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.