Gold Hill may not be the central business hub of the Rogue Valley, but it is certainly growing and developing. As the population nears 1,500, the city has been “building momentum,” according to city manager, Rob Lowe. “With a new administration that is very committed to bringing the town toward progress, there’s almost a new attitude. You can sense it.”
Lowe discussed initiatives to renovate Gold Hill, including putting extra effort into the downtown streets, and finding a location for the Senior Center—which has been well-attended in the past few months after years of simply being an idea. “We want to make sure that Gold Hill is a welcoming and inclusive community. This includes providing services to our retired folks.”
In addition, Gold Hill has exceptional recreational opportunities that shine throughout the region. Of these recreational activities, including rafting, hiking, biking, and driving the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, rafting has been building momentum because of the easy access and quality of Gold Hill’s rapids. Yet even hiking has new developments in store, with the drafting of a plan for more trails connecting to the sports park, and eventually, a path that will link Gold Hill to Rogue River.
But perhaps the biggest development for Gold Hill, will be responsible for bringing some of the 2028 Olympic events to Southern Oregon. The Gold Hill Whitewater Center has three main courses: Grandma’s Run, Powerhouse, and Mugger’s Alley. The latter is described as having “the length, water flow, and vertical drop of an Olympic slalom course.” Because Los Angeles—the location for the 2028 Olympics—is lacking in the whitewater rapids department, the Gold Hill Whitewater Center, with its prime location within fifteen minutes from an interstate and half-an-hour from an international airport, makes it a contender as a location for the Olympic whitewater events. Though the Mugger’s Alley run would need some modifications before it could meet the safety requirements for the competitions, the Whitewater Center is continuing development on the project.
In addition, the King of the Rogue Event took place this summer, providing opportunities for serious river sport fanatics to compete on class IV rapids. The money raised in this intense race went toward the building of the Olympic Whitewater Park—and provided a fun experience for those who were interested in becoming King or Queen of the Rogue.
If you want to get involved, look for the King of the Rogue Event again next summer, as well as the town’s annual Gold Dust Day the first weekend of June. “These events are really well-attended,” Lowe said. “People come from far outside of Gold Hill. Again, recreation is what we have to offer.”
Gold Hill Whitewater Center. (2019). Website: https://www.goldhillwhitewater.org/