Downstream from town, the Rogue River offers the best kind of warm-weather adventure: Expert guides lead rafting and kayaking trips through water that ranges from placid flats to Class IV rapids. Along the way, you can spot black bears and shy river otters, or stop for a swim in quiet pools. (Much of this stretch of the Rogue is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.) Single-day and longer excursions are available from numerous local outfitters. (Ask about AAA discounts.) If that's not thrilling enough, you can opt instead for a jetboat ride through Hellgate Canyon.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, the Rogue River National Recreation Trail attracts day hikers and backpackers alike. The 40-mile route hugs every bend and twist of the river's north side, offering both heart-pounding cliff-top views and chances for a dip. On the other side of the river, the gentler Rainie Falls Trail (3.6 miles out and back from the Grave Creek trailhead) boasts more shade and the most dramatic view of the falls.
Summer Events in Grants Pass
The all-American Josephine County Fair (Aug. 14–17), at the city's old-fashioned fairgrounds, has celebrated the area's bounty for more than 100 years. Rides and equestrian events share space with craft booths and barns where 4-H kids show off their prizewinning hens, rabbits, pigs, and other livestock. 1451 Fairgrounds Rd.
In the cool of the evening on summer Tuesdays, head to Riverside Park, where you can spread out a picnic and enjoy all kinds of music— from classic rock to salsa, bluegrass, and R&B—at one of the free Concerts in the Park. 304 E. Park St.