by Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom (Falcon Guides)
© Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The lower Rogue (below the dam in Rockford) is a fun paddle. Late summer, it runs very shallow and takes some maneuvering not to get stuck on the rocks. Spring and anytime after a heavy rain is the best time to paddle the river. Since it is dam controlled, flash flood waters are released and the river levels will shoot up for about a 24 hr period making the river more fun. I've run the river at flood level ( 8ft according to the USGS) and it's a riot. I've been running this river for over 20 years and it's still a fun time close to home. There are several exit spots depending on the length of trip you want so the journey can last anywhere from 1-4 hours if you take it all the way to the Grand River. The upper Rogue is calm and slow. You can just as easily paddle up-stream as you can down-stream. So if you want a slow paddle that you can finish where you start, then the upper is the one for you.
We took about a 4 hour trip down the Rogue, which was a leisurely paddling rate and probably an hour of stops. All in all a good trip, especially considering the proximity to Grand Rapids. It's not a very wide river at most points, so we did encounter snags (lots of fallen trees that span the whole river) with no good way through. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun canoe trip near GR.
Kayak this river at least once a month in the summer. The stretch above the dam is usually calm and relaxing. If you want an adventure for the Grand Rapids area try below the dam to the Grand River while the water is at least 4.5 feet high according to the usgs.
Love this river...banks are always changing ..very interesting, lots of turns!
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