YOU’VE READ OUR guide to the state’s best rivers; now you need to know the best lodges, cottages, and cabins to complement your river adventure.
Location Three hundred yards downriver from Lower Black Bar Falls, Black Bar Lodge is nine miles from Grave Creek Bridge, which is the start of Wild and Scenic Area. Black Bar Lodge is only accessible by the river and Rogue River Trail.
Rates $120 rafters; $130 hikers
Contact 541.479.6507; blackbarlodge.net
Built in the early 1930’s by miners as a getaway for Tom Orderman, a Portland attorney and friend of Zane Grey, Black Bar Lodge is the first overnight stop for many hikers and paddlers making multi-day journeys down the Rogue. In fact, owners John and Vanessa James and their daughter Rheanna, host up to 4,500 visitors per year in the lodge’s two rooms and sixteen cabins. You’ll bump elbows with a few of them at the family-style dinners and country breakfasts each day. Just be sure to keep your flashlight nearby if you plan to spin yarns into the wee hours with your new friends because the lights go out at 10 p.m., when the generator is turned off for the night.
Location Twenty-three miles from Grave Creek Bridge, Marial Lodge is three miles upriver from Blossom Bar and Devil’s Staircase Rapids.
Just one mile upriver from this 11-room lodge, sits the gold-mining community of Marial, for which the lodge’s founder, Marial Billings, was named. At the national historic site, you can tour the remains of the one hundred-member community, including the blacksmith shop and tabernacle. Head back to the lodge for a hearty family-style dinner prepared by owners Pat Cameron and his wife Lori before curling up for bed and rising early to mine the river’s real treasure: the fish.
Location Paradise Lodge is 26 miles from Grave Creek Bridge, just past Blossom Bar. It is accessible by the river, Rogue River Trail, or a helicopter.
Rates $145 (includes two meals, for rafters) $160 (three meals, jetboats and hikers)
Contact 1.888.667.6483; 541.842.2822; paradise-lodge.com
With no phones or televisions anywhere on the lodge’s eighty-five riverside acres, you’ll enjoy the same feeling of remoteness as Charles Pettinger when he bought the land in 1903. Hike up to Deak’s Peak, named after Deak Miller who built the main lodge in 1959, for an aerial view of the lodge. Then restore weary muscles with a dip in the sauna and a few sips of a local wine on the deck overlooking the river.
Location Clay Hill Lodge is located thirty miles downriver from Grave Creek. It is accessible by the Rogue River trail and the river.
Contact 503.859.3772; clayhilllodge.com
The last public lodge on the Wild and Scenic portion of the Rogue, Clay Hill was once owned by Glen Wooldridge, a boatmaker and guide who was the first person to successfully run the river from Grants Pass to Gold Beach in 1915 (and thirty-two years later he was the first person to run the river upstream in a motorized boat). In his 19-year tenure as owner (from 1942 to 1961), Wooldridge hosted such guests as Herbert Hoover, Clark Gable, and Ginger Rogers. The building was completely remodeled by new owners in 2002, who hope to eventually restore the original homestead, and still attracts visitors from as far as the Netherlands and Germany to spend the night.
Location 94966 North Bank Rogue River Road, Gold Beach
Rates from $125
Contact 541.247.7100; rogueriverlodge.com
A stunning example of DIY and green lodging, the Rogue River Lodge’s 2005 remodel was done using reclaimed Port Orford Cedar from the ocean and Biscuit Fire of 2004. What’s more owner Mark Stewart milled the wood himself. Renovations were completed in 2007, and today almost all of the lodge’s suites have private gardens and sweeping views of the river—and most also have their own hot tub.
Location 8500 Galice Road, Merlin
Contact 800.826.1963; morrisonslodge.com
This historic fishing lodge, built in 1945 by river guide Lloyd Morrison, has expanded to a full-service resort coupling rustic river activities with modern amenities. Take a dip in the heated pool or bask in the glow of your room’s cable tv after a day spent fishing or hiking along the river. The Hanten family has owned and operated the lodge since 1964 and were one of the first to run rafting trips down the river in the ’70s. Their gourmet four-course dinners, featured in Bon Appétit twice, are served nightly on the deck, accompanied by unbeatable river views.
Location 5560 Rogue River Hwy, Grants Pass
Contact 541.471.8000; weasku.com
Five miles outside Grants Pass, the inn is your retreat along the Rogue. Built in 1924, Weasku has seen its fair share of celebrity guests: Request lodge room four to stay where Clark Gable and Carol Lombard once did, or ask to sleep where Walt Disney once dreamed (in colorful animation, no doubt). But if you want truly luxurious celebrity treatment, reserve a Jacuzzi suite with a river rock fireplace and private deck.