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Author: Ellie Friedmann

Hiking through the South Kalmiopsis

Chrome Creek is a tributary of the National Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River. Located in the Southern Oregon Kalmiopsis Wilderness, it is also a proposed Wild and Scenic River. A group of Northwest Rafting Company guides decided to spend five days exploring why it deserves protection. Our hard work to access this remote place was rewarded by experiencing a pristine wilderness ecosystem complete with stunning views, carnivorous plants, and crystal clear water. Important Note: These headwater areas are threatened by Port Orford Cedar Root… Read More

Kayaking Indigo Creek

We are excited that Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a new bill to Congress recommending an additional 4,700 Oregon Wild and Scenic river miles. Called the River Democracy Act (S. 192), the Senators based their recommendations on your 15,000 river nominations across the state. As commercial river guides and stewards, we are especially thrilled that 724 of 4,700 river miles are in Southern Oregon watersheds where we live and work. Here are a few of these gems, and how you can help get… Read More

Taking COVID precautions while making dinner on a rafting trip

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty and change for Northwest Rafting Company, causing a late start to our rafting season. We were fortunate to complete our summer trips this year, taking our responsibility for trip health and safety extremely seriously. While we could not eliminate the risk of COVID-19 entirely, we did not have any known transmission resulting from our season. We look back to share all we learned and recognize the team effort between guests, guides, and outfitters that pulled this off. Responding to… Read More


As one of our guides performed a mid-river concert, everyone became distracted by a black bear walking towards the water. In the Rogue Valley, seeing wildlife is common. By far the best way to experience these animals is from the river. From our charismatic megafauna like bears and otters to smaller fish and salamanders, the Rogue River is a fantastic and important river corridor. Let us explore who they are and why there are so many animals by the river. American Black Bear: Charismatic Megafauna A… Read More

The view at Hellgate Canyon Viewpoint (BLM)

The Rogue River has inspired stories since humans have encountered it. From Native American legends to star-studded Hollywood movies, we have told and retold Rogue river lore for generations. Below are a few authors and tales (some quite tall!) shaped by this amazing river. Native America The original inhabitants of the Rogue River were known as the Takelma, whose name means “those dwelling along the [Rogue] river”. Their lore explains the origin of many famous landmarks in Southern Oregon and the Rogue River. To the Takelma… Read More

Rough and Ready Creek flows through the South Kalmiopsis

The Kalmiopsis Wildlands is located near the southwest Oregon coast, headwaters for three amazing National Wild and Scenic Rivers. These rivers have unique geology, flora, and fauna, making them in turn incredibly exceptional places to explore. As a raft guide and whitewater paddler, I can’t wait to go boating in the Kalmiopsis. I feel strongly that they need extra protection to remain pristine, especially from mining. The Kalmiopsis is Unique An ecosystem is complicated and interconnected, it is difficult to understand how different aspects influence each… Read More

Osprey are Common Along the Rogue River

The Rogue River National Recreation Trail is a beautiful hike traversing the right side of the Rogue River. Stretching a total of 40 miles, the trail passes through gorgeous side creeks, steep canyons, and provides plenty of river access. I hit the trail in mid-September and found amazing Fall colors, enjoying the cooler weather. Length: Trail stretches 40 miles from Grave Creek to Foster Bar Season: May through September Water: Plentiful from side creeks – bring a water filter Toilets: Available at certain campsites. For those… Read More

We are excited that the Oregon Wildlands Act is now law. Signed by President Trump on March 12th, the bill is another step forward to increasing land and river protections throughout the state. The Oregon Wildlands Act The Oregon Wildlands Act was a 10 year effort introduced by Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio as well as Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkeley. The bill is part of a larger public lands package called the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (S. 47). For… Read More

Coffeepot Rapid in Mule Creek Canyon

Mule Creek Canyon is often one of the most memorable parts of our Rogue River trips for both guests and guides. It is one of my favorites too due to its mix of scenery, geology, and unique whitewater. Where is Mule Creek Canyon? Mule Creek Canyon is a half-mile stretch that emerges in the second half of the Rogue River trip, just above a large rapid known as Blossom Bar. Two geologic formations frame the river. If you get the chance to look to your left,… Read More