The rapid above Tucker’s: The Stair Steps

The rapid which my Dad called “The Rapid Above Tucker’s” was known locally as the Stair Steps or the Steps.  This rapid survived the ’64 flood, although it lost some of the sharpness of its drop since the river widened.  The rapid came after a series of narrow drops that were negotiated on the left, because there was a river wide bar.  Following the drops, the river turned right and the Steps began.  You followed a current on the right passing to the left of two boulders, then made your way to the center to slide over a ledge.  This was a tricky maneuver since the ledge was chock full of rocks, and you had a tight squeeze.  Once over the ledge, you needed to dodge a few boulders in the left channel, especially the last wave, which was a large hole.  The river dropped several feet from the top with the right resembling a falls.  Following immediately was a large bar with waves that tried to take you into the bank.  This was a rapid that I inner tubed many times with my sister Nancy and my cousin Gregg Turner.  It was always a challenge and great fun.  Just below was a famous fishing spot, especially for steelhead.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

The rapids of the Rogue River that once flowed freely before Lost Creek Dam was built are gone, but not forgotten.  Laurelhurst State Park was once the beginning of many an exciting river adventure.  A beautiful waterfall fell over a cliff into the river, and the gravel road came right up to the river.  Rapids such as the Stair Steps, the rapid below Tucker’s(the summer retreat of the Tuckers of Burlingame, California), and the sheer pristine beauty of the canyon, made the river journey something special.  Let’s not forget the numerous spawning beds, and great steelhead fishing.  For braver souls, to begin your journey at the confluence of the North and South Forks meant almost a half mile of continuous rapids as they cascaded down the canyon.  One of the most famous, Whitewater, is shown below due to the courtesy of river guide, Bob Pruitt.  The Y-Rapid was the last major obstacle before the covered bridge, and the entrance to Laurelhurst State Park.  When I was in my teens, I took many raft trips and inner tube trips from this Park.  Oh, those wonderful memories!  For individuals who want to know more about the Laurelhurst area, please read my:  Laurelhurst:  Lost Community of the Upper Rogue.

White Water Rapid on the Rogue River. At low summer flows, the canyon becomes one long rapid with lots of rocks to dodge.

White Water Rapid on the Rogue River. At low summer flows, the canyon becomes one long rapid with lots of rocks to dodge.