While jogging along the Rogue River, I saw a bunch of curious ground squirrels. This little guy stopped and posed for pictures, trying to figure out what I was doing, before I decided to move on.
Steelhead, salmon, black bear, river otter, black-tail deer, bald eagles, osprey, Chinook salmon, great blue heron, water ouzel, and Canada geese are common along the river, more so in the remote areas.
With around 30,000 people Grants Pass is the largest town along the Rogue River Valley. Named after Civil War General and later President Ulysses Grant, the town's top attraction is the tourism generated from the river and the recreational opportunities it offers. White water rafting on the Rogue is popular, as is fishing.
We stayed at the Valley of the Rogue State Park, just 12 miles from Grants Pass, but this town is large enough to offer all kinds of camping supplies we needed from food to tarps and firewood.
After a night at the campground, I wanted to go for a run, and I decided to check out the trail along the river. The ranger at the campground said it eventually turned to pavement, and followed the river about four miles to the town of Rogue River.
The fist mile of the path from the campground is a very narrow dirt trail following along the very edge of the river. It is not fabulous for running unless you take it easy, watching for other walkers, roots, and ruts in the trail. Along this stretch you will pass all of the camping areas at the Valley of the Rogue State Park. After the last camping area, the trail moves a little further from the water and become a dirt and gravel road along some farms, paralleling the Interstate. Here I saw a bunch of cattle and some ground squirrels. After perhaps a mile the dirt road becomes a beautiful new blacktop path built to follow the contours of the land with numerous turns and small hills.
The trail is great for running, walking, biking and more.
We did dinner and breakfast at the campsite. Our dinner consisted of hamburgers with baked beans, and breakfast was scrambled eggs, potatoes, and perhaps ham if I remember correctly. We bought firewood at a Wal-Mart, but I think the camp also has firewood for overnight guests. The fire rings are pretty good at Valley of the Rogue, except the grill surfaces don't move meaning it is hard to get the fire under the grill, and once it's burning you can't adjust the cooking temperature except by moving your pots toward the edge of the ring (rather than up and down). For cleaning dishes and cooking utensils I usually bring some dish soap and I grab a 2.5 gallon jug of water with the little tap.