Rogue River Wild and Scenic Trail Run
Wild and Scenic Lodge to Lodge Vacation
Run the Rogue River Trail! Do you love trail running; pounding your feet for miles on end down scenic wilderness single track? The Rogue River trail is quickly becoming a “must-do” destination in many running circles but is often hidden from all but the most elite trail runners due to it’s length and remote nature. At 40 miles, only those who are willing to run the whole thing in a day have been able to run this back country vista filled river gorge. However, Orange Torpedo Trips has opened up the trail to those looking to slow down and enjoy it a bit more. Over two or three days, depending on how many miles you like per day, you can run the 40 mile trail while spending one or two nights in back country wilderness lodges where you will be well fed and filled with the calories you need to keep going down the trail. In both the two or three day versions rafts will carry all of your gear down the mighty Rogue River, and you can even hop on and ride for a stretch if you decide you want a break from the running.
The Rogue River Trail is consistently viewed as one of America’s favorite trails. Built into the cliffs of the river by early minors in the canyon, the protected Wild and Scenic river corridor is filled with unobstructed vistas, side stream waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife. On your run expect to see eagles, dear, and possibly even a bear eating berries across the river. While you run the rafts will stop and have fluids and snacks available to a few points throughout each day to keep you going down the trail.
If you like to run, you will love to run in the Rogue River Trail. The incredible views mixed with that is both a well maintained but also moderately technical trail keeps your focus as you go while not being too much for the average runner. For those who have a little more time and like days in the 12-14 mile range our 3-day trip is an ideal way to run the canyon. For those who like something a little longer our 2-day trip has you running around 20 miles each day providing enough miles for even those more elite runners. Sign up for this unique adventure on the Rogue River Trail today!
What our guests have to say...
Reviewed by CandiRunner on June 25, 2014
“I would highly recommend OTT”
We did the (3) day Rogue River Trail Run last weekend and had such a wonderful, memorable time. It was me & my 2 best friends. There were 7 in our group total. The other 4 were guys from out of state. OTT did an outstanding job of carrying our gear and the meals were amazing!! We had Billy as our river guide and Maia as our running guide. They were so fun to be around. It was almost like camp or outdoor school except we had adult beverages!!... I would highly recommend OTT to everyone wanting to do a trail run they'll never forget!! Thank you OTT!!
Trip Logistics Overview
3-day trip: Arrive at our shop in Merlin Oregon at 10am on day one.
2-day Trip: Arrive at our shop in Merlin Oregon at 8am on day one.
Both Trips: Here you will pack a dry bag with everything you want during the rest of the trip. Your vehicle can be securely store at our shop during the trip. After everyone is geared up and packed up it’s about a 30 minute drive in our van to the trailhead.
From here it’s running for the next 2 or 3 days. On the final day around 1pm the group will arrive at Foster Bar where everyone loads back into the van for a two hour drive back to our shop. When you return to the shop you will transfer your things back into your luggage from our dry bag.
Detailed Itinerary for the Rogue River Trail 3-day Trip
Day 1: Arrive at 10 AM at the Rogue River Center (210 Merlin Road, Merlin, Oregon) to meet your head guide and receive Rogue River Trail running trip orientation. The trip meeting time is subject to adjustment based on the weather. If we have hot weather forecasted we may move the meeting time to be as early as 7:30 am to try and run before it gets hot.
Orientation will include information on the layout of the Rogue River trail including daily miles and where the steeper sections of the trail are. The trip orientation will also include a basic white water rafting orientation to prepare you for any raft riding you choose to do. This is also when you will be supplied with a dry bag to pack your personal items. This is the bag to put everything you want to access at night. It will go on the raft where it will not be accessible during the day so anything you want on the trail needs to go in a separate bag that the raft will carry or in a small camelback or backpack if you choose to wear one. When everyone has their bags packed, vans will be loaded and the group will drive the 30 minutes down the Rogue River to the trail-head. At Grave Creek boat ramp the group will meet the rest of the guides and have a last conversation about the trail before starting to run.
This first day on the trail has plenty of beautiful viewpoints. Journey from river level to high above on the canyon walls before eventually returning to river level where a boat will ferry everyone across the river to the lodge for the evening. The first day at 9.6 miles is the shortest day of the trip but in many ways the most difficult. Day one is mostly going either up or down with very little truly flat ground. Tonight is Blackbar lodge where you can relax on the lawn as deer graze only feet away.
Day 2: Your second day running the Rogue River trail has 14.7 miles making it a little longer than day one. Today the trail often retreats back into beautiful tributary canyon’s but not at the expense of plenty of spectacular river views. The final mile of the day is on a dirt road leading into the second nights stay at Marial lodge. Runners will often opt to soak their feet in the Mule Creek with a beverage in hand for an hour or two before running the final half-mile to the lodge.
Day 3: Day 3 is the highlight day both in miles and scenery. The trail navigates the cliffs above beautiful mule creek canyon. At this unique gorge the river funnels through a crack in the bottom of the canyon being condensed to under 15 feet wide at its narrowest point. Near the bottom of the canyon the trail hosts a spectacular view of Staircase falls making for one of the finest photo opportunities of the trail. Down river the trail leaves the rivers edge for a period and cuts through the lush forrest behind Brushy Bar. This is a beautiful journey through a deeply green thicket with a beautiful fern filled forest floor. At 15.9 miles today is the longest day and brings you to the waiting vehicles and a celebration of your accomplishment!
The ground we cover on the 2-day trip is the same as the ground we cover on the 3-day trip. We simply skip the first nights lodge and run to the second nights lodge on the 3-day itinerary. With that itinerary day 1 is typically (lodge dependent) 24.5 miles and day 2 15.5 miles.
Rogue River Trail Trip Travel Information
Where to Meet Orange Torpedo Trips
Take exit 61 off of Interstate 5. Exit is approx. 3 miles north of Grants Pass. At exit turn left (west) and follow Merlin Rd 3.2 miles until you see Orange Torpedo Trips on right. We have a secure fenced parking lot where your car can be stored during your trip.
To make sure you get a good nights rest before the trip we recommend staying locally the night before your trip. Here are a few of the local accommodations in the Grants Pass area.
- Redwood Motel Grants Pass Oregon 888-535-8824 (recommended)
- Holiday Inn Express Grants Pass Oregon 541-471-6144
- Flery Manor Grants Pass Oregon 541-476-3591 (Award Winning)
- Shiloh Inn Grants Pass Oregon 541-479-8391
- La Quinta Inn Grants Pass Oregon 541-472-1808
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 closest commercial airport is in Medford, Oregon (airport code MFR), 34 miles southeast of our shop in Merlin. In the Medford Airport there are four car rental companies (Budget, Avis, National, Enterprise, and Hertz). At this time we do not offer transportation to or from the airport, but we can pickup and drop off at any Grants Pass Hotel the morning of a trip and at the conclusion of a trip. If you plan to not rent a car, you can call Double D Shuttles at 541-476-7773 and hire them to transport you from the Medford Airport to a Grants Pass Hotel. Please note: Our trips return too late in the day for us to ensure you will make a flight out of Medford same day. We suggest making reservations for the next day after the trip concludes.
Southern Oregon is known for its great summer weather. Weather here is generally so nice that the local tourism board has adopted the slogan “its the climate” to describe what makes Southern Oregon so desirable. While rain does occasionally sneak in during the summer months it is rare and usually only stays for a short time. Averages are:
- May · High (F) 73 Low (F) 41Avg. Rainfall 1.21 in.
- June · High (F) 81 Low (F)45 Avg. Rainfall .53 in.
Rogue River Trail Running FAQ's
Q: What are the lodges like?
On the 4-day trip we stay at Black Bar Lodge night one, Marial Lodge on night two, and Clayhill lodge on night three. Most rooms at the lodges have two single beds per room. Each room has a private bathroom and the door opens to the outside. At Black Bar most rooms are in duplex type cabins that work great for parents and kids. Marial does have a “family” room with beds for four people in one room. All lodges have a common lodge area with couches to relax and games waiting to be played.
- Black Bar’s main lodge was built in the 1930’s.
- Marial lodge was built as a house in the 1930’s and converted to a lodge in the 1940’s.
Q: What should we expect for food?
Meals at the lodges vary in exactly what is served but they are generally some type of home cooked comfort food. Turkey, fried chicken, ribs and pork chops are examples. It’s always delicious. Lunches are served riverside and typically include a variety of deli sandwich ingredients along with a variety of salads and snacks. On these running trips we will have cliff bars, trail mix, and other running friendly snacks in addition to larger meal options. If you have any dietary concerns please let us know. We can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, lactose intolerant, and most food allergies. Please let us know in advance of your trip so we can plan accordingly and ensure that you have a great food experience along with your great river experience.
Q: What does OTT supply to drink and if we want something specific can we pack it?
Orange Torpedo Trips will supply water and Gatorade, which is always available from the raft throughout the day. This water and Gatorade is stored in large dispensers and you will need a water bottle to dispense into. We also supply a variety of soda that will be available at lunch and at the lodges. For those over 21 years old OTT will supply red wine, white wine and beer in the evenings at the lodges. The wines come from either, one of our many wonderful local Applegate Valley vineyards or our partner vineyard in Napa Valley. You are more than welcome to bring hard alcohol with you, but we no longer supply it as part of our service. Please label it and give it to us the morning the trip starts and we will store on the raft for you during the day.
Q: Gratuity, is it common to give tips and how much?
Gratuity is certainly appreciated but by no means required. At the conclusion of a trip please just give any gratuity to the head guide who will divide it evenly among the crew. Standard restaurant gratuity percentages tend not apply on these trips, so what we have seen over the years on the Trail Running trip is an average of approx: $50 per person in a group. So a group of four would be about $200. That is what we typically see on this trip as an average, please don’t feel obligated. Also, when thinking about gratuities, please feel free to tip the staff at the lodges during your stay there.
Q: Does everything for the trip go down the river with the group?
Everything for the trip will go down the river. When you pack a dry bag at our shop, that will be all of your stuff for the duration of the trip.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
On single day trips your $10 per person deposit is refundable up to 72 hours before your trip. Cancellations within 72 hours of the scheduled trip launch will be subject to loss of their deposit.
On all of our multi day rafting trips we do not offer refunds on deposits or balance payments. We strongly encourage all customers to purchase travel insurance through travel guard to help protect your travel investment against the things that come up in life. It’s a small additional price for the comfort to know that if something comes up (illness, work change, etc) you will have the ability to recover your significant travel investment. Get a Travel Guard Quote Here.
Q: How much is the deposit and when is the balance for my trip due?
For the Trail Running Trips on both the Rogue River and North Umpqua River trails the deposit is $300 per person. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the trip launches. Upon making your reservation you have the option to set up your credit card to automatically run the balance on the due date.
Trail Running Trip Dates and Prices
2020 2-day Trail Running Trips
- Adult - $699
Trip Start Dates:
- June - 12, 19, 26 (must call to book)
- September - Dates come out in Jan 2020
2020 3-day Trail Running Trips
- Adult - $1099
- Single Occupancy Fee - $200
Trip Start Dates:
- May - 15, 22, 29
- June - 12, 19, 26
- September - Dates come out end of Jan 2020
- October - Dates come out end of Jan 2020
Base pricing is based on double occupancy. Rooms typically have 2 full size beds with a private bathroom. Single occupancy fees apply to solo travelers.
Call to reserve the 2-day trip.
Trail Running Packing List
Everything on the trip goes down the river in the raft so all of your trip items will be packed into a supplied drybag when you meet at our shop. If you have a special bottle of wine, fishing equipment, or something else that either does not fit or you don’t want in your drybag, that’s typically not going to be a problem. Just let us know and we will find somewhere to pack it.
What to pack
On the Trail
- Trail running shoes (trail is rocky in many places - minimalist or barefoot shoes are not advised)
- Sports sandals (something you can swim in if you choose at lunch or at the lodge)
- Running clothing for both hot and cool/wet weather
- Hydration pack or water bottle for running with
- Waterproof sunscreen
Off the River
- 2 pair pants/shorts
- 2 shirts
- Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
- Insect repellent
- Personal Items (medications, hygiene; keep personal grooming items to a minimum - No hairdryers due to power restrictions at the lodges)
- A good book
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera with memory cards and batteries