Upper Rogue - Rogue River Gorge to Natural Bridge 8-15-22

Photos by Kay and Rich, Video by Kay

 

Ashland Hiking Home

Nine adventurers met along the Upper Rogue for an 8 mile down and back from Rogue River Gorge to the Natural Bridge.

The morning was cool and clear as we watched the river squeeze through the gorge from several viewpoints. Then we followed the fence downstream from the gorge and onto a lava strune trail into a shady forest along the river.

As the trail meandered we went from the river to Union Creek and then back to the Rogue. You wouldn't notice the change if you didn't have an eye out for the  confluence where river and creek meet. (There's a large fallen white log across Union Creek where it flows into the Rogue.)

We were joined on our hike down river by a young man with a Yoda day pack, (so I decided to call him Luke). He came up to visit his sister, but since she was working at the lodge, he had plenty of free time to explore the river.

After nearly 4 miles the trail deposited us at the Natural Bridge parking lot where two of our one way hikers had left their SUVs. Young Luke took our group shot on the man made bridge, then we walked up the path to the Natural Bridge. It is clear of flowing water this time of year and you can imagine thousands of years of native tribes crossing the river at this point. (the river disappears under the rock crossing into a lava tube and shoots out down river).

We had lunch in shady spots listening to the roaring river and then began our warmer journey back up stream.

With temps nearing 90o we stopped for ice cream on the way back to the Rogue Valley.

We had a bunch of happy hikers with some returning to a familiar hike on the Upper Rogue and others enjoying this stretch for the first time.

Happy Trails,
Rich