Low Water Greets Inner Tubers On Rogue River

Last year was an unusually dry one for Southern Oregon, so it is no surprise that the Rogue River is quite low.  This means rocks are poking their heads up at inappropriate places and tree branches are plainly visible.  But the current is not as strong, so if you end up on a rocky bar, you can simply walk to deeper water.  However, a lack of rain, combined with a very warm May, has allowed more moss to grow, so be careful of your footing!  I would recommend sports shoes or boots, not sandals, and, of course, a sturdy flotation device.  The waves are smaller in many rapids, and dodging is more of a requirement, especially in rapids like Rattlesnake or the series of rapids below Casey State Park.  But, on the whole, the river is more forgiving than previous years, and resembles more the pre-Lost Creek Dam years when there was no river control.

For kids, there are more sand bars, beaches, and places where there is no current.  You can simply lie on your back and float.  This is a great time to introduce kids to the fun of being in the river with a minimum of danger.

Whatever age you are, please visit the Rogue River this year and have a great time!

How To Run Horseshoe Falls And Rattlesnake Rapid In Low Water

Since quite a number of people have wondered how to run Horseshoe Falls and Rattlesnake Rapid in low water, I will tell them in this post.  When approaching Horseshoe Falls, you’ll notice a large rock on the left shortly before the main drop.  Pass just to the right of it then slide into the drop with your boat pointed left.  The problem at Horseshoe is to go too far right at which point you would encounter a waterfall with sharp rocks.  Avoid it!  Immediately below Horseshoe a ledge has formed over the years that you must go to the right of.  You are now approaching Rattlesnake, which is made up of three parts.  The first part requires you to pass between two large rocks on the right.  The passage is very narrow, but needs to be negotiated to put you in proper position for part two.  This is a steep drop, which you go through by locating a long sharp jagged ledge, and passing just to the left of it.  Then you pull right to move between two ledges, and as you float through the second drop, you will skim over rocks at the bottom.  Do not go over the center, because there is a rocky ledge with a straight drop!  You made it!  Now take out your fishing pole, because right below the rapid is an excellent steelhead hole.  Enjoy the scenery that follows.

Rocks And More Rocks

Rocks and more rocks are what tubers can expect as the river drops daily.   Rattlesnake Rapid about 1 1/2  mi. below Dodge Bridge reveals some sharp ledge rock, which makes maneuvering difficult.  Getting in at TouVelle Park is tricky with a series of sand bars and rocks.  The current is not as strong as earlier, but tubers need to be aware of the hazards in the river as the season comes to a close.  Photo of Rogue River at Upper TouVelle Park.

Inner Tubing Season Begins In Southern Oregon

The weather has finally warmed up to the point where inner tubing is possible on the Rogue River.  The Rogue River between Casey State Park and Tou Velle State Park offers great whitewater for inner tubing.  There are several Class II rapids with a few Class II+ and a Class III-.  Strainers can be a problem, and there are several waves that can flip a tube.  Best stretches are from Casey State Park to Rogue Elk Park, and from Dodge Bridge to Black Oaks.  The latter stretch includes Horseshoe Falls Class II+, and Rattlesnake Rapid Class III-.  The photo below is Takelma Park Riffle at about 4,000cfs.IMG_0114