By Carla Shryock
YOU SHOULD KNOW ...
Here are 5 things to do during your stay at the Prospect Hotel (besides visiting Crater Lake National Park, of course).
- Take a book or your ear buds and lounge on the big blue wraparound porch. Better yet, have a conversation with a visitor from halfway around the world.
- Step outside and walk to three waterfalls on the Rogue River. The closest, Pearsoney Falls, is just 12 minutes from the hotel’s front door.
- Hike the 3.5-mile Rogue Gorge Trail to see the Rogue River carve its way through narrow basalt canyons and lava tubes.
- Rent a raft in nearby Shady Cove for a relaxing Rogue River float.
- Plan your own tasting tour among half a dozen wineries located within an hour’s drive.
You can reach Karen and Fred Wickman by calling 1-800-944-6490 or visiting their website at prospecthotel.com.
While most first-time visitors to the Prospect Historic Hotel are drawn by Crater Lake’s attractions, it’s the region – and the hospitality – that keep them coming back.
Proprietors Fred and Karen Wickman make you feel welcome as soon as you check in. The first thing Fred gives you is a map of what he calls “local treasures,” including nearby waterfalls and hiking trails. Karen treats you to a glass of their signature wine, made by a neighboring winery. Both are quick to point out all the recreation activities and amenities that are close by.
Located 28 miles from Crater Lake National Park and an hour east of Medford, the historic hotel provides warm and inviting accommodations in a 6-acre forested setting along the Upper Rogue River.
You’ll find this hidden gem tucked away in the town of Prospect, just off of Crater Lake Highway. The hotel, a one-time stagecoach stop, was built in the late 1880s. Today, it’s a magnificently restored bed and breakfast inn decorated in Victorian-era charm, with antiques and quilts handmade by a local artisan.
While the hotel – and 14 pet-friendly motel rooms located on the property – is open year-round, Karen presides over the Sunset Magazine award-winning dinner house, which is open May through October. She favors local ingredients, such as Rogue Creamery cheeses to make her homemade lasagna, and wild blackberries for her blackberry and hazelnut cobbler. Cooking for Karen is a labor of love, with plenty of fresh vegetables, fish and meat.
“We have a definite focus on very fresh, homemade, very flavorful food,” Karen says. “We are very committed to promoting and using the most local ingredients we can because it is such high quality and we want to show people what’s available here when they travel here.”
With its proximity to Crater Lake National Park, the Prospect Historic Hotel has hosted many famous people over the years. John Muir, Jack London and President Theodore Roosevelt slept there. Each of 10 guestrooms – with private baths – is dedicated to one of its celebrated guests or local residents of note.
When you stay at the Prospect Historic Hotel, you never know who you’re going to meet. Travelers from as far away as China and as close as Grants Pass congregate at the inn and on the wraparound front porch.
“We have a following from all over the world,” says Fred. “Initially they come because of Crater Lake, but a lot of them come back because of the region.”
They like to entertain their guests and visitors with a number of events, including murder mystery dinners, holiday brunches and the annual Music in the Mountains festival held the last full weekend in September.
“Music in the Mountains is our biggest event each year,” says Fred. “We concentrate on local talent and feature bluegrass, country, folk and Americana artists.”
Ultimately, it’s the Wickmans' goal to extend hospitality to all their guests, no matter where they come from.
“When people come and stay, they feel comfortable, they feel welcomed,” says Karen. “They love to sit on the front porch in the evening and get to know people from all corners of the earth. Plus they love the food.”
Carla Shryock is a free-lance writer and marketing strategist based in Salem, Oregon.