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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Remembrance of Trails Past (November 2020)

A while back, I found a charming little hiking guide from 1969 that the Rogue National Forest had assembled for the area around Union Creek on the Upper Rogue River. Most, but not all, of the listed trails were short and went to a lake or creek or something scenic. Nothing epic that would dissuade people from getting out of their cars for a brief hike in the woods. Possibly this was an odder activity then than it is now? Anyway, I recognized some but not all of the listed trails. And of the ones I did recognize, the guide’s description sometimes didn’t tally with what we’ve found during hikes on or near them in recent years.

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Rogue Gorge Trail (Union Creek, Oregon) 15-Nov-2018

We hiked our first Rogue River-related trail (to Boundary Springs) in 2012. Over the next six years, we hiked all of the other river-related trails between the springs and the ocean, culminating (we thought) with the Lower Rogue River Trail this year. Having thus declared victory, we were chagrined :/  to find we’d missed one. Map-gazing revealed the Rogue Gorge Trail (USFS #1034A), which links the Rogue Gorge Viewpoint to the north with the Natural Bridge Viewpoint to the south. This slight required remedy! >:D

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Union Creek Trail (Union Creek, Oregon) 06-Nov-2018

No better place to wait out the end of the seemingly endless 2018 Midterm election cycle than on a hike. With The LovedOne temporarily liberated from the Palace of Cellulose (i.e., the library), we set out to hike one of the smaller trails we’d by-passed on our many trips to the Upper Rogue. Of course, pie at Beckie’s Cafe on our return was a major motivating factor.

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Upper South Fork Trail (Sky Lakes Wilderness) 03-Jul-2017

Upper South Fork Rogue River Trail Sky Lakes Wilderness Oregon

The South Fork Rogue River, a 25-mile tributary of Oregon’s Rogue River, rises in the Blue Lake Basin of the Sky Lakes Wilderness and flows generally northeast to its confluence first with the Middle Fork and then with the main Rogue slightly upstream of Lost Creek Lake.  The South Fork is bordered for part of its length by three hiking trails: the Lower South Fork Trail between Lower South Fork Bridge and Imnaha Creek (USFS #988), the Middle South Fork Trail between the Upper and Lower South Fork Bridges (USFS #988), and the Upper South Fork Trail from near Upper South Fork Bridge to the Blue Lake Basin (USFS #988).  Both the Lower and Middle trails are locally popular and are also described in almost every hiking guidebook for this area.  The Upper trail is rarely mentioned (if at all) in local guidebooks and is described by the Forest Service as a minimally maintained primitive trail, one not recommended for horses, and a challenging workout for hikers.  This made a hike of it sound intriguing for one last venture into the Sky Lakes until the end of mosquito season in September.

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Wild Rogue Loop Backpack 20/22-Jun-2017

Wild Rogue Loop Trail Rogue River Oregon

Oregon’s Rogue River flows some 215 miles from its headwaters at Boundary Springs within Crater Lake National Park to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, Oregon. Although not as large as the Columbia or the Willamette, it is nonetheless one of Oregon’s iconic rivers.  It’s been in our hearts for years but only recently have we had the time to give it the attention it deserves. Between 2012 and 2016, we hiked (in sections) the entire Upper Rogue River Trail (USFS #1034) as it roughly parallels the river from near Boundary Springs to Prospect, Oregon.  In 2015, we backpacked the famous Rogue River Trail (USFS #1160) from Grave Creek to Foster Bar and also did a rafting day trip from Robertson Bridge to Grave Creek.  In 2016, we bolstered the local economy again with a multi-day rafting trip on the Wild and Scenic Rogue from Grave Creek to Foster Bar.  After attending a presentation earlier this year by Gabriel Howe of the Siskiyou Mountain Club on their 2015 restoration of the Wild Rogue Loop, we knew we had to hike it.  With lingering snow keeping us from the High Cascades and parts of the Siskiyou Crest, now seemed like just the time to do this lower-altitude loop.

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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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Fun with Ticks on the Upper Rogue River 26-May-2017

Upper Rogue River Trail Oregon

Hiking trails follow the Rogue River for approximately 100 miles.  One of these, the Upper Rogue River Trail (USFS #1034), roughly parallels it for about 47 miles from near Boundary Springs to the North Fork Dam Recreation Area outside of Prospect, Oregon.  It can be hiked in sections.  We hiked our first section, the northern-most, in 2012 and completed the southern-most section in 2016.  Done and done, except for the possibility (per Sullivan) that there was a path from the North Fork Dam Recreation Area to the Peyton Bridge Trailhead at Lost Creek Lake.  This would allow one to link the true Upper Rogue River Trail (#1034) with the “Rogue River Trail” that goes around the north and south shores of Lost Creek Lake and ends at Casey State Park.  We conveniently ignored that “except” until the nagging malaise of incompleteness was too much to bear.  So we dragged ourselves off the sofa and went out yesterday to finish the hike…

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