Rogue River Do-It-Yourself 101

Everyday during the rafting season many rafters take off from Grave Creek boat ramp and float the Wild & Scenic Rogue River. Rafters have two choices in gaining access to this amazing area. First, you can use the services of an outfitter who works on the river and will take you for a fee. The second option is to apply for a permit and do a self guided adventure on your own which requires a $10 per person permit.

Rogue River permits

If you choose to run the river on your own you'll need to go through the lottery process that is run by the Bureau of Land Management each December. The application period for the lottery runs from December 1 to January 31. For Information on Rogue River permit lottery application process contact the office at The Rand Visitors Center (541) 479-3735 or you can apply for a permit online.

After the lottery process, there may be float openings available, either from days which were not filled through the lottery or from open dates on the commercial calendar which are given over to the private sector. These permit openings make up the "Open Pool" and are rescheduled on a first-come, first-served basis by telephone only at Rand Visitors Center, (541) 479-3735, beginning the first business day in April each year at 8:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). Even after the float calendar is filled through the Open Pool, you may still take advantage of permits which are canceled or not confirmed on time.

Cancellations may occur anytime, so stay in contact with Rand office. Permit holders are required to confirm with this office no later than 10 days before their launch date that they intend to use their permit. Permits which are not confirmed by the ten-day deadline are rescheduled on the ninth day before, but not including, the permitted launch date. These float openings are given out on a first-come, first-served basis by telephone only at River Information. To determine when you should telephone for these openings, simply count back nine days from your preferred launch date, starting with the day before your launch date as Day #1. These float openings are scheduled seven days per week beginning at 7:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). This is your most likely way to obtain a permit.

You may also schedule a float opening which occurs because of a no-show. No-shows result when a confirmed party fails to pick up their permit on their launch date or shows up with fewer party members than confirmed. These float openings are rescheduled in the following manner: first to those waiting in person at Rand Visitor Center on the actual launch date, and second to those persons who telephone River Information on the actual launch date. Parties receiving the no-show permits must launch their trips on that same day. To take advantage of no-shows it’s recommended that you camp at near by Almeda campground or Indian Mary campground. Give yourself a week and show up at Rand everyday and sooner or later you’ll get the spots you need to launch. Best advice is to limit your group size to 6 or less for best availability.

The BLM staff at the Rand Visitor Center are fantastic and can answer any of your questions. The office hours at the Rand Visitor Center (River Information) are from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days per week (including holidays) from May 5 through October 15. If you need more information call River Information at (541) 479-3735 or visit their website.

Maps and advice for running the Rogue River

The Bureau of Land Management in 2004 updated the "Float Guide" Rogue River Float Guide PDF. It’s a great resource for learning about the Rogue River and the campsites and history of the area. It is not recommended that you print off the PDF for river navigation. You'll find that pages don’t print in the proper order. Please purchase this guide directly from the Rand Visitor Center at 541-479-3735 or from Rogue Wilderness Adventures at 1-800-336-1647. There is great information on the BLM website at BLM Rogue River Homepage.

Rental Equipment for your Rogue River Trip

Many rafters may choose to rent equipment for their rafting adventure down the Rogue River. A number of rental companies provide rentals, shuttles and equipment purchases on the Rogue. Rentals are available from:

Rogue Wilderness Adventures
325 Galice Road
Merlin, OR 97532
1-800-336-1647

Galice Resort
11744 Galice Road
Merlin, Or 97532
(541)476-3818

Riverdance Raft Rentals
105 Merlin Road
Merlin, OR 97532
(541) 476-8272

Shuttles

There are a number of shuttle companies that work on the Rogue. It is wise to find out where your car will be parked while you are rafting, as well as know when your car will be delivered to Foster Bar. You can do a self shuttle but it’s a rough road and will take nearly 5 hours round trip. Typical shuttle prices during the rafting season will be around $100 per car.

Rogue Wilderness Adventures
325 Galice Road
Merlin, OR 97532
1-800-336-1647

Galice Resort
11744 Galice Road
Merlin, Or 97532
(541)476-3818

Affordable Shuttles
1406 SW G Street #A
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 479-1042