Rogue (Upper) River
From the Crater Lake National Park boundary downstream to Prospect, this section of the Rogue is paralleled by a major highway and tourist route from the park. Its diverse landscape includes pumice flats, deep gorges and chutes, and unique ecological systems.
October 28, 1988. From the Crater Lake National Park boundary downstream to the Rogue River National Forest boundary at Prospect.
For decades, the Rogue River has been recognized internationally as a “fish highway.” It is revered by anglers around the world as a premier fishery for steelhead and salmon.
Hiking, camping, photography, hunting, fishing, whitewater boating, scenic driving, and birdwatching are among the many recreational opportunities along the Rogue River. The entire length of the upper Rogue River is closely followed by the Upper Rogue River Trail, designated a National Recreation Trail. Because of the various road crossings, much of this hiker-only trail (open to equestrians for short sections near Hamaker Campground) is easily traveled for short segments at a time.
The upper Rogue River is considered challenging for whitewater boating due to its gorges, chutes, and many obstructions, ranging from “sweeper” logs across the river to the underground section at Natural Bridge. For the entire wild section of the upper Rogue and some portions of the scenic sections, no boating is the recommendation due to ever-changing instream hazards. Certain portions of the main scenic section of the upper Rogue can be floated, with hard-shell kayaks being the most appropriate and preferred craft on this challenging section with always changing instream hazards. This is a river for experienced-to-expert boaters.
The Rogue River is the very definition of breathtaking scenery. From its headwaters near Crater Lake all the way west to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, outstanding views abound. The upper Rogue is fed by snowmelt and springs originating in the peaks of the Cascade Range, including the slopes of Mt. Mazama, the volcanic caldera that contains Crater Lake. Along the uppermost portion of the upper Rogue, the river is narrow and shallow but very swift. Numerous moss-draped snags of lodgepole pines and other trees that have fallen across the river slow its pace only a little. The river has, for a two-mile stretch, carved more than 200' down into the Mazama pumice (which was deposited about 8,000 years ago during the explosion that created Crater Lake). This sheer, white-walled canyon, with the whitewater river glinting in the sunlight far below, is a favorite sight for travelers along Highway 230.