Black Bar Lodge in Rogue River Canyon

black bar lodge, rogue river, southern oregon
Black Bar Lodge photo © Nancy D. Brown

As twilight turned to dusk, a flurry of small bats took to the evening sky, swooping and diving for insects beneath Black Bar Lodge. It was late July in Southern Oregon and we were spending our first night of a four night Row Adventures lodge to lodge rafting trip on the banks of the Rogue River.

Built in 1934, the rustic Black Bar Lodge has been owned by the James family since 1960, with John and Vanessa James operating the lodge currently. Located 20.7 miles downriver from Grave Creek at river mile 10, Black Bar is one of five lodges in the Rogue River Canyon. These lodges operate “off the grid” powered by diesel generators and mother nature. While the scenery is gorgeous, not everyone is used to bidding adieu to laptops and cell phone service. However, four days and nights is certainly manageable for a wonderfully relaxing active adventure vacation. This Rogue River whitewater rafting trip gives travelers a chance to enjoy a digital detox and disconnect from the social media world. With our group of 19, even the teenagers were happy to ditch the electronics – although there was no shortage of selfie snapshots and videos recorded.

log cabin, black bar lodge, rogue river, southern oregon
Rustic log cabin photo © Nancy D. Brown

Able to accommodate 30 guests, the rustic log cabins feature one double bed and one twin or two twin beds, depending on the cabin. Ours was a shared duplex with a common wall – light sleepers should remember to pack earplugs. All cabins include their own bathroom with shower, sink and toilet.

black bar lodge, dinner, rogue river lodge, southern oregon
Family-style dining photo © Nancy D. Brown

Family-style dining

After having stayed at four Southern Oregon lodges, I can safely say that dining by the Rogue River has its benefits. The family-owned lodge experience makes you feel at home in the woods. Our meal was a re-creation of Thanksgiving dinner complete with piping hot sourdough biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, roast turkey and stuffing, garden tomatoes and vegetables, beef enchiladas (not our typical dinner, but tasty) chocolate cake and raspberry peach cobbler. Should I confess that this feast was consumed after I’d eaten about five homemade chocolate chip cookies before dinner?

Later that evening our gang broke into little pods and played horse shoes, our riverguide Lenore brought out her hoola hoops and one of the teenagers strummed on a guitar provided by the lodge. Such a fun evening as we swung on the porch swing and watched the deer and a fawn munch on the fresh mowed grass.

READ  Hilton SF Union Square Business or Pleasure
hula hoop, black bar lodge, rogue river, southern oregon
Hula hoops & horseshoes photo © Nancy D. Brown

Need to know:

Our pricing was all-inclusive through Row Adventures. Black Bar Lodge rates start at $145. per person, per night based on double occupancy, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Single occupancy is available at additional cost. Check their website for current pricing. While the owners of the lodge like pets, the lodge is not pet-friendly. Leave your dog behind and take pictures of the deer – they act like dogs here.

bear, black bar lodge, rogue river, southern oregon
Chillin’ with the bears. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tip:

As noted above, all Rogue River lodges operate off the grid. Don’t bother packing electronics or your hair dryer for any of these lodges. The generator comes on at 5:00 p.m.and shuts down at 10:00 p.m. The lights come back on at 7:00 a.m. Just in time to pack up your dry bag, grab a fresh cup of coffee and hot breakfast before getting back on the river – or hiking the Rogue River Trail. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and Instagram @nancydbrown and follow @RowAdventures for adventure travel tips.

guitar, black bar lodge, rogue river, southern oregon
Making music on the Rogue River. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go

Black Bar Lodge (541) 479-6507
P.O. Box 510
Merlin, Oregon 97532

Black Bar Lodge review written by, video 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 Black Bar Lodge in Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon first appeared on