Illinois River

I’d like to go down the Illinois River in Southern Oregon sometime this June.
The best time to go is ‘March through to mid-May’, according to the review on, so if it doesn’t happen this year I’d like to find other people interested in going down it next year (2017).
I’d be interested in doing both segments (Highway 199 to Miami Bar, and Miami Bar to Oak Flat) or just one segment.
Here’s a link to the American Whitewater Association’s review:

Me: 43-year-old with some local packrafting experience on the Rogue and Klamath Rivers. I was a medic with 2nd Ranger Battalion for a few years, so I have some experience with wilderness medicine. I’m also a Registered Nurse and a paramedic. That said, I’m not planning on taking my aid bag, but if you drown I know CPR…

This is a short video of me going down the Wild & Scenic section of the Rogue River earlier this year:

My gear: Alpacka Mule packraft and inflation sack. Astral Ronny PFD. Aqua-Bound Stingray 4-piece paddle. Bern Macon helmet. SealLine 105 liter dry bag. Marmot Trestles sleeping bag. Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody and a beanie (for sleeping in). Therm-a-Rest Z sleeping mat. Primus and noodles. Two Nalgenes for water. Dri-towel. Change of clothes/shoes. Headlamp. Glow-stick. Emergency blanket (doubles as tarp). Gopro Hero2. Off! Deep Woods Dry. GPS watch.

It would be great to find at least one other person to facilitate a car shuttle. One of us park at Agness, at the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue Rivers. The other park at the put-in point near Selma.

Length: First part is 16.4 miles, second section is 31 miles. So, potentially 47.4 miles.

Time: A long weekend (Friday or Saturday through to Sunday or Monday). It’s do-able in two-days.

Difficulty: Intense. On the Miami Bar to Oak Flat section there is a Class V rapid called The Green Wall. People have drowned on this section of the Illinois River. The area is very remote. The road to the put-in point at Miami Bar is one of the worst roads I’ve ever driven on. It snakes around the edge of steep mountainsides and then descends to pot-hole ridden dirt roads. I did it in my Subaru Outback, but it’s bumpy and rough going. Once you’ve launched at Miami Bar you’re on your own. There’s no cell phone reception. No roads. Even the trail only comes close to the river in a few places then deviates away. The Class IV and Class V rapids are difficult to portage. This would be a really challenging run. Then there’s also black bear, cougar, ticks and rattle snakes. But the scenery is amazing. The water is a beautiful turquoise color, not like the Rogue, which is more of a greenish brown. Look on YouTube for ‘Green Wall Illinois River’ and check out the various clips of rafts getting flipped.

If you’re interested, message me with some info about yourself and your experience, and dates for availability.


  • Paul