Camping on the Rogue River, Photo by Bob Wick, BLM

Rogue River Camping and Hiking

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There are many locations suitable for camping along the Rogue River. The public may camp anywhere along the river on undeveloped public land unless designated otherwise (e.g. as Day Use Only), but there is a 14 day camping limit on all public lands. Along the recreation section of the river, there are also developed campgrounds administrated by Josephine County Parks.

Please keep in mind that (specifically in the Wild Section) there can be considerable competition for larger or well used campsites. To avoid this becoming a problem, please consider staying at less frequented spots during your trip. The Rogue River Trail Guide or Rogue River Float Guide (available for purchase at the Rand Visitor Center) are both good sources of information on other spots suitable for camping.


Aggressive bear behavior has been observed throughout the years in the Rogue River Canyon. Problem bear-human encounters have dramatically decreased since electric fences and food hoists were installed along the river and river users began consistently keeping a clean camp. By bear-proofing your camp, you are contributing to the effort of keeping the bears looking for their native food supply rather than human food or garbage. In the past, bears have been known to get into coolers, dry boxes, and trash; on and off the boat. Please keep your camps clean and secure your food and garbage.

The black bear, found throughout the Rogue River canyon, varies in color from cinnamon to black. They generally weigh between 100 and 300 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall at the shoulder. It can be a great experience to see a black bear on the Rogue River, but at a safe distance. A keen sense of smell enables bears to sniff out food you may have in camp. You are most likely to be visited by a bear in the early morning or late evening. Bears have poor eyesight, so make sure they can hear you so your encounter is not too close!

A Bear Observation Form is available to help document aggressive bears as well as the overall health and population of bears along the Wild section of the Rogue River. Please take the time to fill out a form so the managing agencies can keep track of bear activity. Doing so will also allow for any problems to be addressed accordingly. Whether there are problems with bears in the Rogue River Canyon, or not, you should always secure your food and garbage at night to discourage pests from raiding your camp.

Feeding bears or allowing them access to human food or garbage can create serious problems:

  • Bears lose their instinctive fear of humans.
  • Nuisance bears can be unpredictable and dangerous when they encounter humans.
  • Relocation efforts have been found to be unsuccessful. Nuisance bears may be destroyed.
  • Keep a clean camp and take food scraps and grease with you when you leave.
  • Do not cook or store food in or near your tent. Odors may attract bears.
  • Take food or garbage out of your boat, even if the boat is anchored offshore. Rafts have been punctured from bears climbing into them.
  • Never feed or approach a bear! If a bear enters your camp, immediately clap your hands, bang pots together, or throw objects at it from a safe distance to scare it away.

Secure all food, garbage, and toiletries by one of the following:

  • Food Hoists - Located at Blossom Bar, Brushy Bar, Tate Creek, and Camp Tacoma.
  • Electric Fences - Located at Whiskey Creek, Horseshoe Bend, Rogue River Ranch; Upper/Middle/Lower Half Moon Bar; Brushy Bar; Upper/ Lower Solitude; Upper/Lower Tate Creek; and Upper/Middle/Lower Camp Tacoma.
  • Bear Proof Boxes - Located at Blossom Bar, Brushy Bar, and Camp Tacoma.

Boaters should put coolers, dry boxes, and garbage in the fenced areas for overnight storage. When you are done using the fence, please close it and remember to leave it turned ON. Hikers should store food and garbage in fenced areas, bear proof boxes, or up a food hoist. If everyone takes the proper precautions in keeping a clean, bear-proof camp, bears will naturally be drawn to their native food sources and will leave human food, garbage and gear alone.

Bear-proofing your camp when electric fences, food hoists, and bear boxes are unavailable:

  • Wipe off your coolers with ammonia or bleach. Put open containers of ammonia on top of coolers and then cover the ammonia with a tarp. Covering the ammonia with a tarp has had better success in getting rid of bears than when the ammonia wasn't covered with a tarp.
  • Stack and strap coolers and other food containers together to make a mountain of objects that would be difficult to get into or move. Place cans or pots and pans (noise makers) on top of your stack of containers.
  • Leave a light on in camp or on top of the coolers/food containers overnight.
  • Suspend garbage and food in a tree.

Be Bear Safe:

  • When traveling along the river, remember to make noise so you do not surprise a bear. They will most likely retreat long before you ever see them if they can hear you coming.
  • Don't get between a sow and her cub. Mother bears are very protective of their young.
  • If you encounter a bear, stay calm. Slowly back away from the bear and leave. Don't turn and run; the bear may run after you. Don't challenge a bear!
  • Keep your dogs under control at all times, treat dog food like human food and secure accordingly, don't allow your dog to challenge a bear, especially a sow with cubs.
  • Remember, this is their home and you are the visitor.

Report bear incidents and encounters to:

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Gold Beach Ranger District
Attn: Jessie Dubuque
29279 Ellensburg Avenue
Gold Beach, OR 97444

Camping Areas

Hellgate Recreation Section

There are 4 developed campgrounds, operated by Josephine County Parks on this 27 mile stretch of river—White Horse, Griffin, Indian Mary, and Almeda—which parties can camp at for a fee. Because so much private property lies between the mouth of the Applegate River and Hog Creek, camping is not allowed along this stretch except in the developed campgrounds. Between Hog Creek and Grave Creek, camping is also allowed on undeveloped public land along the Rogue. The public is asked to be courteous and respect all private property. See our Hellgate Area page for more information.

Wild Section

Many established (but unmarked and undeveloped) campsites exist along the Wild stretch of the river, but camping is also allowed anywhere that is physically suitable for your group. Some camping areas along the river are accessible from the Rogue River Trail via small footpaths; however, many campsites also exist closer to the trail meant primarily for use by hikers. Some camping spots to visit include:

  • Rogue River Ranch—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 picnic table, toilet, and a small parking area for visitors. Volunteers keep the museum open and maintain the ranch from May to October.
  • Tucker Flat Campground—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.
  • Foster Bar and Illahe—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 Boat Ramp (east trail head) has toilets and a small parking area at the beginning of 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 Parks campground open year round, with a camp host April 15 to October 15. Water is available April to November.

Fire Restrictions

Campfires are regulated on the Rogue River, from the Applegate River to Marial, by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Siskiyou National Forest regulates campfires from Marial to the coast.

Wild Rogue River

  • FIREPANS REQUIRED: For all fires within 400 ft. of the river.
  • All charcoal, ashes, and debris must be packed out.
  • No debris burning in piles or in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on forestlands.
  • Tracer ammunition and exploding targets may not be used on forestlands or in any other wildland area.
  • Sky lanterns are disallowed.

Tucker Flat Campground

  • No debris burning in piles or in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on forestlands.
  • Tracer ammunition and exploding targets may not be used on forestlands or in any other wildland area.
  • Sky lanterns are disallowed.

Hellgate Recreation Area (mouth of Applegate River to Grave Creek)

  • No debris burning in piles or in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on forestlands.
  • Tracer ammunition and exploding targets may not be used on forestlands or in any other wildland area.
  • Sky lanterns are disallowed.

NOTE: These restrictions will be strictly enforced. If a person is willful, malicious, or negligent in the origin of a fire, the Oregon Department of Forestry is required by state law ORS 477.068 to recover costs associated with suppressing the fire, and the responsible party will be billed for these costs. Parents can be held responsible for costs associated with suppressing fires started by children.

For more information, contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry office, Grants Pass ODF, 541-474-3152, or Medford ODF, 541-664-3328.


Wild Rogue River, Grave Creek to Watson Creek

Black Bar Lodge
P.O. Box 510
Merlin, Oregon 97532
541-479-6507 /
Located 8.8 miles downriver from Grave Creek across the river from the Rogue River Trail. Access is by float craft or the lodge will ferry hikers from the trail. Reservations only. Open May–November 10th. Maximum of 36 guests.

Marial Lodge
P.O. Box 1395
Grants Pass, Oregon 97528
541-471-3262 in season / 541-474-2057 off season
Located 20.7 miles downriver from Grave Creek. Access by float craft, automobile, and hiking. Reservations only. Open first weekend in May–November 1st. Maximum of 24–30 guests.

Paradise Lodge
3140 Juanipero Way Ste 201
Medford, OR 97504
888-667-6483 / 541-842-2822
FAX 541-776-3000 /
Located 26 miles downriver from Grave Creek, just below Blossom Bar, 52 miles upriver from Gold Beach. Access by float craft, tour boat, hiking trail or helicopter. Reservations only. Open May 1st–November 5th. Maximum of 50 guests.

Clay Hill Lodge
P.O. Box 544
Lyons, Oregon 97358
503-859-3772 /
Located 30.3 miles downriver from Grave Creek, 5.2 miles upriver from Foster Bar. Access is by float craft, power boat, or hiking. Open May–November. Maximum of 20 guests.

Hellgate Recreation Area of the Rogue River, Applegate River to Grave Creek

Galice Resort
11744 Galice Road
Merlin, OR 97532
541-476-3818 /
Located in the historic town of Galice, 7.6 miles upriver from Grave Creek. Access by automobile. Reservations recommended. Lodge open year round.

Morrison's Rogue River Lodge
8500 Galice Road
Merlin OR 97532
541-476-3825, 800-826-1963 /
Located by Taylor Creek, 10.8 miles upriver from Grave Creek. Access by automobile. Reservations recommended. Open May 1st–October 31st.

Recreation Area of the Rogue River, Watson Creek to Blue Jay Creek

Cougar Lane Lodge
04219 Agness Road
Agness, OR 97406
Located about 4.5 miles downriver from Foster Bar, 40 miles downriver from Grave Creek. Access by automobile and boat. Reservations recommended for Holidays and September/October fishing season. Lodge is open year round.

Illahe Lodge
33709 Agness-Illahe Road
Agness, Oregon 97406
Located about 1 mile upriver from Foster Bar, 34.6 miles downriver from Grave Creek. Access is by boat, automobile, or hiking. Reservations only. Open year round. Maximum of 26 guests.

Lucas Pioneer Ranch & Lodge
03904 Cougar Lane
P.O. Box 37
Agness, OR 97406
541-247-7443 /
Located in the historic town of Agness on the north side of the river, 5.2 miles downriver from Foster Bar and 40.7 miles downriver from Grave Creek. Access by automobile and boat. Open May 15th–October 31st.

Singing Springs Resort
P.O. Box 68
Agness, OR 97406
541-247-6162, 877-330-3777
Located in the historic town of Agness on the north side of the river, 4.7 miles downriver from Foster Bar and 40.2 miles downriver from Grave Creek. Access by automobile and boat. Cabins open year round. Main Lodge open May–November.

Portable Toilets

Scoop on Poop: Toilet Guide for the Rogue River

Artist in Residence

Apply for the Rogue River Ranch Artist in Residence

Quick Links


Bureau of Land Management
Grants Pass Interagency Office
2164 Spalding Ave
Grants Pass, Oregon 97526
Phone: 541-471-6500
Fax: 541-471-6514

Rogue River Permit Information
Bureau of Land Management
Smullin Visitor Center at Rand
14335 Galice Road
Merlin, Oregon 97532
Phone: 541-479-3735
Fax: 541-479-0535


Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Gold Beach Ranger District
29279 Ellensburg Ave.
Gold Beach, Oregon 97444
Phone: 541-247-3600

National WSR River System Official Site