Rare Wild & Scenic Treasure



Difficulty LevelClass II – IV

Age Requirement8+

Length in miles40

Length in time4 days, 3 nights


River Otters

(Lontra Canadensi) – Playful, social and at home in the water, otters are our natural spirit animals. And, like us, they often move in with others uninvited, (they live in “holts” which are burrows they share with fellow mammals – Mother Nature’s original couch surfers). They like the same places we like and we see them everywhere we go, just not enough.

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Rogue River Rafting


Nestled deep in the coastal Siskiyou Mountains of Southwest Oregon, the Rogue River features unmatched natural beauty, thrilling whitewater, quiet seclusion, abundant wildlife, and rich history. It is this rare combination of characteristics that inspired Congress in 1968 to include the Rogue as part of the original Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Fifty years later the river retains the same charm. It still flows through one of the most poetic canyons in the U.S. and serves up classic rapids, perfect for first-time river runners, families, and experienced rafters alike.

The wilderness of this river and canyon is special. Pine and oak blanket the canyon walls, rendering a tapestry of green. Giant, smooth, black boulders line the river, creating beautiful mini- canyons. Wildlife—including black bear, deer, raccoon, and river otter—often roam the shores. Blue heron, bald eagles, and osprey soar through the sky. Our Rogue trips feature all of this, plus guides who love the river and who want to share its special character with you. Each night is spent camping on the banks of the river enjoying a beverage and savory cuisine, keeping an eye out for wildlife, and star gazing. Our camps are sited on sand beaches and forest meadows, and all personal camping gear such as sleeping bags, pads, and tents are provided.

The whitewater is always excellent on the Rogue River, and the river is filled with exhilarating class II-IV rapids and riffles throughout the Wild and Scenic canyon. Narrow chutes, big waves, intricate rock gardens, escalator drops, and every other type of rapid are encountered each day. In terms of just plain fun and challenging whitewater, this forty mile stretch of river is regarded as among the best in the U.S.


Visitors of the wild Rogue are taken by this river’s magnificent charm. Perhaps it stems from the Rogue’s lush forests, deep green pools, sparkling waterfalls, classic rapids, and rich past dotted with indigenous people, pioneer families, and early whitewater boaters. In 1968 Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to preserve the nation’s outstanding rivers. The Rogue was one of the eight original rivers protected by this act. Congress was merely validating what an exclusive group of adventurers already knew: that this is a rare treasure.

Rogue voyages are the oldest and most famous river trips in the Northwest. As early as the 1920’s, Hollywood stars and presidents paid local guides to carry them through the canyon for fishing, sight-seeing, and whitewater thrills. The Rogue quickly developed a legendary reputation as one of the West’s greatest adventures. In this era, Glen Wooldridge became one of the original river guides. Much of the river’s illustrious boating history is recounted in his book, A River to Run. The Takelma and Tutuni tribes are the indigenous people of the Rogue River. These nomadic people moved from the coast to this mountain river to harvest the abundant population of salmon and steelhead. Early exploration by French trappers brought conflict, and the French began calling the tribes “coquins” or rogues. The river then became known as “La Rivière aux Coquins”, which was later shortened to the Rogue River. White settlement in the Rogue Valley boomed after the discovery of gold in the canyon. The lower Rogue, where our trip takes place, remained wild and untamed. The lure of precious metal, though, did bring newcomers. Most were hermit miners who worked along the many side creeks. Some were packers or pioneer families who made a living offering services for the miners. The gold rush put pressure on local resources and by the late 1800’s the Takelma and Tutuni people were gone.

Much of the Rogue’s mysterious charm resides in its lush surroundings. The dense forest is one of the oldest, most diverse forests in the country, where ancient forces still hold sway. The entire canyon is virtually covered in green. Huge pine and fir trees mix with dramatic madrones, maple, mock orange, and myriad wildflowers. The lower canyon has dozens of side creeks with fern-lined grottos and some of the most spectacular swimming holes anywhere. Side-canyon streams that we hike, such as Tate Creek and Floral Dell, feature beautiful waterfalls that cascade down through verdant mini-canyons as they stair step towards their confluence with the Rogue.

The Rogue wilderness is also home to abundant wildlife. Deer are very common, as well as the black bear. River otters are often seen frolicking on the banks of the river or swimming in a rapid. A very sharp eye might even spot an elusive ring- tailed cat or lone coyote. The Rogue has long been famous for strong salmon runs, and an observer can still see one leaping the main drop at Rainie Falls or cooling off at the mouth of a side creek. Ospreys cruise the sky and bald eagles have firmly reestablished a permanent home in the canyon. In fact, on the occasional trip we may witness an osprey and bald eagle fighting mid-air over a fish pulled from the river.

Our journey passes through or above several canyons of dark gray and green rock where the river’s unique geology is strikingly apparent. Geologists surmise the Rogue was already cutting its westerly course when the coast range was uplifted. As the mountains formed, the river continued west, dropping into new cracks in the earth. In these places, such as Mule Creek Canyon, the river narrows to as little as ten feet across. Rafting this slot is a thrill!

The narrow confines of the lower Rogue canyons create some of the best whitewater in the west. Never fierce, the Rogue is always fun. Most rapids here are boulder-choked mazes of whitewater, with large, calm pools beneath. On several stretches of our run, the rapids come one right after the other. Tyee, Wildcat, and Slim Pickins rapids lead to Black Bar Falls. The adrenaline-building mile before Mule Creek Canyon leads to the famous Blossom Bar. This is paddle boating and inflatable kayaking paradise, as the Rogue offers great rapids for all skill levels.

Our Guides

Our guides are experienced and accomplished in outdoor skills and trained in first aid, CPR, and river rescue. They are environmental stewards of the outdoor areas where we work and play and are knowledgeable about the natural & cultural history of the river. They are fun, interesting people who have a passion for rivers and guiding. If you have questions about rafting, camping, cooking in the outdoors, or anything else, ask and they will be happy to share what they know.


Fishing on the Rogue River can be good depending on the season. We will gladly carry on the gear raft any personal fishing gear you want to bring. Oregon requires you to have a fishing license if you intend to fish during your trip. Please check Oregon Fisheries and Wildlife rules and regulations for fishing on the Rogue River. You may purchase the fishing license online at Anglers may land trout, salmon, and steelhead. It may be necessary in many cases to release the catch.

Wildlife Viewing

The Rogue River and surrounding forests are wild, diverse ecosystems and home to many different plant and animal species, including black bears, river otters, eagles, osprey, turtles, salmon and steelhead, mergansers, deer, and much more. Oftentimes, we are fortunate enough to see a variety of wildlife on our rafting trips. Guests are welcome to bring along field guide books and small binoculars or spotting scopes to enhance your wildlife viewing.

“All the crew were excellent and very friendly. We would definitely book with River Drifters again!”

– Michael Stapleton

Rogue River Rafting Trips ….

Rogue River Three-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights
Length: 40 miles
Price: $795-975
Rapids: I-IV
Skill Level: Family and beginner friendly
Age Minimum: 8
Trip Itinerary

BOOK NOW Customized trips: call for booking info. 8 person minimum.
Rogue River Rafting

Rogue River Four-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Length: 40 miles
Price: $1050-1250
Rapids: I-IV
Skill Level: Family and beginner friendly
Age Minimum: 8
Trip Itinerary

Are you ready for your rafting adventure on the Rogue River?