The morning half-day trip on the Rogue combines unbelievable scenery, osprey nests, some splashy whitewater, and being out before the crowds to create an incredibly relaxing and fun quick river escape. Floating through Hellgate Canyon in the morning one can get temporarily lost staring up at the incredible canyon walls around you. Osprey fly overhead as they hunt for fish in the shallows and turtles will warm themselves on the rocks as we float silently past. This is an incredible time to be on the river and a great way to start of your day.
This half-day trip on the Rogue River is ideal for almost anyone looking to get out and experience the river. Whether you want the perfect raft trip to introduce those young kids to river life or you want to try paddling an inflatable kayak for the first time, this trip accommodates. This scenic half-day section on the Rogue River with it’s mix of pools for swimming, whitewater for paddling, and scenery for inspiring, really satisfies all groups looking to go out on a shorter trip on one of America’s favorite rivers.
Starting off above the ominous “Hellgate Canyon” the day beings with some swift water that continues until you enter the narrow gorge of the canyon, where you can relax in the pools, staring up hundreds of feet at the walls embanking you. From here the morning evolves into sequences of class II rapids for excitement, followed by calm pools for taking in the stunning scenery. Those on rafts will enjoy splashing and laughing with friends while waterfowl and ospreys buzz by the group. Inflatable kayakers quickly learn from the hands-on instruction of our guides, build confidence in controlling their craft. We will return you to our store around noon, just in time for lunch!
At Orange Torpedo Trips – Everyone is welcome and appreciated
Orange Torpedo Trips is now an official PAL PLACE. Here is how PAL explains their mission:
Just as wheel chair ramps and ADA accommodations enabled those with mobility challenges to more easily travel, shop, visit entertainment venues, and attend sporting events, our proprietary set of technology-based learning resources open communities to people with non-visible disabilities. Pal’s vision is to create a national network of Pal Places by developing custom videos, digital guides, and on-site resources that enhance specific customer experiences for all guests, and particularly for families and individuals impacted by autism and related non-visible intellectual and developmental differences. Rooted in evidence-based best practices in behavioral therapy, our learning resources reduce anxiety and communication barriers, and offer support for those with sensory sensitivities.
We believe that everyone benefits from days on the river and that we benefit as people from spending time with EVERYONE on the river. This is why we are working with PAL and doing what we can to make rafting approachable and fun for everyone. If you are, or if you want to bring your friend/family member who is, on the Spectrum or has a non-visible disability PAL has worked with us help make some resources to increase the likelihood it is a good experience. Find all the resources from PAL on their Orange Torpedo Trips resource page.
Here is a SOCIAL STORY video we worked with PAL to create so you can help prepare for your day on the river.
Trip at a glance
Those looking for a little more mellow trip with plenty of scenery.
Dates / Rates
Rogue River Hellgate Tour Morning Trip
1/2 Day AM: Meets at our shop at 8AM and is returned around noon.
Meet in our shop in Merlin just a little before 8AM. We are located at 210 Merlin Rd, Merlin Oregon. Exit Interstate 5 at exit 61 and drive 3.2 miles west. We are on the right hand side of the road. At our store you will meet your guides and get fitted for PFD’s before having the chance to buy any last minute items like sunscreen or straps for your sunglasses. When everyone has everything the group will load into the vans for the short 10 minute ride to the famous Rogue River.
When we arrive at the put-in you can take a few minutes to get your sunscreen loaded on while the guides get all of the boats ready to go. When the boats are ready the head guide will do a quick but thorough orientation on the type of boat you will be going down the river in (Orange Torpedo Kayak, Paddle Raft, or Oared Raft). When everyone is geared up it’s time to load in and start rafting the Rogue River. The adventure starts right away with the swift water leading into Hellgate Canyon, a scenic wonderland with forbidding cliffs rising from the water on both shores.
At the conclusion of the canyon is the groups first class II, Dunn Riffle, which is followed quickly by another fun class II rooster tail. After some splashing it will feel good to kick back and dry off in between the many riffles during the float towards upper and Lower Galice, two more thrilling class II rapids, back to back.
At Galice the adventure concludes and we load into the van for a 15 minute drive back to our shop. When we arrive at the shop feel free to head out back to the Torpedo Bar for lunch and relaxing before you head off on your next adventure.
Where to Meet Orange Torpedo Trips
Meet in our shop in Merlin. We are located at 210 Merlin Rd. Merlin, Oregon. Exit Interstate 5 at exit 61 and drive 3.2 miles west. We are on the right hand side of the road.
Grants Pass and the surrounding area have a number of wonderful places to stay, these just happen to be a few of our favorites.
- Redwood Motel Grants Pass Oregon 888-535-8824 (recommended)
- Holiday Inn Express Grants Pass Oregon 541-471-6144
If you plan to camp while you’re here, we recommend Indian Mary Park (541-474-5285). The nearest RV Park is Beaver Creek RV on Merlin Rd., although Indian Mary Park also provides full RV hook-ups. We have a parking lot that will accommodate RVs while you are on your trip.
The nearest commercial airport is Medford Oregon, airport code MFR. For those flying their own planes, the Grants Pass airport is just a few miles from us.
Packing list for the AM half-day trip on the Rogue River.
What to pack
Hellgate AM Trip
- Swim attire
- Water shoes or sandals
- Water bottle
- Camera or phone to help you remember the adventure
NOPE. One of the best parts of a wilderness river trip is that your phone will not work. No cell service, 3G, wireless or any of the above. It’s a beautiful thing.
As on most of our trips we offer a variety of river craft to choose from. Orange Torpedo Trips is best known for inflatable kayaking with 80% of our customers choosing this as the way to go down the river, but on this trip we offer 3 types of river craft on this trip. Watch the video to learn more about our 3-boats.
Learn to paddle your own inflatable kayak (Torpedo). We have guides in Torpedo’s teaching you how to paddle and leading you through the rapids in a 4 to 1 ratio. If you happen to fall out the guides have you out of the river in seconds. 45+ years of doing it on the Rogue River and tens of thousands of satisfied returning customers prove that it is extremely fun.
A more traditional type of rafting, paddle rafts are a great way to go if you still want to do some work, but think the torpedo is just a little to much. Work with a team of your friends paddling the big boat through the rapids as the guide sits in the back to help navigate.
Hop on an oared raft and ride in luxury. This is the relaxed way to travel. If taking in the scenery and letting the guide do the work is how you vacation then hop on board.
Yes. On this trip you are required to sign a “release of liability” form. Click here to download a copy of the paperwork.
Kids as young as five can join us on the tris trip.
Youth is 17 and under.
Helmets are required on kids 10 and under all the time. Anyone in an inflatable kayak is required to wear a helmet. On rafts those over 10 can choose to wear, or not wear, a helmet.
An Orange Torpedo is our custom-designed inflatable kayak.