Hiking Through Oregon’s History
Hiking Oregon’s Rogue River trail with White Water Warehouse owner and trail guide, Bob Meister, is more than a trek; it is a history lesson. The 43-mile hike lasts for 4 days and 3 nights and winds through some of southern Oregon’s richest back country historical and ecological sites.
“The Rogue River-Siskiyou mountain range hike is not only stunningly beautiful but also home to some incredible moments in history. Hikers have a chance to live history by standing on sites where local Indian battles took place, they will discover the ruins of homes where neighbors shot and killed each other over gold mining claims, and even walk through old homesteads where home owners would spend winter months snowed in waiting for food and rations to arrive by wagons coming over the mountains,” says Meister. Even the start of the Rogue River trail is historic. The trail head is named after the grave of Martha Leland Crowley, a daughter of a pioneer couple. Martha was buried under an oak tree near the creek in 1846.
As the 40-plus mile trek continues, the trail often shadows the famous wild and scenic Rogue River. Scientists have described this area as one of the most plant diverse ecosystems in the United States–rivaled only by the Great Smokey Mountains. “This hiking experience is like no other…and I have hiked all over the world,” says guide Jim Jackson. “You walk through all the glories of nature on the Rogue-Siskiyou trail. The diverse ecosystems are incredible. Hikers see rocky, dry areas, rain forests that are home to some of the most sensitive plants in the world, eye-popping fields of wildflowers, and fragrant wild azaleas lining the riverbanks. It is breath-taking.”
The trail hiking season is May through mid-June (because of the moderate temperatures at this time of year). A chain of three rustic fishing lodges conveniently spaced a day’s walk apart along the Rogue River makes possible a style of hiking that’s the norm in much of the rest of the world but somehow not see in this country: inn-to-inn walking.
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