Road Trippin' : Taking in the Gorge
It's an unmistakable sound, water flowing through the Gorge on the Rogue River. It’s a spot tourists and locals alike flock to.
“It's very popular, this and Union Creek and Natural Bridge that's a little further down 62. All three spots are pretty popular,” Rita Kivett with the U.S. Forest Service says.
Right off Highway 62, the forest service says the site pieces together the story of the Rogue River.
The Forest Service says the river once flowed hundreds of feet below where the Gorge currently is. Nearly seven thousand years ago, Mount Mazama, which is now considered Crater Lake exploded. Lava flowed right through this area and after it cooled, the Rogue River found its way here. The Gorge was likely formed by the collapse of lava tubes from the force of the river.
In the 1860s, Rogue Valley settlers built a wagon road close by and many of them stopped to view the Gorge. When Crater Lake became a famous spot, during the 1920s, a paved highway to the lake was built and many tourists stopped by to check out the Gorge.
“It's a really pretty site and it's easy to access, there's sidewalk available, so it's a really easy walk for anybody,” Kivett says.
Field ranger Rita Kivett says another plus for those wanting to explore is the local hiking trail.
“The main one is the Upper Rogue River Trail; the Gorge and Natural Bridge are in between and the trail connects all three of those sites. If you wanted to, you could start here and hike all the way down to Natural Bridge,” Kivett says.