Mapping Muggers Alley

Mapping Muggers Alley

GOLD HILL — Rafting guide Covey Baack normally makes his living floating Rogue River rapids while avoiding the rocks, but this time he's intentionally getting himself stuck in ominously named Muggers Alley.

Technician Travis Forsman leans perilously forward out of the raft, jabbing a GPS transmitter into the rapid, feeling for the bottom to get an accurate altitude reading.

"Right now the plan is to get close to the rocks, real close," says Baack, of Gold Hill.

This.....

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5 summer-end adventures

5 summer-end adventures

1. Crater Lake plunge

After a long, hot day of work, Shawn Reinhardt likes nothing better than a 20-foot jump off a rocky cliff into his favorite swimming hole, butterflies in his belly and all.

"No matter how many times I've done it, there's always a little anxiety," Reinhardt says. "It definitely takes a little bit of courage.

"But you don't have to worry about hitting the bottom," he says.

Hitting bottom is never a concern when you're swimming in...

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Afternoon fishing closure lifted on Rogue River

Afternoon salmon and steelhead anglers returned to most of the Rogue River Thursday when an emergency fishing closure triggered by the drought was lifted after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dumping more water into the river.

At the request of state fish biologists, the Corps increased outflows from Lost Creek Lake into the upper Rogue by 16 percent, enough to exempt a 120-mile section of the Rogue from the 2 p.m. statewide fishing closure enacted July 17.

The higher,...

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Rogue flows won't increase until salmon move

Rafters, jetboaters and anglers will have to wait until the Rogue River's fall chinook salmon start migrating upstream en masse before they see a rise in river flows that have been lowered by drought.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife researchers pulling a seine through the Rogue at Huntley Park upstream of Gold Beach Monday captured just one fall chinook, keeping ODFW from pulling the trigger on a scheduled water increase. If they had found more chinook during their survey,...

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Proposed Gold Hill whitewater park gets $90,000 for engineering study

Proposed Gold Hill whitewater park gets $90,000 for engineering study

GOLD HILL — Backers floating a proposed world-class whitewater park in Gold Hill hope to turn their ideas into actual designs this fall as they begin crafting where and how to add whitewater features to a Rogue River rapid near city limits.

The Gold Hill Whitewater Park took a big step closer to reality this week when the Oregon Legislature agreed to give organizers $90,000 toward an engineering study needed to design how to transform the former Powerhouse Rapids stretch into a.....

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Boat on your back

Boat on your back

 POLEBRIDGE - Not to sell Quartz Lake short, but as Glacier National Park destinations go, it's tough to love.

The six-mile trail from Bowman Lake Campground offers no views of Bowman Lake or Quartz as it bores through the forest.

Even when it hits a massive fire scar on the south side of Quartz Ridge, new lodgepole growth blocks most of the vista. And once you finally reach the beach and its admittedly elegant perspective of Vulture Peak, that's the end of the...

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Summer rafting: Riding the wild Rogue River

Summer rafting: Riding the wild Rogue River

Rafting and boating options abound on the Rogue River, from leisurely floats to white-knuckle whitewater adventures.

On the upper Rogue, the town of Shady Cove is a top destination for rafters with their own gear or those who want to rent a raft or inflatable kayak for the day.

Rental companies typically shuttle customers upstream to just below a fish hatchery near Lost Creek Dam to a put-in point on the river. About three hours later, customers arrive back at Shady...

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Go with the (low) flow

Go with the (low) flow

GOLD HILL — One of the wrinkles Rogue River boaters may discover during this year's summer rafting season involves the aptly named "Monkey Fist" rock that comes into play when rowing down the famed Nugget Falls.

Guides steering from the rear of rafts normally have their customers row hard in front as they slide just over this chunk of basalt that's barely under the river's surface. While doing so, it gooses the guide upward in the rowing seat. The up-front customers get their...

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Rafters speed down the rampaging Rogue River

Will Volpert, Aaron Lieberman and Hunter Connolly say they're not crazy. They just wanted to experience the full force of the Rogue River, which raged at flood stage by the time they got done with their 4 1/2-hour express raft trip Saturday afternoon at Foster Bar near Agness.

It's typically a two- or three-day excursion in summer, covering 35 miles.

They even arrived before their shuttle driver, as they careened down the mocha-colored, frothing, log-laden mess of a...

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Surf City

Surf City

As last week's warm rains pounded Southern Oregon, Medford's Ryan Allred and his gonzo kayak buddies of yore kept a close eye on the Bear Creek stream gauges to see whether Medford would once again turn into Surf City.

The normally staid and largely polluted creek is usually not much of an attraction for world-class kayakers, whose main obstacles are drowned shopping carts and escaping without a case of Hepatitis C.

But when the water roars like it did Saturday, Bear Creek's...

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