Top 5 Reasons Why the Rogue River is a Great Spring Trip

by Emily Singletary

The Rogue River is one of the best multi-day river trips in the world. Here are the top 5 reasons we love paddling it in the spring.

1. Incredibly Green & Lush

The canyon surrounding the Rogue River is always green, but in the spring it is so incredibly lush! The Rogue River is a wonderful river for day hikes and the vegetation in the spring makes it even more lovely.

Paddling through the Green Gorge on a Beautiful Spring Day

Paddling through the Green Gorge on a Beautiful Spring Day

2. Waterfalls

The many side creeks that flow into the Rogue are gushing with rainwater and there are many smaller waterfalls falling into the river that you wouldn't normally notice in the summer. Many of our favorite, bigger waterfalls like Stair Creek have several times the water flooding over them, making for beautiful photos. Over the winter these flowing creeks also wash into the beaches we camp on, making for fresh, sandy beaches in the spring.

Admiring Stair Creek on a Rogue River Trip

Admiring Stair Creek on a Rogue River Trip

3. Wildflowers

There are many species of wildflowers blooming in the canyon in the spring. Some of our favorites include the the Glacier Lily, Poet's Shooting Star, Indian Paintbrush, Western White Trillium, and Pacific Rhododendron.

Wildflowers on the Rogue River Trail above the Rafters

Wildflowers on the Rogue River Trail above the Rafters

4. Less People, More Salmon

Although the Bureau of Land Management regulates the number of people who raft the Rogue in the summer by permits, there are still less people on the river in the spring. Kids are still in school and most people aren't in the mind-set yet for going rafting yet. Meanwhile, the first run of Spring Chinook are running. Nicknamed "springers," these big Salmon are fast, aggressive, and difficult to catch. Even if you aren't fishing, it's interesting to see these fish swimming upstream underneath your raft or to catch a glimpse of one jumping up a steep rapid.

Paddling in Mule Creek Canyon on the Rogue

Paddling in Mule Creek Canyon on the Rogue

5. Easier Logistics

When planning a multi-day rafting trip for the spring, there are many variables. You never know if rains could make the river too high, if the river could drop too low, or if there is snow on the roads to get there. With the Rogue, while not completely fool-proof, it's a relatively safe bet for being able to access and run a trip in the spring. Because of upstream dams, the water level doesn't fluctuate much throughout the year. Often this part of Oregon dries out and warms up more quickly than rivers closer to the Cascade Range. The area near the put-in is less than 1000' of elevation and has had a chance to melt any winter snow more quickly than higher elevation runs.

Originally Published: | Updated on



Emily Singletary

Emily grew up in South Carolina but the Appalachian mountains called her north, where she learned to kayak and fell in love with backpacking and all things outdoors. Now she is enjoying living and playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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