Ready, set, go!
Your trip on the Rogue River will take you through an impressive wilderness canyon nestled against the Rogue River Mountain range. All of our trips start and end at the same place, but the details for each day may vary due to the same natural factors that make rivers so appealing – natural changes like water levels and weather may cause us to adjust our itinerary for safety reasons and to enhance your trip. Below is a sample itinerary of an Indigo Creek Outfitters trip on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River.
Day 1: Galice to Kelsey Canyon (Mile 0 to 15.5)
On the day of your trip we will meet you at the Galice Resort at 9:00 a.m. It’s encouraged that you arrive early to grab breakfast and any last minute items you may need. Galice has a restaurant as well as a retail store for last-minute items (water bottles, fishing licenses, etc.). Most of our guests stay the night prior to their trip at Galice or in the nearby area.
9:00 a.m. – Look for an Indigo Creek Outfitters bus or truck in the parking area at Galice Resort. After introductions, our guides will provide you with a large dry bag for you to pack your items. Additionally, you’ll receive a smaller dry “day bag” that can be accessible throughout the day. The large dry bag will be stored in our “camp boat” and will be downstream of the group, so it’s important to not pack anything you may need during the day in this bag.
Once you have packed your bags, we will move your vehicle to Galice’s overnight parking area (it will stay at Galice for the duration of the trip). From Galice, we’ll drive the group to our boat launch, located a few miles downstream of Galice Resort. There you’ll be introduced to the remaining crew, we’ll do a pre-trip “safety talk,” hop in the rafts and begin our trip downstream.
We typically have a few different boats to choose from:
1. Oar boats – these rafts carry the majority of our gear and also provide a comfortable place to kick back and relax as your guide rows the boat downstream.
2. Paddle boats – these rafts are more participatory and passengers will have a paddle to help move the boat downstream. A guide in the back controls the raft with oars while giving instruction to the crew.
3. Inflatable kayaks (aka “duckies) – The most active way to head downstream is in an inflatable kayak. These boats are fast, super maneuverable, and an absolute blast to run through rapids. You’ll follow a paddle boat and the guide will give you pointers for each rapid.
Over the course of the day you’ll be able to move from one boat to another.
12:30 p.m. – We’ll stop for lunch mid-day. Our food is delicious and we can accommodate most food preferences or allergies (let us know ahead of time please). Over the course of the trip you will be surprised by the quality of our dishes and variety of foods our guides are able to prepare in a wilderness setting. All of our food is purchased from the Ashland Food Coop, Southern Oregon’s one and only certified organic retailer.
That afternoon… A typical afternoon on the Rogue will include a few hours of river time as well as a scenic or historical stop to take a breather. The Rogue River canyon is full of off-the-beaten-path areas that are well worth exploring. Some are on the river, some are up side creeks, and some are in little-known places that you’ll only find with people who know the river well.
Adjacent to the river is the well-known “Rogue River Trail.” Some of our guests appreciate a new perspective and may spend part of their day hiking the trail. It offers gorgeous views of the river and is easily accessed throughout the day.
We will be arriving at our first night camp around 4:00 p.m. Your tent will have been set-up and our camping area will have been converted to a home-away-from-home, including a dining table, chairs, and kitchen. A bathroom is easily accessed and is located in a private area a short walk from camp.
5:00 p.m. – Appetizers are ready. Kick back and relax. Go on a short hike. Drink some wine (or Oregon microbrew, or soda, or water). Play horseshoes. Go for a swim. Take a nap.
6:00 p.m. – Dinner is ready. It’s going to be a great meal so dig in, have seconds, and leave the dishes to us. Have some dessert and then relax around the campfire. Tell stories and look up at the brightest stars you’ve ever seen.
There is something about being outside all day, along the river, and eating delicious and healthy food, being away from electronics and out of cell phone range, that leads to a great night of sleep. Don’t be surprised if you turn in early.
Day 2: Kelsey Canyon to Solitude Bar (Mile 15.5 to 28.5)
In the morning… Wake up to the sound of the river. There’s no beating the quiet and peacefulness of morning on the river. Long before the sun begins to heat up the river canyon we’ll have a big pot of coffee ready for you. Our guides drink coffee – a lot of it – and if you are a coffee drinker you’ll appreciate our local Southern Oregon “cowboy” coffee. If you prefer tea there will be a variety of teas available. Have a cup or two or three or four while our crew prepares breakfast.
During breakfast, an Indigo Creek guide will describe the day ahead and give you an overview of what to expect. While we’re doing the dishes and packing up the kitchen you can start packing your bag and getting ready for a day on the river. Put some sunblock on, fill up your water bottle and maybe grab one more cup of coffee. Our guides are packing up the boats and we’ll be on the water shortly…
There are a number of fun rapids this morning and a highlight will be stopping at Zane Grey’s cabin for a short hike. Keep your camera accessible because this section of river has a ton of wildlife (look for bear, deer, osprey, otter, and bald eagle). We’ve heard from some guests who say a trip on the Rogue is like being in a Planet Earth film. We agree.
Lunch at the Rogue River Ranch… One of the more historic places on the Rogue River is the Rogue River Ranch. We’ll stop here for lunch and to check out the old ranch (no longer active) and explore Mule Creek. There is a wonderful swimming hole up the creek and you’ll enjoy the refreshingly cold waters as an escape from the Southern Oregon heat.
In the afternoon… We are headed into the wildest section of whitewater on the trip. The back-to-back Mule Creek and Blossom Bar duo is one of the most famous sets of rapids in the west. We have specific safety procedures for inflatable kayaks on this stretch of river and your guides will discuss the plan at lunch. We always provide the option of hiking the trail, although we really think you’ll appreciate the ride and view from the rafts. Rafting through Mule Creek Canyon is an experience like no other and will leave a lasting impression. The narrow slot canyon that the river carves and boils through is an amazing testament to the power of nature.
Once through Mule Creek Canyon there is a moment of calm and then the roar of Blossom Bar as we round the bend. Blossom Bar is a long rapid nearly two football fields long that presents a technical challenge to any river runner. Our rafts will weave their way through the boulder field and before you know it we’ll be looking back upstream toward Oregon’s most famous rapid.
The river calms as we leave Blossom Bar and head to camp. We’ll float past the waterfall of Paradise Creek, through the serene and quiet still waters of Huggins Canyon, and arrive at our home-away-from-home, Solitude Bar, around 4:00 p.m. Like the previous night, we’ll settle in, enjoy a glass of wine, eat a well-earned dinner, and tell tales of the river before dozing off to a good nights sleep.
Day 3: Solitude Bar to Galice Resort (Mile 28.5 to 35.5)
It might not be until you wake up on the last day of your trip that you’ll realize the importance of wild places. Wild places like the Rogue River offer a solitude and feeling of peace that is impossible to find in an ordinary lifestyle. A trip to the Wild & Scenic Rogue River is one of just a few places you can find a reset button that forces one to naturally refocus on the important things in life. Whether that is reconnecting with old friends or spending time with loved ones, a river trip fosters connections with important places and people and offers a refreshing perspective that can only be found in a beautiful river canyon away from modern day distractions.
This morning on the river is similar to the previous day (hearty breakfast, lots of coffee, and a beautiful stretch of river), but with the knowledge that you’ll be returning to civilization – to your car, cell service, and a paved road headed back home. There is always a feeling of sadness to say goodbye to new friends and the Rogue River, but you will find a sense of accomplishment to know that you won’t go through life without having seen the Wild & Scenic Rogue River. There is additional relief in knowing that the Rogue River and your wilderness “home-away-from-home” can always be visited again the following year.
After lunch on the river it is a short float to Foster Bar, which is where our time on the river comes to a close. From Foster Bar we transport back to Galice Resort over the scenic “Bear Camp Road.” We are normally back to Galice Resort around 4:00 p.m.