With the snow and rain Ashland, Oregon, has received over the past two weeks it’s no wonder rafting companies throughout the Rogue Valley are already predicting stellar seasons. It might seem early, but rafting season is only a month and a half away. Ashland is the hub for whitewater rafting in the west. With dozens of rivers and creeks all within an easy drive of town, it’s no wonder so many life-long guides and river people call Ashland home.
Two weekends ago a group from the Ashland area ran the famous Illinois River, which is a tributary of the Rogue River. The Illinois is one of the best multi-day rafting trips in the country. With challenging whitewater that rolls on for eternity, the Illinois has long been deemed the crown jewel of multi-day class IV and V in Oregon. The whitewater is, however, topped by the beauty of the river canyon. The Illinois flows through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area – a massive piece of land with no roads, towns, or cell phone towers. The Wilderness Area, coupled with the Illinois River’s status as a “Wild & Scenic River”, also adds protection to the river canyon and will forever keep the Illinois watershed healthy and pristine.
Here’s a video of one of their runs through Green Wall, the Illinois’ most challenging rapid:
The closest rafting to Ashland is on the Upper Rogue River near Gold Hill. These trips are typically a half-day in length with a morning or afternoon option. Indigo Creek Outfitters, based out of Ashland, offers these trips from April 16 to the end of September. Call them at 541-203-0222 to learn more.