Natural Bridge Title
(Natural Bridge to Woodruff Campground)

Natural Bridge Info BoxThis fun run has only relatively recently been discovered by boaters around Oregon but more than likely been run for some time by local boaters. Although short, the run contains a some high quality, fun Class 3-4 rapids set in a narrow canyon with beautiful forested banks. Be sure to take some time to hike upstream and gape at the natural bridge itself where the entire river disappears into a hundred foot long lava tube that has to be seen to be believed.

River Description(Kayak/Canoe/Raft)
Immediately upstream of the recommended put-in is a tough class 5 rapid with a large cave on the left. Most boaters will opt to put-in just below the pedestrian bridge. Just downstream from the put-in the action starts immediately with a long, steep drop with some big holes and interesting moves, then the river assumes a pool-drop nature. After some smaller rapids paddlers arrive at a short, steep drop on a sharp left turn. Immediately after this drop lies Karma, one of the best rapids on the river. Karma is long and the last part isn't readily visible when scouting because the river takes a sharp left turn at the bottom. It starts with a wide open boulder garden which narrows into a fast runout with a couple of sticky holes and then the river takes an abrupt left turn and drops over an eight foot sloping ledge with weird cross currents.

After a little bit of flatwater below Karma, the river takes a sharp turn to the right. Paddlers need to be extra cautious here as there is a twenty foot class 5 waterfall a hundred yards downstream from here. Get out at the sharp right bend (the portage trail is clearly visible up the side of the hill) and portage the falls. You can scout the falls by hiking up the hill to where the river bends back to the left. Knob Falls has been run but was nicknamed 'Therapy Falls' by locals after an expert videoboater took a swim here that can only be described as a near death experience.

Immediately below the falls there are three rapids in a row. The first is pretty small and the second has some weird rock formations in the middle that can be avoided on the right. The third drop is just downstream and should be approached with caution as there has been wood here in the past. Here the river narrows to about twenty feet wide and plunges into a uniform hole that is easier than it looks. At least one member of the party should always scout this rapid for wood.

Below here the river mellows out and there are some long flat water stretches that are punctuated by a couple of very narrow slots. Be careful down here as a boat or wood could wedge in one of the slots pretty easily. The last drop is right above the Woodruff bridge takeout and can be seen from the bridge before hand. Here the river divides around a rocky island. The left channel drops into a gnarly undercut visible from the takeout bridge but the right side swings around and plunges over a really nice six foot ledge that is a perfect way to finish this run!

Hazards
Use caution around Knob Falls. Karma can be scouted along the left bank. At higher water the pools between drops can be short and swift.

How to get there
Take-out
To get to the take-out, take Oregon 62 east from Medford towards Lost Creek Lake and Prospect. Continue past Prospect another 6.25 miles and turn left on FR 64; following the signs to Woodruff Campground. The take-out is at the bridge over the NF Rogue 1.8 miles from Oregon 62.

Put-in
To reach the put-in return to Oregon 62 and turn left. Travel 3.5 miles and turn left at the signs for Natural Bridge Park. The put-in is down a short trail on the right side of the river just downstream of the pedestrian bridge. Note: There is no established access at this point so be discreet. Access could be closed if conflicts arise with other park users or park staff.

Gauge
Rogue River at Lost Creek Dam(inflow) gauge
Generally half of the inflow to Lost Creek Reservoir is a good indicator of the water level on this run.

More Info
Check out Jason's description of this run.

Photo Gallery

Class 5 above the put-in Looking Downstream from the bridge at the put-in Karma Knob Falls 2nd to last slot
Class 5 above the put-in Looking Downstream from the bridge at the put-in Karma Knob Falls 2nd to last slot