Home»Sports & Outdoor»GO HERE: Heading Downstream: Best Places to Kayak in Southern Oregon

GO HERE: Heading Downstream: Best Places to Kayak in Southern Oregon

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Credit: Mark Unger

While summer means lounging by the pool for some, for others it means just the opposite: Getting out there and going with kayaking.

The first and perhaps the most obvious choice is the Rogue River. With several places to rent a kayak or raft in the surrounding area, the 35 mile river is well-used during the summer. For kayakers, it simply depends on where you want to launch into the river for an intense or relaxing ride.

According to Whitewater Guidebook, Rainie Falls is a popular intermediate class three run with narrow channels. Black Bear Falls is a bumpy and enjoyable run around the eight mile mark. More toward the 23 mile marker kayakers get into a class four rapid known as Blossom Bar.

“Blossom Bar is a famous rapid that causes problems for many boaters on the Rogue River,” Whitewater Guidebook mentions. “You should pull over on the right side beforehand to scout a route. There is a tricky move at the top of this rapid above the rocky Picket Fence which commonly wraps rafts.”

While getting to the Chetco River is a bit of a far drive from the Rogue Valley, it doesn’t deter kayakers. In fact, they flock to this 55 mile river that eventually outlets into the Pacific. The river is especially enjoyed by fishermen, but there are plenty of class four rapids here to entice the more intense ride seekers.

According to Zachary Collier, who wrote in Travel Oregon, “There are two options for getting to the Chetco and most choose the 8-mile hike from Babyfoot Lake to start their trip. From there it’s 20 miles of Class IV rapids in a remote river canyon to the closest river access.”

Collier advises kayakers to scout the rapids before taking them on for safety. He also suggests on Northwest Rafting Company’s website that when the river is at a low, inflatable kayaks are best. The higher the river flow, the more riders will want a hardshell kayak.


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