Course of the Rogue River (Oregon)

Rogue River
Rogue below natural bridge morning.jpg
Below Natural Bridge along the upper Rogue River
Name origin: Coquins (rogues), used by early French visitors to the region to describe the local Indians[1]
CountryUnited States
CountyKlamath, Douglas,
Jackson, Josephine, and Curry
CityGrants Pass
SourceBoundary Springs in Crater Lake National Park
 - locationCascade Range, Klamath County, Oregon
 - elevation5,320 ft (1,622 m) [2]
 - coordinates43°3′57″N 122°13′56″W / 43°3′57″N 122°13′56″W / 43.06583; -122.23222 [3]
MouthPacific Ocean
 - locationGold Beach, Curry County, Oregon
 - elevation0 ft (0 m)
 - coordinates42°25′21″N 124°25′45″W / 42°25′21″N 124°25′45″W / 42.42250; -124.42917 [3]
Length215 mi (346 km) [4]
Basin5,175 sq mi (13,400 km2) [5]
Dischargefor near Agness, 29.7 miles (47.8 km) from the mouth
 - average6,622 cu ft/s (188 m3/s) [6]
 - max290,000 cu ft/s (8,212 m3/s)
 - min608 cu ft/s (17 m3/s)

The Rogue River in the U.S. state of Oregon begins at Boundary Springs on the border between Klamath and Douglas counties near the northern edge of Crater Lake National Park. The Rogue River flows generally west for 215 miles (346 km) from the Cascade Range through the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest and the Klamath Mountains to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. Communities along its course include Union Creek, Prospect, Trail, Shady Cove, Gold Hill, and Rogue River, all in Jackson County; Grants Pass, and Galice in Josephine County, and Agness, Wedderburn and Gold Beach in Curry County. Significant tributaries include the South Fork Rogue River, Elk Creek, Bear Creek, the Applegate River, and the Illinois River.[7] Arising at 5,320 feet (1,622 m) above sea level, the river loses more than 1 mile (1.6 km) in elevation by the time it reaches the Pacific.[3][2]

Of the river's total length, 124 miles (200 km), or about 58 percent, is designated as National Wild and Scenic River – part on the upper Rogue and part on the lower Rogue.[8][9] The Rogue is one of only three rivers that start in or east of the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon and reach the Pacific Ocean.[10] The others are the Umpqua River and Klamath River. These three Southern Oregon rivers drain the mountains south of the Willamette Valley. The Willamette River drains rivers to the north into the Columbia River,[10] which starts in British Columbia rather than Oregon.

Boundary Springs to Lost Creek Lake

Flowing out of Klamath County and into Douglas County at the headwaters spring, the river runs north for about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) before leaving the national park and entering the national forest. Crossing under National Forest Development Road (NFD) 9281, also known as Old Diamond Lake Road, the river turns west parallel to the Upper Rogue River Trail, which is on the right. Parallel to the river and slightly north of the trail is Oregon Route 230, also known as the West Diamond Lake Highway. Shortly thereafter, the stream goes over a waterfall, receives Cascade Creek from the right and then Mazama Creek from the left at about river mile (RM) 211 or river kilometer (RK) 340. Two more waterfalls occur in the next 2 miles (3.2 km) before the stream turns to the south, passes under NFD 4901 just before receiving Minnehaha Creek from the left near Minnehaha Campground. The stream then meanders through Hamaker Meadows and receives Hamaker Creek from the left before passing Hamaker Campground, which is on the right. At this point, the Upper Rogue River Trail crosses the stream on a footbridge and continues parallel to the river along the left bank. Muir Creek enters from the right at Muir Campground, at RM 204 (RK 328). Soon the Rogue receives Hurryon Creek from the left, Meadow and Lost creeks from the right, and National Creek from the left. Shortly thereafter, NFD 6530 crosses the road and so does the Upper Rogue River Trail, which continues parallel to the river on the right bank. About 1 mile (1.6 km) later, the river leaves Douglas County and enters Jackson County near RM 198 (RK 319).[7][11]

The upper Rogue plunges into Rogue River Gorge at Union Creek, Oregon.

Soon the river receives Wizard and Copeland creeks from the left and passes under Oregon Route 230, which continues roughly parallel to the river along the left bank. Next, Foster and Prairie creeks enter from the left, Bridge, and Brown creeks from the right, and Bybee and Castle creeks from the left. NFD 6510 crosses the river between the latter two creeks, and Route 230 ends shortly thereafter where it meets Oregon Route 62, also known as the Crater Lake Highway. This highway continues roughly parallel to the river on its left bank. Turning southwest at Farewell Bend Campground, on the right at RM 188 (RK 303), the river enters Rogue River Gorge, receiving Union Creek from the left near the unincorporated community of Union Creek and the Union Creek Historic District and Flat Creek from the right shortly thereafter. Below Flat Creek, the Upper Rogue River Trail crosses the river on a footbridge at RM 185 (RK 298), just above Natural Bridge Campground and Natural Bridge. Passing over a waterfall about 1 mile (1.6 km) later, the river passes under Woodruff Bridge, which carries Abbot Creek Road, at the Woodruff Bridge Picnic Area, which lies to the left. The river receives Abbott Creek from the right shortly thereafter and turns south. The stream then flows through Takelma Gorge and passes River Bridge Campground, which is on the left. At this point, NFD 64 crosses the river. Between here and the unincorporated community of Prospect at about RM 172 (RK 277), the river receives Kiter, Latson, Deep, Lund, Graham, and Schoolma'am creeks, all from the right. At Prospect, the river enters a reservoir behind a diversion dam that receives water from a canal on the left and releases water via a canal on the right to hydroelectricity projects. Below the dam, Route 62 and, shortly after, Mill Creek Drive, cross the river and continue parallel to it along the right bank.[7][11] The average stream gradient over the 43 miles (69 km) between the headwaters and Prospect is very high, about 62 feet per mile (12 m/km).[12]

Just below Prospect, the Rogue, flowing southwest, passes Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint, which is on the left, and receives Mill and Barr creeks from the left, both as waterfalls. Thereafter, water from the lower end of the Prospect diversion-dam canal enters from the right, and the river passes a United States Geological Survey (USGS) stream gauge about 169 miles (272 km) from the mouth. Skookum Creek soon enters from the right and the South Fork Rogue River from the left. About 2 miles (3.2 km) downstream, the river receives Cold Spring Creek from the left and then Hole in the Ground Creek from the right. Soon the river enters Lost Creek Lake and passes under Route 62, which continues parallel to the lake on the left. At this point, Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area is also on the left. While part of the lake, the river receives Blue Gulch from the right, Lost and Rumley creeks from the left, and a second Lost Creek from the right before reaching the dam spillway at about RM 157 (RK 253).

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