Lower Rogue - Grave Creek to Whisky Creek 4-24-23

Photos by Jerry and Kay

Track download from Jerry: Lower Rogue 4-24-23.gpx 

Ashland Hiking Home

We started early Monday, leaving Rite Aid at 8:30 to allow for the extra distance to the Lower Rogue River from exit 71 (Sunny Valley). The Galice Rd from Merlin's exit 61 is still closed as a result of last summer's Rum Creek fire.
Gary was waiting  at 71 and guided us on this new route to the river. It's a very scenic route following the roaring Graves Creek to the Rogue, and the road is paved all the way there.
We arrived shortly after 10 and had perfect weather for hiking, from cloudy and 40s to start, to partly sunny and 50s after lunch.
At the end of the parking lot by the TH, we noticed lots of water spilling onto the asphalt. This was a tip that the spring run off was in full gear and we would have seven water crossings on our way out to Whisky Creek.
Growing conditions were prime for a bonanza of Spring wildflowers along the south facing trail. Ample winter and spring rain plus lots of sun brought forth flowers of every color along the rocky trail.
The Rogue was high and fast in spots with no boats or rafts in the water. We were the only three cars in the lot and had the trail to ourselves.
We made lunch near Whisky Creek by 1 pm and enjoyed some rest time in the sun watching fish jump as they headed down river.
I had seen a unique flower a little further up the trail from lunch and got the interest of Liz and Kay to have a look.
They turned out to be some developing Fawn Lilies, but as we continued up the trail towards the Whisky Creek bridge we found Snow Queens, Milk Maids and  flowering clover (Oxalis). Our spontaneous flower sojourn separated us from the other five, but we eventually caught up with them about a mile from parking.
We got back to cars about 3:30 and had hiked 7.5+ miles and gained over 1100'. We were tired but happy to have been on the Lower Rogue on an idyllic day.

Happy Trails,