two parks, Tom Pearce and Schroeder, along the river. Hellgate, long, begins at the confluence of the Rogue and Applegate rivers about west of Grants Pass. This stretch of the Rogue features class I and II rapids, 11 access points for boats, 4 parks and campgrounds managed by Josephine County, fishing, swimming, commercial jetboat tours, and places for picnics. Hellgate ends at Grave Creek, where the Wild Rogue Wilderness begins. Indian Mary Park, part of the Josephine County park system, has tent sites, yurts, and spaces for camping vehicles on along the Merlin–Galicemarker road at Merlinmarker. The other three Josephine County parks in the Hellgate Recreation Area are Whitehorse, across from the mouth of the Applegate River; Griffin, slightly downstream of Whitehorse, and Almeda, downstream of Indian Mary.

See also


  1. Loy, pp. 162–63
  2. Benke, pp. 568–73
  3. Orr, Geology of Oregon, "Klamath Mountains", pp. 51–78
  4. Bishop, In Search of Ancient Oregon, "Chapter 4: "Jurassic: Age of Intrusions", pp. 52–66
  5. Douthit, p. 5
  6. Schwartz, p. 5
  7. Schwartz, p. 7
  8. Schwartz, p. 13
  9. Schwartz, pp. 15–16
  10. Douthit, p. 6
  11. Schwartz, p. 21
  12. Schwartz, p. 22
  13. Douthit, pp. 11–19
  14. Schwartz, pp. 20–21
  15. Schwartz, pp. 24–25
  16. Douthit, p. 58
  17. Loy, pp. 14–15
  18. Douthit, p. 60
  19. Douthit, p. 63
  20. Douthit, pp. 66–68
  21. Schwartz, pp. 26–27
  22. Douthit, pp. 68–69
  23. Douthit, pp. 78–80
  24. Douthit, pp. 76–77
  25. Douthit, p. 80
  26. Douthit, p. 106
  27. Douthit, pp. 150–153
  28. Schwartz, pp. 146–49
  29. Douthit, pp. 157–58
  30. Douthit, pp. 147, 163
  31. Meier, p. 9
  32. Meier, p. 13
  33. Meier, pp. 18–19
  34. McArthur, p. 495
  35. Meier, pp. 20–23
  36. Meier, p. 24
  37. Meier, p. 25
  38. Meier, p. 80
  39. Meier, p. 28
  40. Meier, p. 20
  41. Meier, p. 58
  42. Meier, pp. 103–08
  43. Meier, pp. 121–23
  44. Meier, p. 150
  45. Meier, pp. 73–79
  46. Giordano, pp. 120–22
  47. Sullivan, pp. 187–93
  48. Sheehan, pp. 82–93

Works cited

  • Benke, Arthur C., ed., and Cushing, Colbert E., ed.; Carter, James L.; Resh, Vincent H. (2005). "Chapter 12: Pacific Coast Rivers of the Coterminous United States" in Rivers of North America. Burlington, Massachusetts: Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-088253-1.
  • Bishop, Ellen Morris (2003). In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geological and Natural History. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. ISBN 978-0-88192-789-4
  • Douthit, Nathan (2002). Uncertain Encounters: Indians and Whites at Peace and War in Southern Oregon. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press. ISBN 0-87071-549-6.
  • Giordano, Pete (2004). Soggy Sneakers: A Paddler's Guide to Oregon's Rivers, fourth edition. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 978-0-89886-815-9.
  • Loy, William G., ed., et al.. (2001). Atlas of Oregon. Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon Press. ISBN 0-87114-102-7.
  • McArthur, Lewis A., and McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) Oregon Geographic Names, seventh edition. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.
  • Meier, Gary and Gloria (1995). Whitewater Mailmen: The Story of the Rogue River Mail Boats. Bend, Oregon: Maverick Publications. ISBN 0-89288-216-6.
  • Orr, Elizabeth L., and Orr, William N. (1999). Geology of Oregon, fifth edition. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7872-6608-6.
  • Schwartz, E.A. (1997). The Rogue River Indian War and Its Aftermath, 1850–1980. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2906-9.
  • Sheehan, Madelynne Diness (2005). Fishing in Oregon: The Complete Oregon Fishing Guide, 10th edition. Scappoose, Oregon: Flying Pencil Publications. ISBN 0-916473-15-5.
  • Sullivan, William L. (2002). Exploring Oregon's Wild Areas, third edition. Seattle: The Mountaineers Press. ISBN 0-89886-793-2.

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