When our rafts pulled into the “parking spots” at Marial Lodge, we were greeted with a friendly hello and wet down with a hose – our feet that is. Having raised numerous Labrador Retrievers in my life, I didn’t have any problem with a man who wanted to rinse my feet with a garden hose before I entered his house. This procedure is a common occurrence with our dogs when they come off the river, wet and grimy. He joked with us as we stripped off our pfd’s (personal flotation devices) and sun hats and helped ourselves to the cold lemonade on the counter inside the living room. We had only been there 10 minutes or so before we felt like we’d become a part of this Southern Oregon family. Of course, we didn’t have a coffee mug with our name scrawled on it, that honor is reserved for the Rogue River guides.
Situated 20 miles downriver from Grave Creek, the family owned and operated Marial Lodge is the third night stop on Row Adventures Lodge to Lodge Rogue River Rafting Trip. As of this reporting, Marial Lodge doesn’t have a website, but they are open for business from May 1 – November 15. The rustic lodge offers 11 rooms and is open to hikers and rafters in the spring and summer and fishermen and women in the fall. After a day or two of fishing on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River, I image this lodge to be a welcome respite from the elements. I know our group of 17 appreciated the Rogue River hospitality at Oregon’s Marial Lodge after a day of rafting.
The rooms are not on par with a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons Hotel, but that’s not what Marial Lodge is about. This place is about the natural beauty which surrounds it and the people who are temporary stewards of the land and this lodge. Pat & Lori Cameron purchased Marial in 1982. A photo of the young husband and wife lodge owners sits proudly in the living room, along with guide books about how to approach certain parts of the river, including the class IV Blossom Bar, a dangerous part of the Lower Rogue.
The lodge sits along the Rogue River Trail and offers a beautiful view of Stair Creek Falls from Inspiration Point. The hike from the lodge to the scenic lookout is about 1 1/4 miles, an easy walk, but beware of the dangerous drop off if you have kids along. There’s also lots of poison oak flanking the trail, so those with sensitive skin be warned. Finally, bring a flashlight or headlamp with you if you hike the trail after dinner. It gets dark fast in the woods.
The meals are served family-style, with second helpings offered for the hearty eaters. Dinner was served at 6:30 p.m. with salad, ribs, corn casserole and ice cream crunch on the menu. Breakfast the next morning included Marial chili eggs (recipe below) crisp bacon, fresh fruit and apple blueberry bran muffins. You’d think we were gearing up for a hike on the trail, but we fueled up to assist in paddling Mule Creek Canyon, Coffee Pot, Blossom Bar & the Devil’s Staircase, all class IV rapids that our guides navigated successfully. Once through the rapids we were able to swim the class II rapids if we desired.
We stopped at another beautiful spot on the river for lunch and swam under a waterfall. Our Row Adventures river guides set up a spread of cold cuts and cheeses for deli sandwiches. Always the gracious host, Lori had sent us down the river with homemade zucchini bread and a variety of fresh baked cookies to accompany our picnic lunch. Why does food taste so much better when enjoyed by the side of a river?
Marial Chili Eggs
1 dozen eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cottage cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Blend eggs & milk. Add cottage cheese and shredded cheese, mix together. Put green chili’s and green onions to taste (sun dried tomatoes optional) in bottom of 10×15 sprayed pan. Add egg mixture. Top with more shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack chese (lightly)
Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours (uncovered) until lightly brown.
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but don’t pack a hair dryer or your electronics for these lodge to lodge trips. Like all of these wilderness-based lodges, they run off the grid. A generator keeps the power going at Marial. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and Instagram @nancydbrown and follow @RowAdventures for local tips.
If You Go
Marial Lodge (541) 474-2057 or (541) 471-3262 May – November only
P.O. Box 1395
Grants Pass, Oregon 97528
Resort review written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Row Adventures while researching additional articles in Southern Oregon. The post Rogue River Hospitality at Oregon’s Marial Lodge first appeared on https://www.nancydbrown.com.