Guidebook Title

Takilma Gorge Title
(Woodruff Campground to River Bridge Campground)

Takilma Gorge Info BoxThe 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.

River Description(Kayak/Canoe/Raft)
From the put-in, the run is scenic but flat for a mile before boaters enter the gorge. The first rapid, Entrance, is straight-forward and marks the last realistic chance to exit the river before running the gorge.

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.

Vertical walls make escape from the gorge virtually impossible except by running the rapids. For this reason, the entire gorge should be scouted before committing to the run. This is most easily done by hiking downriver from the put-in on a good trail. When you are peering down into the gorge from thirty feet up it is difficult to estimate the size of the holes- stuff that looks inconsequential from above certainly doesn't feel that way when you are in it! Number One can be dangerous at low water; scout carefully and set safety on the left at the second ledge.

How to get there
To get to the take-out, drive an hour north from Medford on Oregon 62 past Lost Creek Lake until you see signs for the turnoff to Prospect. Continue on Hwy. 62 past the Prospect Ranger Station 3.8 miles to the sign "RIVER BRIDGE CAMPGROUND." Turn left and drive 1 mile to the river.

To reach the put-in return to Oregon 62 and turn left. Travel 2.2 miles and turn left on FR 64; following the signs to Woodruff Campground. The put-in is at the bridge over the NF Rogue 1.8 miles from Oregon 62.

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

Entrance to the Gorge(#1) Looking down into Number 2
Entrance to the Gorge(#1) Looking down into Number 2