No shuttle, no permits, no fuss. Just one of the top three loops in SW Oregon.”
— Gabe Howe
The drive in and the highest points of this route are at a transient snow level, so watch the snow depth.
This 25 mile loop provides access into the interior of the 35,000-acre Wild Rogue Wilderness Area, and also features the most enchanting section of the Wild Rogue River itself, popular among rafters and visitors on foot.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Need to Know
There are two wet creek crossings which could be dangerous and impassable at flood stages. Referring to a map is essential. There's great car camping at Tucker Flat. No services for days.
No perennial water between the headwaters of Mule Creek and Thomas Homestead on Clay Hill Trail.
There are five trailheads, but the best one to use is the one near the Tucker Flat Campground. Start and end from the Mule Creek Trailhead at Tucker Flat Campground. Run the loop counter clockwise to make a more subtle ascent to Panther Ridge. That way you'll know whether or not the wet stream crossings are safe to cross in the first few hours of your day rather than the last few hours of your day.
Start with the ascent along Mule Creek's pristine gorges to its headwaters. From there, roller coaster through contiguous old growth stands along Panther Ridge Trail
#1253 and connect with the Rogue River National Recreation Trail
via the Clay Hill Trail #1160A
Use the Powers and Gold Beach Districts Map. Other maps may omit the Clay Hill Trail.
Flora & Fauna
The Wild Rogue is definitive of the area's rich biodiversity. You'll find yourself on harsh, serpentine slopes, rich coastal forests, and black oak meadows.
History & Background
These routes were used by indigenous peoples with a rich history. Before Lewis & Clark both Takelma and Athabascan speaking tribes inhabited the Rogue before the Rogue Indian Wars in the 1850s. The trails were used by early miners, but were properly engineered and built by Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps.