The Takilma Gorge section of the North Fork of the Rogue river is short but fun, with year-round flows and great rapids. Don't be deceived by the mild gradient, the gorge has a gradient over 100 fpm with several difficult rapids and sheer walls on both sides. Climbing out of the gorge is next to impossible.
The major rapids in the gorge are named Number One-Number Five. Number One is a steep drop over 2 river-wide ledges. At high water the ledges produce big holes while at low water the second ledge has a funky hydraulic in the middle and a narrow slot on the left and right. Several hundred yards downstream is Number Two; a relatively easy drop that pushes against the right wall a bit. Below Two the river slows a bit above Number Three, which is complicated by a riverwide log just above it. The log can be portaged pretty easily through the huge undercut in the wall on the right. Below the portage you launch directly at the top of Number Three, which has a few big boulders blocking the main flow and then a river-wide L shaped ledge. This ledge must be run either far left or right because in the middle of the L there is a large pothole/cave that has been explored by a few paddlers. There is currently a large log vertically pinned in the pothole, so you know exactly where NOT to go!
Below here is another pool above Number Four rapid, which is difficult to scout from the top of the gorge but can be scouted (but not portaged!) from river level on the left. This three-part rapid develops a couple powerful holes at high flows. A swim in Number Four would result in a long swim through the rest of the gorge (and rapid Number Five) as the walls are totally vertical here. Boaters finish the gorge by running through some big hydraulics and twisty moves in Number Five.
How to get there