Walking the Rogue IV: Paradise Lodge to Big Bend Trailhead 15-May-2021

We had to cover 11.4 miles (18.2 km) on this last day of our trip and we had to do it by a certain time. We had hoped to return to the Galice Resort via the Bear Camp Road but that wasn’t open yet. So we’d have to make the two-hour longer return via Brookings and Highway 199. To get back to our cars at a sorta reasonable hour, we had to be at the trailhead no later than 1330. Because the heat and overly full stomachs had been an issue, The LovedOne and I elected to skip breakfast and start our hike at 0730, right after coffee was served. No one, least of all us, was going to hike uncaffinated! This way we could hike in the cool of the morning and not have to overly hurry to reach the trailhead. Another option was to raft the last few miles to the trailhead. This is faster than walking and half our group availed themselves of this option.

Leaving Paradise Lodge
On the trail near Half Moon Bar
Common Madia
Nearing Brushy Creek

The entire Rogue River Trail is great but my favorite section is the one from Paradise Lodge past the little cabin at Brushy Bar. In the past it’s been staffed in the summer by a Forest Service volunteer. Today the flag was raised but no one was obviously about, so we pushed on.

Brushy Bar Cabin
Tall trees at Brushy Bar
Out of the forest
Tate Creek
Pressing on
Clay Hill Rapids
Trying to contact Glen with the handheld
No luck with the radio, so we continued on
Rattlesnake Grass
Sarah is passed by the Paradise Lodge jetboat

Our itinerary called for us to check-in with Glen at Tacoma, Brushy Bar, and Flora Dell, but we weren’t able to raise him on the radio until just before Flora Dell. We were to meet there for lunch. Then we got in the zone, blew past the Dell (the little sign that was there in 2015 has gone missing), couldn’t raise Glen on the radio, and so just hiked on. 🙄

The waterfall at Flora Dell (2015)

We didn’t come out of the zone until we were past Hicks Creek and starting up the first irritating hill at the end of the trail. The LovedOne strenuously vetoed going back and climbing down to the river for lunch (and then back up), so we decided just to continue on to the trailhead. If the section at Brushy Bar is my favorite part of the trail, the three climbs needed to avoid private in-holdings between Hicks Creek and Billings Creek constitute my least favorite section. Colorful language erupted as we made our way up and over these encumbrances and out into the big meadow at Big Bend.

On the trail and over (grudgingly) the hills
Under the watchful eye of a trailside lizard
The LovedOne has a “Sound of Music” moment at Big Bend
(1) The LovedOne, (2) Sarah, (3) Sue, and Barb (4) at Big Bend, waiting for the van

The “gazelles” (Sue and Barb) had, of course, reached the trailhead before us but we weren’t too far behind them. Sarah had come up from Foster Bar (where the rafts take-out) with our gear so we could switch to sandals. Glen and the rest of the group – Brenda, Lisa, Curtis, and Bret – showed-up a little later and we all piled into the van for the ride back on Highway 199 to the Galice Resort. We were in our car and heading home by 1900. Our now less than new cat – having finally become enraptured with our cat sitter – was only mildly enthused at our return. :/

And so our excellent return to the Rogue came to an end after four days, three lodges, 39.5 trail miles, two rattlesnakes, and a lizard. We owed the positiveness of this experience to the professionalism, skill, and experience of our guides, Glen and Sarah. There are really good, affable people – and good cooks. This is our third trip with Momentum and we remain impressed that this small, local company can attract such skilled and personable people. We were also lucky in that, once again, our fellow guests were also good, easy going people with interesting stories. We especially enjoyed Barb and Sue’s recounting of their various running and mountain biking exploits. Now may be the time for us to move on from the Rogue to more and different adventures? 🙂

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7 comments

  1. That sounds like a deal. We’ll let you know next time we are headed down your way. We have quite a few trips planned down there over the next couple of years.

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  2. Thank you for following along with our adventures. You should consider either a rafting or hiking trip on the Rogue – it’s an awesome four days either way. Something to consider once we all get back to whatever becomes “normal.”

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  3. I hate when a long hike ends with an irritating uphill climb, LOL!!! What a great adventure this was. Something still on our bucket list…thanks for sharing your trip and your wonderful blog and photos.

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  4. We’d be happy to join you on a hike if you’re down here. But maybe you could cut us some slack and go for a little later start? I don’t see The LovedOne getting fired-up for your usual start time of first light.

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  5. I’ve only done part of this trail so was great to see the rest! Your photos are so amazing! Love the Sound of Music photo! Yes, more adventures please!!!

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  6. Yep we missed you by a day, Friday was our hike. Anytime we are down your way we talk about possibly crossing paths on a trail. Maybe next time.

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