We will meet you at 8:00 pm the evening before the trip begins on the lawn overlooking the Rogue River at Morrison’s Lodge in Merlin, Oregon (800/826-1963). At the pre-trip meeting we will give you your waterproof bags, go over final trip logistics and answer any last minute questions. Cars will be left at Morrison’s during the trip.
We will meet you at Morrison’s Lodge, 8500 Galice Rd. Merlin, OR 97532.
Driving: Morrison’s is located on the Rogue River just west of Merlin, Oregon, about 60 miles north of the Oregon-California border; 6-7 hours from San Francisco, and 4 - 5 hours from Portland. To get to Morrison’s, take Exit 61 off of I-5, head west on Galice Road (under the freeway if you are coming from the south) and continue straight 12 1/2 miles (through the small town of Merlin) to Morrison’s Lodge (on the right).
Flying: Horizon/Alaska, and Skywest/United serve Medford, Oregon, about 30 miles southeast of Grants Pass. For transportation from the Medford airport to Morrison’s, contact Galice Resort, (541/476-3818) or Affordable Shuttles, (866/484-4467). Due to potential delays, we do not recommend flying out of Medford the evening that the trip ends.
Morrison’s Rogue River Lodge (800/826-1963) is a wonderful place to stay before and after your trip. Right on the river, they offer a variety of lodging options from cozy rooms in the main lodge to private cabins overlooking the river to secluded cottages with kitchens on a quiet creek. The property is very relaxing and comfortable and the room rates are reasonable. Alternative accommodations are available 5 miles further down river at the Galice Resort (541/476-3818). Both locations serve meals on a deck overlooking the river. If you prefer gourmet meals and linen, you’ll enjoy Morrison’s; if you prefer hamburgers and picnic tables, you’ll prefer Galice. Reservations should be made well in advance. There are also numerous motels 30 minutes from Morrison’s in Grants Pass including the Holiday Inn Express (541/471-6144) or the Best Western Inn Grants Pass (541/476-1117). Reservations should be made well in advance.
Oar rafts are 18 feet long, carry all of the overnight gear and up to 5 guests. They are rowed by a guide using oars attached to a metal frame. Guests ride in the front, hang on through the rapids and relax in the calm stretches.
Paddle rafts are 14 feet long and carry between 4 and 6 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear.
Inflatable kayaks are 10 - 12 feet long and are paddled by 1 or 2 people using double-bladed paddles. They are fairly stable, require no previousexperience and allow you to feel the thrill of independently paddling the river.
Please note that we do not guarantee space in paddle rafts or inflatable kayaks. If there are more people who wish to ride in these boats than there are spaces, we will rotate so that everyone gets a chance to participate. A full Rogue trip of 20 guests usually has 1 or 2 paddle rafts and 3 or 4 inflatable kayaks.
Meals: ARTA meals are well-balanced and consist of quality foods with fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. The guides double as camp chefs and the menu includes a wide variety of dishes. Lunches usually consist of hand-foods and are served picnic-style at riverside stops. Dinners and breakfasts are cooked over an open fire and often include tasty Dutch Oven baked treats. If you have special dietary requirements or are celebrating a special event during the trip, please let us know in advance.
Drinks: ARTA provides water, lemonade and punch during the day and hot coffee, tea and cocoa in the morning. If you would like soda, beer, wine, or liquor with your dinner, please bring your own in unbreakable containers, (beer and soda in cans, wine in bags/boxes or plastic bottles and liquor in plastic bottles). Due to weight and space restrictions, we ask that you limit the amount of canned drinks to a moderate amount (one or two six-packs per person).
Local Attractions: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in nearby Ashland is renowned for its Elizabethan Stagehouse and repertoire of Shakespearean drama. Also in the area are scenic Crater Lake National Park and the headwaters of the Rogue River, the historic town of Jacksonville which is home to the Britt Music Festival and Oregon Caves National Monument. Another popular addition to a Rogue trip is a tour of the spectacular Oregon coastline after the trip. Our take-out point is 35 miles inland from where the Rogue meets the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. If you are heading to the coast after your trip, you can have your vehicle shuttled to the take-out point for about $120 per vehicle. Arrangements can be made at the pre-trip meeting (bringing a spare key will facilitate the process).
Suggested Reading: Zane Grey spent time fishing along and writing about the Rogue River and his stories make for fun reading during the trip; Rogue River Feud is set on the stretch that we will float and is a classic example of Grey's style. River guide Matt Leidecker also wrote a great mile-by-mile guide: The Rogue River - A Comprehensive Guide from Prospect to Gold Beach which is available through his website mattlphoto.com. The BLM has a decent river map, The Rogue River Float Guide, which is available at Morrison's prior to the trip.
Travel Insurance: Because life is full of surprises, we suggest you purchase supplemental travel insurance for your trip. Trip cancellation, evacuation, baggage loss and other coverages are available for between 4% and 11% of your trip cost. You can get more information at www.travelinsure.com; please enter ARTA's Participating Organization Number (215296) at the top of the enrollment form.
Gratuities: We want you to feel like a guest in our home; tips are never expected. But if you feel that your guides did an outstanding job, a post-trip gratuity is a flattering way to let them know. Tips should be based on your satisfaction, your financial means and your attitude about tipping. They have ranged anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the trip cost, (with the occasional recommended book or coveted hat thrown in). It is customary within ARTA to give the tip to the Lead Guide who will distribute it equally amongst all of the staff. And thank you very much.
If there are any questions we haven't answered, please feel free to contact us. We really enjoy talking about our trips, so don't hesitate to call: 800-323-2782.
The Rogue River is born on the slopes of the Klamath Mountains surrounding Crater Lake. It flows west past the towns of Medford and Grants Pass before carving a wild and remote canyon through the coastal range of the Siskiyou Mountains. It is here, in the beautiful, heavily forested, “Wild Rogue” canyon, that our trips take place.
The canyon slopes are blanketed with stands of douglas fir, ponderosa pine, madrone, and numerous varieties of oak. Ferns, wildflowers, and blackberries flourish up the numerous side streams. Abundant wildlife inhabits the canyon and we commonly see deer, otter, osprey, bald eagles, and an occasional black bear. The river itself follows a diverse course, alternately crashing over abrupt ledges, flattening into shallow expanses, and squeezing between house-sized boulders or through narrow gorges. There are rapids every day with highlights at Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar on day 3 or 4.
There are also numerous sites of historical interest along the way. While the original inhabitants, the Siletz Indians, left little behind, a decaying legacy of the miners, homesteaders, and hermits who followed still remains. Old miner’s shacks, historical ranches and even Zane Grey’s fishing cabin provide a glimpse into the region’s past.
In 1968, the Rogue was one of the first rivers to be declared a National Wild and Scenic River, protecting its wild beauty for future generations, such as ours, to enjoy.