This trip report is long overdue. My daughter (8), her classmate (8), her father (age unknown), and I (41!) took two trips to the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River in southern Oregon.
This 84 mile section
of the 215 mile long river is closed to all motorized traffic and follows the river through deep canyons
(google map). The trailhead starts at Grave Creek.
The first trip, April 25-26, the four of us hiked in 1.5 miles to Rainie Falls, a class V rapids. The second trip, June 25-26, we hiked 3 miles to Whisky Creek.
On both trips, the weather was perfect, dropping into the middle 40's (first trip) and middle 50's (second trip) at night with bright sunshine during the days. The trail runs along the northern edge of the canyon and in some places can be quite high but the campsites are down at the water. Poison oak was everywhere, but the campsites were clear (whew!). In April, the wild flowers were everywhere but they had dried out by June.
The girls had a blast climbing trees, panning for gold, and eating smores. My daughter and I were in Hennesy hammocks with 2 red river gorge quilts, one No Sniveler, and one sleeping bag. Both of us were toasty and comfortable. Our friends slept on the ground. Oh well . . .
At Rainie Falls, my daughter and I shared a tarp. Take note of the ground. Rocks don't scare us! We never got any rain but there was a fairly stiff wind that the tarp helped keep under control.
At Whisky Creek, wind wasn't a problem and it was later in the year so it was warmer. We had clear skies and the sound of the river to help us drift off to sleep.
On the June trip, as I was filtering water from the river, I watched a large bird float on the air currents for 10 minutes and then dive the water. I saw vultures, hawks, herons, and some other's I couldn't identify. Lizards were everywhere; my daughter quit counting at 45 after about 2 hours of hiking. My friend saw one rattle snake which was gone by the time he got back to camp to tell me. Shoot! I've never seen one and I'd like to, but from a respectable distance.
Currently, it is 110 during the day so I don't think we'll be going back until things cool off a bit. But you can be sure we'll be headed back once September rolls around.
If you are so inclined, you can see more photos here