I live in Southern Oregon very near the famous Rogue River; it flows no more than ten minutes from my front doorstep. This may make me biased but The Rogue River is the best whitewater river in Oregon for a family river trip.
The Rogue winds more than 130 miles before entering the Pacific Ocean in Gold Beach Oregon. The best section for a family whitewater river trip is the wild and scenic section of the Rogue River. In order to float this federally protected stretch you need to have a highly sought after river permit.
River permits are tough to come by but once you get one through the lottery or through the cancellation process, you’re good to go.
The Rogue is ideal for many reasons:
- The rapids are challenging but not death-defying. You’ll get wet, get tossed around but you won’t get killed, (unless your very unlucky or very unsafe, or both.) The pace of the water isn’t too fast nor too slow. You’re able to make miles without having to work hard.
- The water is warm. During a typical summer the water is anywhere from 65 to 72 degrees. That sounds cold but when the air’s 105 degrees, it feels just right.
- The camping is ideal. There are many beaches of varying sizes and plenty of campsites to choose from.
- There are plenty of flat water sections for water-fights and swimming, or just floating on your back watching the perfectly blue sky roll by.
- There’s an abundance of wildlife on the Rogue River. In fact I’ve been on hundreds of different rivers and never have I seen more animals than on the Rogue. I’m not talking about tweety birds, I’m talking about Black Bears, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Osprey, River Otter, Beavers, and Great Blue Herons. Every day you see things you’ve only seen on TV. Of course there are zillions of deer too.
- It’s a perfect length river for a leisurely 4 day adventure. The wild and scenic section is 36 miles. You put in at Grave Creek bridge and take out at Foster bar. You float through an amazing wilderness area without seeing any structures besides the occasional river lodge.
Like I said I’m biased towards the Rogue since it’s in my backyard. You can’t go wrong though by taking a family raft trip on it. Kids absolutely adore the beaches and great swimming. It’s a fun adventure; one you’ll not soon forget.