Takelma Gorge

Takelma Gorge

  • Easy (to Takelma Gorge)
  • 3.2 miles round-trip
  • No elevation gain
  • Open March to mid-December

  • Easy (to River Bridge, with shuttle)
  • 4.6 miles one way
  • 160 feet elevation loss

Tormented by an ancient lava flow, the Rogue River twists around a hairpin curve, rages down a chute, and foams for nearly a mile through Takelma Gorge’s 150-foot-deep rock slot. Several thousand years ago, Crater Lake’s volcano filled the Rogue’s valley with 650 feet of lava and ash. Through Takelma Gorge the river follows a crack in the lava—a weak spot where water eroded a canyon.

The gorge is named for the Upland Takelma (or Latgawa), a tribe native to this area. A warlike band, they often raided the Lowland Takelma in what is now the Grants Pass area for food and slaves. In their Penutian language—unrelated to the languages of other Southern Oregon tribes—Takelma means “those who live by the river.” Early French trappers called them coquins (“rogues”), and later white settlers dubbed them Rogue River Indians. Today the Upper Rogue River Trail wends through an old-growth forest along the gorge’s rim.

To hike here, start by driving …

Other Hiking Options

Long-range hikers can continue along the Upper Rogue River Trail for …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.