One of nature’s many wonders is found at the Natural Bridge. The mighty Wild & Scenic Rogue River disappears into a hole in volcanic rock, and emerges some 200 feet downstream. Your visit to the Natural Bridge provides unique opportunities for observing and interpreting one of this area’s most fascinating features.
It’s hard to believe your eyes when you stand above the inlet and watch the Rogue River vanish. The river actually flows into an ancient lava tube, or a natural bridge, taking some 35 seconds to travel 200 feet to reach the tube’s outlet. Seasonal flooding can cause the river to cover the bridge.
Looking around, you will see “blow holes” on the surface of the Natural Bridge. These small openings hint of the turbulent nature of the hidden river below. At its peak, approximately 335,000 gallons of water rush from the Natural Bridge each minute at a speed of 6 ft. per second. And not only is it fast, but also very cold. Fed by melting snow on the slopes of Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake) in the high Cascades, the river’s temperature varies from 32 to 60 F.
The Rogue River received its name from a French-Canadian trapper who named it after the local Indian “Coquins” (rascals or roués). One look at this river will tell you that name is well deserved.
Where: Natural Bridge is located on the Upper Rogue Trail with a trailhead at the Natural Bridge day-use area a mile south of Union Creek Resort at mile marker 55. The trail, a one-mile round trip, starts at the end of the Natural Bridge Campground parking lot near interpretive signs.