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Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Located in southwestern Oregon, along the California/Oregon state line, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest ranges from the crest of the Cascade Mountains west into the Siskiyou Mountains and nearly to the Pacific Ocean.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest embraces a treasure of botanical diversity, and is home to incredible wild and scenic rivers (more than 200 miles), isolated wildernesses (324,000 acres), outstanding fisheries and wildlife resources, and breath-taking landscapes of mountains, meadows, streams, and lakes.

Recreational opportunities abound on the Forest, from white water rafting to wildernesscamping, from lake and stream fishing to snowmobiling. Hundreds of miles of trails welcome users of all types and abilities - wheelchairs, horses, bicycles, motorcycles, snow-mobiles, cross-country and downhill skiers, and hikers. Camping facilities, boat ramps, picnic areas, and cabin and fire look-out rentals are available seasonally, some under rental or use fees.

The Rogue River area covers 630,000 acres, and about 53,800 of those acres are in California. The Rogue River includes portions of three Wildernesses (Red Buttes, Rogue-Umpqua Divide, and Sky Lakes), and one Wild and Scenic River (Upper Rogue).

The Rogue River National Forest (until 1932 called the Crater National Forest) was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. The name Rogue River commemorates the Takelma Indians, whose defense of their homeland led early day French-Canadian trappers to call them les Coquins, "the Rogues."

The forest itself is composed of two separate areas of land: the Cascade Mountain and Siskiyou Mountain zones.

The Siskiyou area of this National Forest covers 1,094, 000 acres. Again, about 38,000 acres are in California. The Siskiyou area encompasses the entire Grassy Knob and Kalmiopsis Wildernesses, and shares the management of three more: Red Buttes. Siskiyou, and Wild Rogue. The Siskiyou area is also home to five Wild and Scenic Rivers: Chetco, Elk, Illinois, North Fork Smith, and Rogue. The name Siskiyou is a Cree Indian word for bob-tailed horse (bestowed in 1828by French Canadians working for the Hudson Bay Company).

The Siskiyou area embodies the most complex soils, geology, landscape, and plant communities in the Pacific Northwest. World-class wild rivers, biological diversity, remarkable fisheries resources, and complex watersheds define the Siskiyou. The Siskiyou is the most floristically diverse National Forest in the country with some extraordinary botanical resources.

First-timer’s Adventure

Rafting the Rogue River is one of the best ways to experience the region. Mild weather and great flows mean world-class rafting for a day, an afternoon or a multi-day adventure. See the steep canyon walls that cut through coastal forests as you ride the class III waves. You can easily find an outfitter in Grants Pass, Oregon, to take you and the family.

Statistics

State(s):

California, Oregon

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Medford, OR

Notes & Conditions:

Check out nwhiker.com or the Forest Service conditions page for up-to-date road, weather or recreation conditions.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Permits, Passes and Fees:

Like many Northwest National Forests, many activities, or parking for them, require aNorthwest Forest Pass.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.