Oregon's Wild Rogue Backpacking Route Restored

Mountain club rebuilds 25-mile loop in Oregon.
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Mountain club rebuilds 25-mile loop in Oregon.
Wild Rogue Wilderness

Part of the Wild Rogue Wilderness, through which the restored trail travels. (Photo by Bureau of Land Management/Flickr)

The Wild Rogue Loop, a 25-mile backpacking route in southwest Oregon, has been restored and reopened.

The route is located in the Wild Rogue Wilderness and was rebuilt by the Siskiyou Mountain Club, a nonprofit that repaired three damaged trails this summer.

Wild Rogue traverses the most famous parts of the Rogue River canyon, and also explores less famous sections of the 35,818-acre wilderness.

Gabe Howe, the executive director of the Siskiyou Mountain Club, said the route “offers the best and least-visited features of this famous wilderness area, and there's something new with each turn…There's pristine gorges, virgin old-growth and a strikingly unique and beautiful landscape you just can't find anywhere else.”

It combines the Rogue River, Clay Hill, Panther Ridge, and Mule Creek trails, beginning and ending in the town of Marial.

Howe said some of the motivation for restoring the route came from wanting to offer backpackers a more “wilderness-focused alternative” to the 40-mile Rogue River Trail, which is extremely popular among rafters in the summer.

Howe believes that the Lower Rogue has become over-developed, which is why he says restoring this trail was extremely important. The route can be traversed during any season (winter weather permitting), and its highest point is Hanging Rock at 4,200 feet.