The Scenic Illinois River was accepted into the Oregon State Scenic Waterways System in 1970 and the Federal Wild and Scenic River system in 1977. It provides opportunities for dayuse as well as overnight float trips, including trips through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness during higher flows. Expert boating skills and rubber water craft are needed. The emerald green water of the Illinois provides a cool break from the hot summer temperatures. Primitive camping and numerous hiking trails are available along the river corridor.
The river runs from the southeast, across the Coast Range in a northwestern direction to its confluence with the Rogue River near the community of Agness. The Wild Section of the river flows through steep canyons for nearly 29 miles between the confluence of Briggs Creek and Nancy Creek. It has 150 rapids, 11 of which are Class IV and one of which has a most difficult rating of Class V. It is one of the most inaccessible sections of wild river in the country and should only be run by highly skilled and experienced boaters.
From Grants Pass, travel south on Highway 199 22 miles to the town of Selma, OR. Turn right on the 5070 Road. Proceed 7.5 miles to the first river access point. There are numerous locations along the river to fish.