Zane Grey Cabin on the Rogue River
The Rogue River is located in southwestern Oregon and flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. The 84 mile, Congressionally-designated wild and scenic portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach.

The Rogue was one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, and is surrounded by forested mountains and rugged boulder and rock-lined banks.

One of the more fascinating footnotes in the Rogue River's extensive history is the cabin of author Zane Grey, which still stands today. In 2016, the cabin was officially designated for preservation under the National Register of Historic Places - an honor intended to provide recognition of the site’s significance and to encourage its continued preservation.

The historic cabin is located at Winkle Bar, one of the most unique sites along the world-famous Rogue Wild and Scenic River. This spot—and the entire Rogue River—was popularized by the western novelist and angler Zane Grey, who fell in love with and wrote about the pristine wilderness and abundant fishing opportunities on the river.

In 1925, Grey launched an expedition down the Rogue River from Grants Pass to Gold Beach with nine other adventurers in seven wooden boats. Of the places Grey encountered on the trip, Winkle Bar proved to be the most influential. In 1926 he purchased the mining claim there and had this now-famous cabin built. In Tales of Freshwater Fishing, Grey described his new acquisition:

“The rushing river at this point makes a deep bend round a long oval bar, with rocky banks and high level terraces above, and both wooded and open land. Here it flows through a lonely valley set down amid the lofty green mountain slopes. A government forest trail winds out some twenty miles to the nearest settlement. Far indeed it is across the dark Oregon peaks to railroad or automobile road!”

It was here, and along other portions of the Rogue River, that Grey was inspired to write such books as Rogue River Feud, Shooting the Rogue, and Tales of Freshwater Fishing. Grey’s prose drew visitors by the thousands, and helped make the Rogue River a premiere destination for world class steelhead fishing, recreation, and wildlife viewing.

Following Grey's death, the property was purchased by the Haas family, long-time owners of Levi Strauss. This transition of Grey's property seemed well-suited to the makers of denim overalls for the western pioneers of the 19th century.

Though the Haas family built new homes on the property, they always maintained Zane Grey's cabin, welcoming intrepid visitors willing to run the Rogue or make the five-mile overland hike to reach this isolated property.

Then beginning in the 1970s, the BLM joined with the Haas family to share a management agreement and provide support for the land in a spirit of cooperation. And in 2005, when The Trust for Public Land notified the BLM that they intended to purchase the property from the Haas family, both organizations worked together to obtain these 32 acres. In 2008, the official transfer to the BLM took place.

In 2012, the BLM began the process of documenting the site’s historic significance for designation for preservation under the National Register of Historic Places. With funding and volunteer support from the Farley Tyas Foundation, considerable work was done to the property and to the cabin itself so that visitors can experience the scenery and history of Grey’s era.

Today, visitors to the site at Winkle Bar will notice that the shake roof, windows, and log walls of the cabin have been repaired. This was done with careful attention to the historical details and construction techniques of the period of significance—1926.

Visitors can also see the remains of a well-weathered wooden boat, thought to be one of the original vessels from Grey's first journey down the river in 1925.

Visitors today will also find a recently-installed interpretive display at Winkle Bar. Entitled “The Country Gentleman,” the display commemorates Zane Grey’s time on the Rogue River and describes how his writing helped bring attention to the river’s wild and scenic values.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archaeological resources. With this official listing, the Zane Grey cabin will be better protected for the public to visit and appreciate for generations.
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