Rogue River trail from Grave Creek Trailhead

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Rogue River trail from Grave Creek Trailhead

Post by Packandfish » April 4th, 2021, 8:16 am

This is my first trail report so please let me know if I should add anything to future posts!

My pup and I did a 3 night backpack on the Rogue River trail from Grave Creek starting March 31st. This was my first time on this trail and I was blown away!

We had to leave late Wednesday and arrived at the trailhead around 4pm. We hiked the 1.8 miles to Rainie Falls and passed a couple of hikers. There were lots of beautiful wildflowers along the cliffs. That first stretch is pretty open and rocky and it was almost too warm in the sun, a pleasant feeling in March/April. There was lots of poison oak by the trail but it is just starting to sprout leaves so it was very easy to avoid. We camped at a nice sandy spot at Rainie Falls. There was no one else to be seen or heard, but I could smell a campfire from others down the way. There were tons of fish jumping, from small to large. Saw a kingfisher and water fowl of various types.

The next day we hiked to Bunker Creek at 8.9 miles. There was more tree coverage but there were rocky stretches of the trail. I saw many lizards, including some gorgeous Western Skinks. Different wildflowers in the riparian zones which I have yet to identify, including an amazing orchid (I think) emerging from the soil. Pictures included. There were a few downed logs, but nothing too hard to navigate. There were a few groups of backpackers and a solo photographer at Whiskey Creek, but I only passed one solo backpacker headed back past that point. We camped at the site on the East side of Bunker Creek. There was a nice spot for a hammock by the Creek. The tent site is small and rocky. There is an easy walk down to the river - just an incredible spot. There were tons of ticks here, though. I picked no fewer than 5 crawlers off my dog and she had a couple attached that had died from her flea and tick meds. I found a few (luckily unattached) in my clothes.

I was planning a day hike the third day but my old pup’s paws were sore from the rocks and I was feeling sore after a lazy winter so we headed back East to big slide. There is a toilet here and lots of trees for a hammock, but you either need to scramble down a sketchy cliff to the river or hike a half mile to get water. We spent a peaceful and quiet afternoon in the sun with only 3 groups of backpackers passing by. I saw a big trout jump at least a foot out of the water four times in a row. At twilight the frogs started singing and the bats were feasting on bugs. I saw only 1 or 2 mosquitoes.

The hike out Saturday was equally peaceful and beautiful.

tldr: a great time of year for this hike - the weather was perfect, there were lots of wildflowers, few mosquitoes, and the poison oak isn’t bad yet. No rattlesnakes seen. Ticks were the only downside. If you take a dog, consider booties for the rocks. When I go again in the future I will go a bit earlier before trout fishing closes from March 31st to May 22nd and bring a pole.

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Re: Rogue River trail from Grave Creek Trailhead

Post by adamschneider » April 4th, 2021, 8:55 am

The flower pushing its way up through the soil is a ground-cone (Kopsiopsis).

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Re: Rogue River trail from Grave Creek Trailhead

Post by retired jerry » April 4th, 2021, 9:24 am

nice report, pictures, thanks

I agree, that's a great hike. I go about once a year, usually a couple months earlier

I've never seen any poison oak there. Once, we put our sleeping bag on this bush with no leaves. Someone pointed out that was a poison oak bush. oops...

I've got a few ticks there too, even a couple months earlier when there aren't as many

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Re: Rogue River trail from Grave Creek Trailhead

Post by Packandfish » April 6th, 2021, 5:50 am

adamschneider wrote:
April 4th, 2021, 8:55 am
The flower pushing its way up through the soil is a ground-cone (Kopsiopsis).
Thanks for the info. That is a fascinating plant!

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