Rogue River Trail

Mule Creek Canyon

  • Difficult (to Flora Dell Falls)
  • 8.6 miles round trip
  • 600 feet elevation gain

  • Very Difficult (to Marial)
  • 16 miles one way
  • 950 feet elevation gain

  • Very Difficult (to Grave Creek)
  • 40 miles one way
  • 2800 feet elevation gain

At Inspiration Point, the trail through the Rogue River’s wilderness canyon has been blasted out of sheer basalt cliffs. More than 100 feet below, kayaks and rafts drift through green-pooled chasms toward the roar of Blossom Bar’s whitewater. In other places the river trail ducks into forested side canyons with waterfalls. Sometimes the path emerges at grassy river bars with ancient ranch cabins and gnarled oaks. Hikers always share this wilderness gorge with the plentiful wildlife drawn by the river—kingfishers, black bears, deer, and eagles.

If backpacking the entire 40-mile path from Illahe to Grave Creek sounds daunting, consider …

Hikers may want to avoid …

The river’s name comes from the Takelma and Tututni Indians, whom the early French trappers called coquins (rogues). When gold attracted white interlopers, the tribes retaliated in 1855 by massacring settlers. The Army pursued the Indians to this remote canyon, where the soldiers were besieged by a superior force of well-armed warriors. The Army’s trenches are still visible above the trail at Illahe’s Big Bend Pasture. Relief troops from the east turned back when Indians rolled rocks on them from the steep slopes a quarter mile upstream of Solitude Bar. When soldiers from Gold Beach arrived, however, nearly 1200 Indians were taken captive and forcibly moved 150 miles north to the Siletz Reservation.

To find the trailhead, turn off Highway …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range.

Flora Dell Falls

Blossom Bar