Wild Rogue Wilderness
Rafters in Mule Creek Canyon on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River
The Wild Rogue Wilderness is a 35,818-acre property surrounding the 84-mile length of the designated Wild & Scenic portion of the Rogue River. The wilderness crosses the boundary between Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and land administered by the BLM. The wilderness area is administered by both the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
There have been proposals put in front of Congress to expand the length of the Wild & Scenic River designation to 93 more miles of river and stream in the area and add another 58,000 acres of land to the wilderness but there has been no action yet. The biggest fear of the environmentalists involved is that the BLM will have sold off the timber rights to the old-growth forest on BLM land and it will have been logged before Congress moves.
An unusual aspect of Wild Rogue Wilderness is that motorboats are allowed on the river and the Wild & Scenic River designation allows for lodges to be built along the river corridor. The river is very popular as a whitewater rafting destination as upstream dams regulate the flow of water year-round. The river is also famed for the quality of its steelhead and salmon fishery.
The landscape is rugged, characterized by high rocks and steep canyons. The forest is dense with mountain and western hemlock, Ponderosa and lodgepole pine, and several species of firs. There are several good trails in the wilderness, including the 40-mile-long Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Other trails access the ridges and high points.
To be aware of: ticks and rattlesnakes, clouds of mosquitos and yellow jackets in the summer, large clumps of poison oak year-round.
The Wild Rogue River
Upper photo courtesy of Wikipedia userid nwrafting, CCA 2.0 License
Other photos courtesy of the US Forest Service