National Recreation Trail
|Day Use Info|
|Hellgate Recreation Area|
|Rogue River National Recreation Trail|
The 40 mile Rogue River National Recreation Trail is in the heart of the National Wild and Scenic Rogue River Canyon. The trail runs from Grave Creek to Illahe. The Rogue was one of eight rivers originally designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The intent of the act is to protect the river's outstanding values of scenery, fisheries and recreation for present and future generations. One of the most interesting ways to experience the Rogue River Canyon is by taking a backpacking trip on the Rogue River National Recreation Trail.
The Rogue River National Recreation Trail follows the north bank of the river as it winds its way toward the Pacific Ocean. The west trail head is at Foster Bar, about 30 river miles inland from the coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon. Grave Creek, the east trail head, is about 30 river miles downriver from the town of Grants Pass, Oregon. Information on the roads to the trail heads can be found on our Shuttle Routes web page.
Most of the Rogue River Trail is well constructed and has moderate grades. The average hike over this 40 mile trail takes 4 to 5 days. Trees, land slides and high water can create difficult passage across the trail after storms. Trail maintenance is done in May or June after winter storms are no longer a threat. This is a hiking trail only and is closed to motorized vehicles, bicycles and pack animals.
The trail can be hiked starting from either end or from the middle. See "vehicle access points" below. If you hike east the sun will be at your back in the afternoon, which might be desirable in the summer time. Spring and fall are the popular hiking seasons as the summer can be hot and dry in the Rogue River canyon.
Facilities and Services
Private lodges along the trail (see map (JPG) and trail log) can accommodate hikers that make reservations. Shuttle services are also available. For more information contact a local Chamber of Commerce or one of the managing agencies at the bottom of this web page.
Vehicle Access Points and Campgrounds
The west trail head (Foster Bar) has camping, toilets and overnight parking. Drinking water is available, May through September, one mile downriver at Illahe Campground. Camp hosts staff both Foster Bar and Illahe campgrounds May through September. Contact the U.S. Forest Service for more information on Foster Bar and Illahe campgrounds.
Grave Creek (east trail head) has toilets and a small parking area along the road above the trail head. Overnight parking and camping are not allowed at the Grave Creek boat ramp area. Drinking water and camping are available about 4 miles upriver from Grave Creek, at Almeda Campground. This is a Josephine County campground open year round, with a camp host April 15 to October 15. Water is available April to November.
Marial Road provides vehicle access to the middle portion of the Rogue River Trail. Click here for a map (JPG) to the Marial area. The area is located by Mule Creek and hosts Rogue River Ranch (23 trail miles from Grave Creek), Tucker Flat Campground (23.4 trail miles from Grave Creek) and Marial Lodge (24.3 trail miles from Grave Creek). Our Shuttle Routes page may also be helpful for your trip planning.
Rogue River Ranch is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are welcome to explore the ranch area and look inside the museum when it is open. The ranch has a toilet, small parking area and drinking water. Volunteers keep the museum open and maintain the ranch from May to October.
Tucker Flat Campground has six campsites and is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. Tucker Flat is right next to Mule Creek and provides rustic, dry camping with toilets, picnic tables, and a trail head to the Wild Rogue Wilderness.
Foot Access and Primitive Campsites
There are many small primitive campsites, suitable for hikers, along the trail located near creeks. Some campsites have a toilet, either at the site or at a nearby river site. Water is available from the creeks; filtering or boiling is recommended. River floaters and hikers will find many large and small primitive campsites along the river. There are at least 40 primitive campsites along the river for trail hikers and river floaters to choose from. See the map (JPG) or trail log for campsite locations.
When you travel in the Wild Rogue River Canyon, plan to carry adequate amounts and types of food, water, clothing, and first aid supplies for your trip. The canyon is considered to be a remote location and it can take several hours to obtain emergency medical assistance. If you find yourself in need, Agness (8 miles downriver from Foster Bar) and Galice (7 miles upriver from Grave Creek) are the nearest towns. Both Agness and Galice are small towns with limited supplies. Emergency services can be contacted by radio from Rand Visitor Center, Rogue River Ranch, Brushy Bar Guard Station, Foster Bar and Illahe Campground. Rand Visitor Center is about 5 miles upriver from Grave Creek (see map). Brushy Bar Guard Station is staffed June through September. You can also obtain emergency assistance through the private lodges along the trail.
Possible hazards you might encounter are poison oak, ticks, rattlesnakes and black bears.