Rogue River National Recreation Trail #1160


Rogue River

The Rogue River National Recreation Trail traverses the wild section of the  Lower Rogue National Wild and Scenic River along its entire length. Stretching 40 miles between Grave Creek and Big Bend, the trail offers some of southwestern Oregon's most amazing landscapes and rewarding hiking experiences. Majestic steep canyon walls, cascading waterfalls, and glistening streams are just a glimpse of the magnificent scenery in the Wild Rogue Canyon. Observation and exploration opportunities abound for hikers to observe wildlife, wildflowers and historical sites along the way. There are many picturesque vistas, including churning whitewater flowing through rock gorges with nearly vertical walls, towering cliffs and majestic stands of large Douglas-fir and incense cedar. The Rogue River supports an interesting and diverse wildlife population, including black bear, river otter, deer, raccoon, osprey, bald eagle and rattlesnakes. Hikers can also expect to see rafting parties on the river and camping on the sandy beaches. Below Blossom Bar, jet boats are allowed for the private and commercial lodges, fishing and for tour boats.

The Rogue River Trail is a HIKING TRAIL ONLY, closed to motorized vehicles, bicycles, and pack animals. The trail may be hiked from either end or from the middle, starting at the Rogue River Ranch.

The trail is rated DIFFICULT due to the remote nature of the trail, tall cliffs, the potential for downed trees, landslides and high water in creeks. Most of the trail is well constructed and has moderate grades. The average hiker takes 4-5 days to walk the 40 miles.

During the heat of the summer, temperatures may reach 100° F. Many hikers choose to hike from west to east (from Grave Creek to Big Bend), keeping the afternoon sun at their backs. Moderate temperatures make spring and fall popular seasons to hike.

Annual maintenance usually occurs April through June, after winter storms are no longer a threat.

Check out the Rogue River National Recreation Trail Guide for a detailed description of the trail.


Point of Interest:

The Rogue River trail is notable for its rich history which is manifested in the three National Historic Sites along its path: Whisky Creek, Zane Grey Cabin and Rogue River Ranch. Read about some of the wild endeavors of the river canyon’s former occupants in the Rogue River National Recreation Trail Guide.

Trails that access the Wild Rogue Wilderness include the Mule Creek Trail #1159 and Clay Hill Trail #1160A.

At a Glance

Permit Info: ​​A Wild Rogue Float Permit is required for trail hikers when trail hikers are supported by boaters. A Permit is not required if a hiker hikes the trail and packs all of their own gear. 
Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Fire pans are required within 400 feet of the river's edge, when fire restrictions allow their use. Always check current fire restriction prior to your trip. Hikers can use a fire blanket, heavy aluminum foil, or whatever works safely in the fire. Fire ashes and residues must be packed out of the canyon with other garbage. Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns:
  • Gold Beach, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Information Center:

General Information


From Grants Pass, OR:

Take I-5 north to exit 61, Merlin exit. Turn left and continue northwest on the Merlin-Galice Road for 23 miles. Cross the Grave Creek bridge and take two immediate left turns to descend to the Grave Creek Boat Launch. The Rogue River Trailhead is located on the far side, or west, of the boat landing.

From Gold Beach, OR: Use Lower Rogue River - Foster Bar Trailhead

General Notes:

Distances from Grave Creek

Location Miles
Whisky Creek 3.2
Black Bar Lodge 9.3
Kelsey Creek 15
Rogue River Ranch 22.7
Marial 23.9
Blossom Bar 26.4
Paradise Creek 27.3
Brushy Bar 30.5
Big Bend/Foster Bar 40



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
42.0 miles