Rough Rider Falls (Upper Rogue River Trail)

Rating (Out of 5): 4.5

Location: Near Crater Lake National Park/Diamond Lake

Distance: 8.4 miles one-way; 8 miles round-trip from Haymaker Campground

Difficulty: Moderate

Camping: Yes along trail

Quick hit: The stretch of trail from the Mazama View Point to Haymaker Campground might be the most spectacular on the entire upper Rogue River Trail. There are two major waterfalls as well as excellent places to enjoy the Rogue River in its youth — Boundary Springs, the river’s headwaters is just a few miles upstream — running through a pine forest.

If hiking one-way, it’s best to start at Mazama Viewpoint off Highway 230. If you’re hoping for an out-and-back hike to Rough Rider Falls, begin at Haymaker Campground which also is off Highway 230.

From Mazama Viewpoint trailhead, the trail runs through a pine forest, passes the cutoff to Boundary Springs, and reaches an access point with the Rogue River after about 1.5 miles. The trail then heads uphill and stays high above the river as its drops into a large ash-grey canyon. The trail crosses some impressive views and Castle Creek before dropping back to a the most beautiful area of the trail at about the 4 mile mark.

Rough Rider Falls is at about the 4.4 mile mark and is impossible to miss. The large 60-foot falls drops across mossy boulders. To get the best view, you must scramble off the main trail to a nice spot at the falls’ base.

Beyond Rough Rider Falls — or, if you’re coming from Haymaker Campground — the trail stays closer to the Rogue and passes another impressed unnamed falls. Overall, this is an excellent hike.

Directions: From Medford, follow Highway 62 toward Crater Lake National Park. Instead of turning off, continue straight onto Highway 230 toward Diamond Lake. There are signs for both Haymaker Campground (the lower trailhead) and Mazama View Point, which is a pullout on the right side of the highway near mile marker 18.

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