Rogue River 2017

We had a lot of snow at low altitude so I was looking for a place to go for a 4-day window of good weather and get some hiking miles in and that meant the Rogue River in southern Oregon. For this trip I decided to just do an out-and-back rather than a through hike with a shuttle.

There was no rain, though one day was mostly cloudy. The flowers were out in force, as were the ticks. I left home at 6:30 and arrived at the trailhead at 12:45. I've decided to start this report with all my wildflower photos before getting on to the rest of the trip report. I don't know the name of most flowers but the numerous white ones are glacier lilies.

Okay, so here is how the hike went, right at the start

Looking back at the river and the parking area

looking forward during an open section

there is also a lot of semi-shaded sections like this

the Meadow Creek area, my first camping site after 13.6 miles (that is somebody else's tent)

a lot of the trail is well above the river, but most camps are lower. The river from camp:

The Rogue River Trail is really two trails. From the east you start on BLM land for 22 miles. Then you get to the Rogue River Ranch, which is now a museum. Then you hike on a dirt road for almost 3 miles past lodges and a car campground. Then you get to the second trail, on Forest Service land now. Here is the Rogue River Ranch

near the other end of the road walk is the Forest Service Guard Station, which was damaged by falling trees this winter

the first part of the west side of the hike is considered some of the more spectacular parts

the river goes through a rocky gorge

after another 13.5 miles I made camp at Blossom Bar, this is my tent

salamanders are common around here. they look a bit like lizards but are darker and move real slowly

On the way back the next day I didn't take any pictures during the hike through familiar terrain. I hiked a bit farther back and made camp at Francis Creek and discovered that by coincidence, right below me was a geographical oddity: the Horseshoe Bend of the Rogue River. The river was unable to carve through some hard rock and made about 3/4 of a full circle around it. The trail is well above the water and so normally people don't actually see this. Even from my camp it was not obvious, but I did eventually see it and hiked down through some brush on an old abandoned trail to where I got a decent view of it.

In closing I just wanted to mention that the trail had not been maintained for the year, and as a route that follows along a relatively steep slope for 40 miles, it gets a lot of landslides and slips. Most of it is fine, but there are sections where it is narrow and kind of exposed. I'm sure it is a constant battle to keep it in shape and those who are not confident on their feet might find some sections a little scary. Here are a few shots of trail damage.