Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of Oregon’s Rogue River

O.A.R.S. Guide Nicole Smedegaard Shares What Makes a Rogue River Rafting Adventure Worth the Trip

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of the Rogue River

There may be no other guide more intimate with the Rogue River region than Nicole Smedegaard, who grew up just outside of the river’s namesake town.  And while she didn’t spend much time rafting as a kid, later on when she missed the area, she decided guiding on the Wild & Scenic Rogue would be the best way to immerse herself in the forest and ecosystem that was so close to her heart. She also wanted to help others appreciate the uniqueness and the beauty of the area, and in 2012, she joined O.A.R.S. to do just that. From the best rapid to where to spot bears, Nicole reveals some of the secrets of the Rogue…

Who Should Go Rogue?

“It’s really best for people who want to learn to row or paddle a kayak. It’s challenging, but friendly and forgiving at the same time. And it’s also really great for people who enjoy wildlife viewing. There’s a lot of different species.”

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of the Rogue River

Wild Rapid

“Devil’s Staircase is the most fun. It’s just a huge wave train. The second half of it you can swim. The waves will crash over your head and everything.”

Best Side Hikes

“I really like Stair Creek Falls after Mule Creek Canyon. You can scramble up the wall and get to the second falls, as well.  And another really good one is Mule Creek itself. You can hike up to the confluence of the Forks of Mule Creek and then there’s a really beautiful little slot canyon that you can canyoneer in and slide down the pools.”

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of the Rogue River

Camp Shenanigans

“One of my friends introduced us to butt darts. Everyone starts laughing so hysterically that they usually can’t even complete the game. You put a rock between your butt cheeks—on the outside of your clothing!—and you and another person compete to see who can walk across the chair circle the fastest and deposit the rock in a container of some kind. It takes a certain kind of group to really appreciate butt darts.”

Bear Sightings

“The lower canyon. That’s where you’re going to see the most bears. It’s also really populated with bald eagles and lots of osprey.”

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of the Rogue River

Post-trip Cravings

“There’s this spot in Merlin called Baldini’s. It’s Italian…pizza (and burgers). It’s close and they have a kitchen that’s open late. So when we’re done de-rigging we can roll down there and get something to eat.”

 

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