Every river is unique and no single day on a single river is ever the same. Yet the Illinois stands apart as a river unparalleled in its pristine, wild course through the remote Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
The difference between an adventure on the Illinois and other rivers is apparent right from the start. Instead of the jostle of crowded put-ins strewn with gear and people and the frenetic energy of a busy boat launch, the unimproved and mostly-deserted river bench put-in at Miami Bar sets the tone for a more introspective sort of journey. And you’ll need the calm and quiet you’ll find here to marshall your resources for the days ahead because just around the bend of what looks like a gentle undulation downstream, lies some of the biggest wildwater in the region.
For most of your time on the Illinois, you’ll see few if any other river runners. The intensity of this river keeps all but the most fierce away. The surrounding wilderness does as well. Deep canyons and rough rock ridges make for challenging terrain on foot and especially in the water. But as with other wild and remote locations on our earth, those who are ready to embrace all the Illinois has to offer will be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will shift your soul.
Expect a steady build-up over the course of the first couple of days to some of the most difficult rapids on any river we run (awesome Class IV/IV+ whitewater) by Day 3. The last day is generally pretty easy—whew!—so you can bliss out in that happy-exhausted feeling that comes after doing something hard and truly worthwhile.
Off the Rafts
Once we hit camp for the day, we might go for hikes. But after such epic days, we’re usually happy to relax in camp, talk about the day, and steep ourselves in the solitude and immense beauty surrounding us.
Flora & Fauna
Bears, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Mergansers, Rattle Snakes, Great Blue Herons, river otters, sturgeon, salmon, deer. Ponderosa Pines, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Madrone, Manzanita, Alder, Willoes and many types of wildflowers. Lots of Bald Eagles and Osprey and of course Bear.
We operate under Special Use Permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. We are an equal opportunity recreation service provider. All trips operate on a non-discriminatory basis.