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MailTribune.com
  • Options abound for riding the Rogue River

  • Rafting options abound along the Rogue River, from family-friendly do-it-yourself outings on the river's upper stretches to guided multiday trips through remote whitewater.
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  • Rafting options abound along the Rogue River, from family-friendly do-it-yourself outings on the river's upper stretches to guided multiday trips through remote whitewater.
    Shady Cove is the destination for many beginner and experienced rafters who want to navigate the relatively gentle waters of the upper Rogue.
    Rapid Pleasure Rafting Co. is among the many Shady Cove businesses that rent rafts and inflatable kayaks, often called Tahitis.
    From Shady Cove, the company shuttles customers upstream to a fish hatchery near Lost Creek Dam to a put-in point on the river. Three hours of floating and paddling later, customers arrive back at Shady Cove and their vehicles.
    "It's a lot of fun and very popular," said Carolee Enriquez, co-owner of Rapid Pleasure Rafting.
    Rafters need to pick a line down the river, such as when the river splits around an island, and avoid overhanging trees along the banks, she said.
    "We equate it to driving a car. You have to look where you're going," Enriquez said.
    A one-person inflatable kayak rents for $20, while a raft for two to four people rents for $50 and up. Prices include paddles, lifejackets and the shuttle service. Rafts for larger parties of five to nine people rent for $70 and up through Rapid Pleasure Rafting.
    Shady Cove charges a $3 tax for each floating device, which is not included in the price.
    Several rafting companies in Jackson and Josephine counties rent rafts and offer guided trips on the middle Rogue.
    A popular alternative to rafting is to take a jetboat trip, especially when entertaining out-of-town guests.
    Without any special gear except for a jacket to ward off the chill of speeding along the water, customers can step onto the jetboats and relax.
    Hellgate Jetboat Excursions in Grants Pass offers options from two-hour scenic outings to five-hour whitewater adventures to trips that include stops for meals. Prices start at $40 per adult.
    Rogue Jet Boat Adventures operates in the area near the iconic Table Rocks. For details of their services, see www.roguejetadventures.com or call 541-414-4182.
    Whitewater rapids abound on the lower Rogue, where rafters can enjoy rugged canyon scenery and rent equipment from many businesses in Merlin and Galice.
    Merlin-based Rogue Wilderness Adventures rents kayaks, rafts and other equipment.
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