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Upper Rogue River2021-03-04T10:53:00-08:00

Rogue River: Southern Oregon’s Most Accessible Whitewater

The Nugget Section of the Rogue River is a mix of scenic flatwater, mellow rapids, and major rapids. It’s tough to have a bad time out on this section of the river. Generally there is enough water flowing through this stretch of the Rogue River for year-round runs to be done, but watch out for big winter flows. It’s an easy shuttle, and only a short drive away from Ashland, Oregon, this can be a high-octane add-on to your Shakespeare tour.

About this guide

This guide outlines the most common run on the Rogue River.

All data points were collected using GPS. This location information is provided. These locations were checked against Google Earth for accuracy. Distances are the averages of repeated trips that were GPSed.

Put-ins and take-outs include links to their Google Map locations. Use this to accurately build shuttle directions.

River Info

The Nugget Run of the Rogue River is a quick 5.5 mile section, mostly with calm water, but 2 formidable Class IV rapids to end this scenic section with a bang!

Safety

The Nugget Section of the Rogue River is an intermediate to advanced river run. While there are sections that are mellow Class II, take into account numerous other challenges such as strainers, and sieves. As a private boater, make sure you join a party that has recent Rogue River experience.

Permits

A Rogue River Use Permit is not required for this section.

Ti’lomikh Falls / Powerhouse Rapid

Ti’lomikh Falls, before gaining notoriety fun Class IV Rapid, is a site of historical interest for the native Takelma people, who had a small village here. It is also the site of the Salmon Ceremony, which the Takelma people have been celebrating at this site for thousands of years. Click here to read more.

The Nugget Section of the Rogue River is runnable from 1,100 To 6,000 CFS. Below 2,000 CFS, this section can become quite rocky, and these flows are referred to as the “Terrible Twos”. High water is considered around 5,000 CFS. This section can sometimes reach flows of >10,000 CFS, and we do not recommend a run at these flows without a member of your party having seen this section at these extreme high flows. Sometimes USGS flow images break. If that is the case, click here to access it directly.

Lower Kern River Flow
Gauge data provided by the USGS

Based in Southern Oregon, Indigo Creek Outfitters is the closest outfitter to the Nugget section on the Rogue river. In addition to the Nugget run they operate on the Upper and Lower Klamath and Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue.

Click here to learn more.

Rogue River Map & Guide

WARNING: Conditions change frequently and may make this guide useless. This guide is NOT a replacement for sound judgment. Go with someone with recent Rogue River experience.

Class II Rapid

Class II rapid or river feature.

Class III Rapid

Class III rapid or river feature.

Class IV Rapid

Class IV rapid or river feature.

Put-In / Take-Out

The most commonly used access points.

Point of Interest

These include hot springs, notable private property and more.

Fun Zone

Well known surf waves, jump rock locations, and safe swim areas

Nugget Run – Class II & IV

The Nugget Run is a scenic section beginning at Fisher’s Ferry County Park Put-In, to Gold Hill Park Take-Out. It begins with calm Class I water, and increases in difficulty until the Class IV Powerhouse / Ti’lomikh Falls Rapid finale. Lots of wildlife to be seen in this section so be sure to keep your head on a swivel for Bald Eagles, Osprey and other avian friends.

Length

Fisher’s Ferry to Gold Hill Park is 5.5 miles.

Difficulty

Beginner to Advanced.

Feet per Mile

Fisher’s Ferry County Park to Gold Hill Sports Park is 15 FPM

Shuttle Time

Fisher’s Ferry County Park to Gold Hill Sports Park is 32 minutes round trip. Google Map directions.

Mile 0.0 – Fisher’s Ferry County Park Put-in: 42.44052, -122.99829 River Left. On River Left, after driving along a decent quality dirt road, you’ll arrive to a large concrete boat ramp. There may be commercial trips launching here on most summer days. Watch out for Poison Oak here!

Mile 0.82 – Romeo Riffle: 42.44932, -123.00595 Class I. Very simple rapid. at lower flows the river splits around a shallow section, where you could get stuck. Go left or right for this easy rapid.

Mile 1.33 – The Squeeze Rapid: 42.45624, -123.00337 Class II. Read and Run Rapid, some fun and splashy waves.

Mile 1.58 – Surprise Rapid: 42.45956, -123.00519 Class II. Read and run rapid, fun wave train left of center

Mile 2.01 – Sam’s Creek: 42.46276, -123.01025. River Right. Sam’s Creek enters the Rogue River from river right. Just downstream is Lyman’s Surf Wave.

Mile 2.20 – Lyman’s Surf Wave: 42.46147, -123.01452 Class II. Surf wave on River right . There’s a large eddy to catch on River Right. Mellow but splashy fun if you can catch this wave.

Mile 2.61 – Son of Nugget Rapid : 42.45882, -123.02098 Class II. Not really much of a rapid, but big indicator that you’ve arrived to Nugget Falls Rapid. Stay right here to avoid the man-made wall blocking off the left channel,

Mile 2.73 – Nugget Falls Rapid: 42.45874, -123.02336 Class IV. After dodging boulders for the Class II entrance of this rapid, work your way to River Left. The current is pushed into a narrow chute, with a left lateral coming off the left wall, into a hole on the right side. This is a quick rapid, but generally work as hard as you can to stay left. At lower flows, a pourover called the Monkey’s Fist shows up. Going over this is considered a success, and will keep you left of the wave downstream.

Mile 4.22 – Powerhouse / Ti’lomikh Falls Rapid: 42.44469, -123.04322. Enter river right through a small channel. Once channel joins main current, work your way hard to river left (you may have to upstream ferry) to the Class IV section of Powerhouse. Enter this, and stay right once in the current, and bounce your way through some waves until the big drop. Click here for a detailed description.

Mile 4.75 – Gold Hill Sports Park Take Out: 42.43735, -123.042 River Right. River Right Take-Out. There is a large parking lot and a well-paved road leading directly to the river, making this an easy take-out.

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