The guidebooks call the trail that leads to Rainie Falls a moderate hike, but if you’re in decent shape, odds are you’ll find it pretty easy and well worth the effort. The scenery is spectacular, with great views of the Wild Rogue River plunging through a steep, rocky canyon and Rainie Falls at the end. Lots of wildlife, too. The hike is just under 2 mi. each way, with an elevation gain of about 400 ft., but no steep hills. The entire trek, out and back, takes about 4 hours. The trail is in good condition overall, but gets narrow and rocky in places. Dogs are welcome, but should be kept on a leash.
At the end of the hike is Rainie Falls. These are low, block-style falls — more like big rapids than typical waterfalls. It’s a great place to stop and have a snack, fish, or watch the salmon and steelhead leaping the falls (October-November), or rafters and kayakers riding down them.
WHERE: Take Galice Road north from Merlin for 22 mi. to Graves Creek Bridge. The trailhead is on the west side of the bridge. (Warning: don’t park right next to the rock wall — falling rocks may land on your car!) If you’d rather take it easy, you can drive across Graves Creek Bridge and head west (turn left) along Mt. Reuben Road (BLM 34-8-1) for 1.3 mi. to the Rainie Falls Overlook. It will be on your left.
MORE INFO: Grants Pass Inter-Agency Office, 541-471-6500