The Rogue River Trail is a beautiful and well-maintained route that runs the entire length of the Wild and Scenic stretch of the Rogue. The typical starting point is the Grave Creek boat launch, and the ending point is a small trailhead between Illahe Lodge and the Foster Bar boat launch (typical take-out point for the four-day float trip). Though the trail follows the river downstream, there are plenty of ups and downs that add a good bit of vertical climb to the trail.
There are a handful of lodges along the Wild and Scenic stretch of the Rogue, and most hikers choose to complete the four-day walk by staying the three nights at different lodges downstream. Lodges typically provide hikers with a dinner, breakfast, and lunch for the next day, so hikers can go relatively light. The primary “hiking season” on the Rogue is in the spring from late April through early June. After that, the lodges typically fill up with guest or commercial float trips down the Rogue. Lodge contact information is listed in the order of river flow:
Black Bar Lodge (RM 41.9) – 541.479.6507
Marial Lodge (RM 53.7) – 541.474.2057
Paradise Lodge (RM 57.4) – 541.842.2822
Clay Hill Lodge (RM 62.5) – 503.859.3772
Illahe Lodge (RM 66.9) – 541.247.6111
It is also possible to backpack the river and camp in many of the scenic riverside campgrounds. Hikers can easily hike the canyon upstream from Foster Bar to Grave Creek, which is a great way to follow up a spring raft trip down the Rogue.
This trip was actually done as a backpack upstream in the reverse direction of typical hiking traffic. It is written up, however, as a four-day trip from Grave Creek to Foster Bar in order to represent how most people will follow the trail. Mileages given are based on the popular Rogue River Guidebook, as this is one of the most comprehensive resources available to hikers and floaters.
For more comprehensive information about floating the Rogue River check out this Adventure Overview.
Say goodbye to the Rogue River at Flora Dell Creek. You will have nary a glimpse of the water from here to the trail’s end near Illahe Lodge and Big Bend. The trail climbs almost immediately out of Flora Dell camp through dense forest before tucking into Hick’s Creek after 0.8 miles. Contour another 0.8 miles into Dan’s Creek for your final moss-covered creek experience of the trip. From Dan’s Creek the trail crosses a high, forested flat before descending through the only switchback of the trip. It’s another 2 miles to the road that leads to Illahe Lodge. For many hikers, this is the final night of the trip. Otherwise, traverse the open meadow across Billingsly Creek to the small dirt parking lot where a cooler full of cold beverages awaits. Congratulations!
Previous Day - Rogue River Trail – Day 3
Reference: Content excerpted from The Rogue River – A Comprehensive Guide from Prospect to Gold Beach. by Idaho River Publications.
Our mission is to inspire adventure with beautiful, comprehensive and waterproof map-based guidebooks. Owner, publisher, and photographer Matt Leidecker, grew up exploring and guiding on the rivers in central Idaho. His award winning Middle Fork of the Salmon River – A Comprehensive Guide is the standard by which other river guidebooks are measured. Printed on virtually indestructible YUPO paper, IRP guides are truly unique all-in-one resources for adventure. Each book is loaded with full-color maps, stunning photographs, and information on the history, geology, and wildflowers. Visit Idaho River Publications to explore our guidebooks to the Rogue River in Oregon and the mountains of Central Idaho.