Jet boat rides on the Rogue

Rogue Valley summers can be hot and dry. Often, folks find relief by taking an excursion to the coast or a trip to a mountain lake for a fishing adventure. Some would prefer to stay in the air-conditioned comfort of their own home, watching movies in settings like a snow covered winter mountain mystery. Others relax in a backyard swimming pool and yet others take in enough cool liquid refreshment as a way of beating the heat.

But there is another game in town, and this one involves getting to see some spectacular scenery, perhaps sip some of the local wines and a thrill ride to top it off.

Rogue Jet Boat Adventures began operation just over a year ago, operating out of the Elks picnic grounds near White City. Unfortunately, that property recently sold so the venue had to change. But change isn’t always bad; in this case it was good. Good for guests and good for Rogue Jet Boat Adventures.

Nestled in a grove of huge cotton wood trees on a grassy plain is the new take-off point for the jet boat excursions. Pilot Taylor Grimes is excited about the trips as well as the menu for this year’s agenda. The plan is for standard trips with his jet powered boat up river to Rattlesnake Rapids and then down to the site of the old Gold Rey Dam, and back to the picnic area. According to the map provided by Rogue Jet Boats, the banks of the Rogue River were a series of Indian camps from the mouth of Little Butte Creek all the way up to Rattlesnake Rapids, the upper most point in the journey along the river.

The take-off point is a welcome relief from the hot summer Rogue Valley sun. Trees cover the entire area—and it is a generous area. Complete with a BBQ pit, a large concrete covered patio area and a fish cleaning station near convenient picnic tables.

The standard tour is the river trip in a jet boat that can navigate in as little as six inches of water. The trip takes guests through a tree-covered area to one side of an island where the canopy completely covers the river. Then it’s on upward past farmlands and beneath the rugged Table Rocks. The route is alive with history of the Native American peoples, the U. S. Army and early day miners. Near the take-off point is the site of old Fort Lane, which is supposed to become one of the new Oregon State Parks. The adventure also passes the site of the peace treaty signing between the whites and Indians in the mid 1850s.

Rogue Jet Boat Adventures offers the river trip and they also are offering what they call the wine tours, where they combine a trip to select wineries followed by trip on the river. They have a shuttle bus that will take guests to the wineries, a sensible thing since people don’t need to be driving after consuming alcohol. They offer an area map, plastic covered to prevent water damage, and a series of discount coupons for such services as oil changes, brake inspections, car washes and other things, including foods. The discounts could easily equal the cost of the jet boat ride.

For cool summer fun, the Rogue Jet Boat Adventure might just be the ticket; adventure close to home, scenic relaxation and a very comprehensive history lesson.


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