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Category: Illinois River

Inflatable Kayaking on Rough and Ready Creek

I have many favorite rivers, but Southern Oregon’s Illinois River is my actual #1 favorite. Its most commonly rafted section is a four-day expedition with numerous Class IV (and one Class V) rapids. Beyond world-class whitewater, the Illinois River carves an unspoiled and amazingly beautiful canyon through the remarkable Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The Illinois River is famous for its clear water, stunning scenery, and botany. It’s also a refuge for salmon and steelhead, as it is one of only two river systems in Oregon with no hatchery… Read More

Geology of the Illinois River

In April 2018 friends and I rafted 35 miles of the Illinois River (in southwestern Oregon, not Illinois), guided by Zach Collier of Northwest Resting Company. This Wild and Scenic River was named by the three Althouse brothers from Illinois who mined gold in this area. We encountered 149 Rapids between our launch at Oak Flat and our takeout near Agness (the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue rivers). Josephine County has a mean annual precipitation of 32 inches; we had beautiful spring weather. The area… Read More

Rock Cress high above the Illinois River

One of the “Outstandingly Remarkable Values” that contributed to the designation of the Illinois River as a National Wild and Scenic River is botany. Some of the plants and wildflowers are common and others are rare adaptations to the serpentine geology. California Lady’s Slipper The California Lady’s Slipper is a rare orchid found in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Each stem can have up to 21 flowers that are fertilized by trapping insects in their pouch (or slipper). Tolmie’s Star Tulip These beautiful flowers are also… Read More