Losing more then 5000 feet in its journey, it’s a river only passable in segments – unless you’re a fish
From Crater Lake, take Hwy 62 towards Prospect to discover this beautiful gorge and hike the trails along it.
Between Crater Lake and the Rogue River Gorge lies this gorge where the sides are eroding into spires similar to the “Fossil Fumaroles” of the nearby Pinnacles Overlook. There’s no sign to give it a name or tell you it’s there. There’s just a wide spot on the road. We pulled over and I ran to the edge to find this.
Somewhere in this area on the edge of the Crater Lake National Forest, is the spring from where the great Rogue River begins.
Not far from my pinnacled canyon is another little turn-off. There isn’t a sign at this one, but my husband knows I like to take pictures, so he pulled over and I hopped out for what I thought would be a quick few snaps of the shutter.
My jaw dropped and I motioned for everyone to get out of the car, sleeping or not.
The shelves of rock have bit holes in them, smooth and perfectly round. It screams volcanic which makes sense in this area so riddled with the beauty that volcanos make. It’s ironic, I suppose, that something so destructive could, thousands of years later, end up looking like this.
The Rogue begins somewhere near here and splits into three arms here where large islands of rock block its flow pushing it around in some places and allowing it to flow over into tiny waterfalls in others.
It roars and swishes and swirls. It’s clear crystal aqua and white with froth.
It quietly drips off the ends of red roots dangling in the water and falls gracefully down rock stairs into a powerful rush below. Rugged pines line the land around it and delicate flowers fill the cracks above.
410,000 gallons of water flow each minute.
From here it drops 45 feet over a series of waterfalls. It flows though a 500 foot long chasm surrounded by lava tubes. The chasm is 500 feet long and drops 45 feet. There’s a trail to follow to get glimpses of the river on its journey, but the cliffs are steep, the water fast, and the danger’s imposed fences along the way to keep people safe.
It’s along this path that you’ll find a living stump whose roots grafted onto those of a neighboring tree before it was cut, so though it’s a stump, it continues to live and grow.
The last time I saw the Rogue River, I was cruising down it in a jet boat from its mouth 215 miles away in Gold Beach, Oregon where bears fish on the side of the river unafraid of the boats driving by. It’s wider there, but still turbulent in places.
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