Wild Rogue Wilderness


The United States Congress designated the Wild Rogue Wilderness in 1978 and it now has a total of 35,818 acres. All of the wilderness is in Oregon and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.


Wild Rogue WildernessSurrounding the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, the rugged and complex canyon landscape of the Wild Rogue Wilderness provides watershed protection for the Wild portion of the river. The area is characterized by steep terrain of near vertical cliffs, razor-sharp ridges and cascading mountain creeks. Look for diverse flora and fauna among the near vertical cliffs, razor-sharp ridges and cascading waters of numerous mountain creeks of the Rogue River watershed. The Wild Rogue Wilderness was partly designed to provide watershed protection for the Wild section of the Rogue River. The established boundary assured preservation of a rugged and complex canyon landscape.

The lure of gold in the 1850's attracted a numbers of miners, hunters, stocker raisers and subsistence farmers. Conflicts between white settlers and Native Americans culminated in the 1855-56 Rogue River "Indian War." After their defeat, Native Americans were taken to reservations. For settlers, life in the Rogue Canyon was difficult and isolated. Although extensive gold mining operations took place, overall production was low. The remnants of mining, such as pipe, flumes, trestles, and stamp mills can still be found.

While the Rogue River flows through the core of the Wilderness, legislation specifically directed that it be managed under Wild and Scenic River direction. Because of this, there are some activities and development, such as motorboat use and lodges, which would normally not occur in a wilderness. The Rogue River is nationally known for its salmon and steelhead fishing and whitewater rafting opportunities, both of which require permits.

Approximately 15 miles of the 40 mile Rogue River Trail #1160, a National Recreation Trail, provides year-round hiker only access to the river corridor from Graves Creek down to Illahe. The Panther Ridge Trail #1253 follows Panther Ridge from Clay Hill to Buck Point along the upper elevation of the northern wilderness border. A side trail provides access to the unique vista of Hanging Rock, which is a large rock outcrop on a sheer vertical cliff. It provides excellent views into Eden Valley and the Rogue River Canyon. Other outstanding views can be obtained from the Mt. Bolivar Trail #1259 which provides access to the summit of Mt. Bolivar at 4,319 feet. The Mule Creek Trail, located on the Bureau of Land management portion of the wilderness, provides a steep route on an out mining trail between the river and Panther Ridge. In general cross country travel is not advised due to steep slopes and heavy vegetation.

Along the river you may see deer and otters, or even black bears looking for a meal of salmon. Bears, grown accustomed to easy pickings from boaters, may prove a nuisance in numerous campsites. Birds abound, such as fish eating osprey and great blue heron and lizards hasten over the dry slopes above the water. Ticks and rattlesnakes are often encountered. The river corridor is also excellent habitat for poison oak, whose stems and shiny leaves in groups of three can be a problem throughout the year. Mosquitoes are present during a good part of the season and yellow jackets can be a nuisance during the typically hot, rainless summer days.

The Blossom Complex Fire, which occurred in 2005, resulted in damage to the Rogue River Trail. At present time, a 2 mile portion of the trail, between Marial and Paradise Creek remains closed for public safety. This section of trail is expected to remain closed well into 2006. Information will be posted here if there are any changes to report.

The Wild Rogue Wilderness is part of the 107 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Wild Rogue Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

General Wilderness Prohibitions

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.

In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed on the 'Links' tab for more specific information.

These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are dominant.

Wild Rogue Wilderness-Specific Regulations

Wilderness managers often need to take action to limit the impacts caused by visitor activities in order to protect the natural conditions of wilderness as required by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Managers typically implement 'indirect' types of actions such as information and education measures before selecting more restrictive measures. When regulations are necessary, they are implemented with the specific intent of balancing the need to preserve the character of the wilderness while providing for the use and enjoyment of wilderness.

The following wilderness regulations are in effect for this area. Not all regulations are in effect for every wilderness.

Storing equipment, personal property, or supplies is prohibited.

Group use restriction: overnight use of the area by a group of more than 12 persons and/or nine saddle or pack animals is prohibited. Does not apply to day-use.

Group use restriction: overnight use of the area by a group of more than 12 persons and/or nine saddle or pack animals is prohibited. Does not apply to day-use.

Possessing or storing hay or unprocessed (viable) grain is prohibited.

Possessing or using a wagon, cart, bicycle or other vehicle is prohibited.

Wild Rogue Wilderness Recreation Opportunities


The Rogue River National Recreation Trail is open year long for hiking only. Trail information is provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Panther Ridge Trail follows along the northern border of the Wilderness and provides access to Hanging Rock.

The Mule Creek Trail, located on the BLM portion of the Wilderness managed by the Forest Service, provides a link from the upper ridge to the Rogue River near Tucker Flat campground. Trail information is provided by the BLM.

Floating and Boating

A 35 mile Wild Section of the Rogue River runs through the Wild Rogue Wilderness. It is one of the most popular white water runs in the world. It's popularity is heightened by a steady water level due to dams upstream, hot, sunny summer weather, and exciting white water rapids through lush forests and steep canyons. Information on floating and boating on the Rogue River Wild & Scenic River may be found on BLM web site.