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River Shuttle Services:

Hells Canyon Shuttle, Inc
Located in:
Oxbow, OR

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Hell’s Canyon Shuttle, Inc. is a family owned business and has been providing the rafting community of Hell’s Canyon dependable sh (more...)

Paddlesports Shops:

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Located in:
Bend, OR

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Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe has the largest selection of whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, paddleboards and can (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Oregon  :: Rogue River Oregon  :: Takelma Gorge Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Takelma Gorge Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Rogue River

Scouting Number 5

View larger map of Takelma Gorge & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!
Takelma Gorge Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Woodruff Bridge
Take Out:  River Bridge Campground
Difficulty:  Class IV + , Portage
Gradient:  50 ft/mi
Run Length:  3.8 miles
Current Streamflow:  6070 cfs @ 12/14/2016 10:15 AM - ROGUE RIVER AT DODGE BRIDGE, NEAR EAGLE POINT, OR, reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  400 - 500 cfs
Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Primary Season: 

This section of river runs almost all year. During the winter it gets lower but this is a great run for the summer.

Permit:  None presently required
Character/Similar To:  Five pool drop class IV+ rapids between 50 foot tall sheer cliffs
Hazards:  Tall cliffs on either side of the river. Once you are in Takelma Gorge there is no getting out for the next mile. Dont swim, there are a few sieves that are big enough for a boat to go into.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan
Land Ownership:  Forest
Wilderness:  Yes
Camping on River:  At designated campgrounds.
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), Southeast of Salem
Area Name:  Pacific West
Shuttle Logistics: 

Take Out: From Medford take Oregon 62 east. Take this road past Prospect and turn left at the sign for River Bridge Campground. Follow this road until you reach the river.

Put In: From the take out return to Oregon 62 and turn left. Continue on Oregon 62 and turn left at NF 68 and follow the signs to Wooddruff Campground. Put in just below the bridge on river left.

Takelma Gorge on the Rogue River

Like the Natural Bridges section, the Takilma Gorge section of the North Fork Rogue is one of the best summer time runs in Oregon. Although this section of whitewater is only 1 mile long, and considered class IV, it has a class V feel. After entering the gorge you are faced with five drops and the only way out is to paddle through them. Swimming here could be the worst swim of a paddler’s life. Scout the entire gorge before entering.

Entrance Rapid: The first rapid that you are faced with is called Entrance. From the edge of the gorge this can look like a very intimidating rapid. At the top there are some very strong lateral waves and about half way down there is a small but powerful pour over. Once at the bottom the gorge takes a sharp right turn, after this rapid the walls become sheer cliffs with no escape.

Number One: Below Entrance Rapid around the corner is Number One. This drop consists of two ledge drops. Catch the eddy on river right just above the first ledge to make a quick boat scout. Run the first ledge right to left. In the middle of the second ledge is the first of many boat sized sieves, boof the right side of the second ledge at high water, or take the tight left slot at lower water.

Number Two: Just below Number One is the second ledge drop. Run this drop far right because in the center is a large sieve and on the left is a nasty hole backed by a large boulder. Below Number Two take a few moments to enjoy the scenery of the gorge in a long calm pool.

Number Three: At the top of Number Three there is a mandatory portage around a large log, scouting this drop is possible from the river right bank. Number Three is a large L shaped ledge with a nasty cave in the center. Run this drop either far left or far right.

Number Four: Because of the sheer cliffs of the gorge, scouting Number Four from the top of the gorge is impossible. Scout this drop by catching the large eddy on river left just above the horizon line. This drop consist of two ledge drops, the second is very difficult to scout. Run the first ledge far river right over the 7 foot pour over, run the second ledge off the flake in the center.

Number Five: The last rapid before you exit the gorge is read and run through some large boulders and sticky hydraulics.

Below the gorge the river flattens out and offers great scenery. Enjoy a couple more class II rapids before reaching the take out on river left at River Bridge Campground. For a longer day connect this run with the Natural Bridges section above or the River Bridge Campground to North Fork Reservoir section below.

Last Edited by bradgoet on 5/10/2011

Towns near Takelma Gorge Kayaking

Ashland Oregon
Bend Oregon
Eugene Oregon
Gold hill Oregon
Grants Pass Oregon
Klamath Falls Oregon
Medford Oregon
Merlin Oregon
Oakridge Oregon
Prospect Oregon
Roseburg Oregon
Shady cove Oregon

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Rogue Riverkeeper
  • Water Watch
  • Pacific Coast Kayak Clubs
  • Lower Columbia Canoe Club
  • Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club
  • Oregon Whitewater Association
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Oregon Vacation & Travel Planner