Boundary Springs (Crater Lake National Park) 26-Jul-2021

Boundary Springs – which emerge from semi-arid terrain in the northwest corner of Crater Lake National Park – are the source of the mainstem of the Rogue River. Many other tributaries and streams contribute to the Rogue before it reaches the sea at Gold Beach, but that river starts here. It’s tempting to think that these springs somehow tap Crater Lake itself but they are, instead, fed only by snowmelt.

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Upper Rogue River Trail (#1034) Summary 28-May-2017

Upper Rogue River Trail Oregon

Sadly, as of May 2019, the trail from Crater Rim Viewpoint to Natural Bridge Viewpoint has yet to see any maintenance and remains difficult to find and follow due to fading tread, missing bridges, fallen trees, and encroaching brush. The section from Natural Bridge to River Bridge, which passes the popular Takelma Gorge, still provides relatively clear and easy hiking.

The Upper Rogue River Trail (USFS #1034) is a National Recreation Trail that roughly parallels the Main (or North) Fork of the Rogue River for about 47 miles from near its headwaters at Boundary Springs to the North Fork Dam Recreation Area outside of Prospect, Oregon. This trail can be thru-hiked but is more often hiked in sections, each of which is readily accessible from Highways 62 or 230. We hiked our first section of the #1034, the northern-most, in 2012 and sometime after that finishing the whole thing became a bit of an obsession.  We should have seen this coming since I’m sufficiently compulsive to finish almost every project I start.  This behavior has proved to be both a strength and a weakness, depending on how you look at it – but it does make for a lot of hiking, which is a universal good.  So, here is a summary – in section order from north to south – of our five-year, ~49+ mile mission to hike where many have hiked before…

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Boundary Springs (Crater Lake National Park) 07-Sep-2012

Boundary Springs Upper Rogue River Crater Lake National Park Oregon

While on a pre-retirement holiday at Crater Lake National Park, we took a boat tour of the lake (highly recommended!), then went over to the Mount Mazamas Viewpoint on Highway 230. This is the trailhead for the hike to Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the (main stem) Rogue River. After a short section of dusty trail, we started following the Rogue upstream,

Boundary Springs Upper Rogue River Crater Lake National Park Oregon
The Rogue River just downstream of its source

past a tumbling cascade,

Boundary Springs Upper Rogue River Crater Lake National Park Oregon
A waterfall in the river

to a point (which I’m standing on to take this picture) where the water simply gushes from the ground and heads downstream. It took me awhile to convince The LovedOne that we were standing on (not in) the Rogue River! o_O

Boundary Springs Upper Rogue River Crater Lake National Park Oregon
Looking downstream from atop Boundary Springs

This was a short (5 miles round-trip; only 400 feet of elevation gain) hike to a really neat location – great for a warm afternoon. That evening, the clouds provided a canvas for sunset over the lake.

Boundary Springs Upper Rogue River Crater Lake National Park Oregon
Sunset at Crater Lake
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