The Natural Bridge section of the North Fork Rogue is one of the best summer time runs in Oregon. This stretch is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. Upon arriving at the put in hike just a short distance upstream and look at the natural bridge, were the entire river disappears under ground.
This run starts off very exciting with a 15 ft seal launch just under the foot bridge, make sure and wave at the tourists walking above. Just after the seal launch is a good warm up consisting of some fun sloping ledges with short pools in between. Expect drops like these throughout the entire run.
Karma is the first significant rapid of the run. Always scout Karma because it often contains wood and it is very long. The first half of Karma consists of a shallow boulder garden that could easily pin a boat. At the bottom of the boulder garden there are a few short ledge drops that contain sticky holes at some levels. Below the ledges is another 8 foot sloping ledge with a large hydraulic.
After Karma the action slows down, expect a few short class III drops until the river takes a sharp right hand turn. Be cautious in this area because there is class V Therapy Falls just around the corner. Look for a portage trail on river left. Once around the falls seal launch 10 feet into the water below.
Below Therapy Falls the gradient increases and creates some fun narrow ledge drops. Some of the drops are only a few feet wide so scout them for wood. When the take out bridge at Woodruff is visible expect one last 6 foot ledge drop. Run the drop to the right of the island, this is a great way to end the run.
For a longer day continue downstream and run the Takilma Gorge section.