The Illinois River
Southern Oregon's Illinois River may very well be the best overnight rafting trip in the American West. It's located in a pine forest, with crystal clear water, breathtaking waterfalls, and fun Class IV rapids. It is not as well known as other rivers because there is no dam above it to control the flow of water. That means that it is usually done in the spring aft0er a rainstorm when the weather is cold.
If you've timed it right and made it to put-in on the Illinois with adequate water, you're in for a treat. The trip starts off with some great warm up rapids and pleasant scenery. Most places that you stop will have some sort of unique wildflowers to brighten up your day.
Featured Illinois River Outfitters
Sundance Kayak School (541) 386-1725 offers world class four day advanced kayak schools on the Illinois River every April and May. The also offer beginer and intermediate schools on the Rogue River.
The rapids will increase in difficulty as your trips goes on and they climax with Green Wall, a solid Class V rapid. This is a long, complex rapid with a wall (that happens to be green) on the right side. You definitely want to scout this one. Below Green Wall are a number of solid Class IV and IV+ rapids in quick succession.
There is incredible camping below here with side creeks and waterfalls around every turn. If you're on the Illinois River after a recent rainstorm, the waterfalls will be countless to all except mathematical wizards.
The Illinois is a tributary to the Rogue River and you can float it all the way to the Rogue or take out on the banks of the Illinois at Lower Oak Flat a few miles above the confluence.
Note: The Illinois can be dangerous after recent rainstorms due to flash flooding. Please be aware of the upcoming weather conditions and current river flows before your trip.