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There's something about Southern Oregon that inspires visitors to

Do Something Great

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Welcome, traveler, to Southern Oregon’s Dark Skies.

Here you will find that Mother Nature has done some of her greatest work. The pristine waters of Crater Lake, the untamed Rogue, Umpqua and Klamath rivers, the rugged beauty of the Oregon Outback. Skies alive with geese and grosbeaks, rivers rife with rainbows and steelhead. Now, it’s your turn to do great things. Wine lover, hiker, biker, fisher, birder, theater goer, lover of nature and solitude–come see for yourself and do something great.

Let’s get started.

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Oregon’s shimmering blue gem

Seven millennia of rain and snowmelt have filled Mt. Mazama’s volcanic crater with the clearest water in the world. Crater Lake National Park provides diverse habitats for an array of wildlife, and for visitors the comforts of the historic Crater Lake Lodge as well as camping and cabins. Open all year long, there’s nothing quite as breathtaking as a bluebird winter day with Crater Lake radiant in a fresh white blanket of snow.

Our Region

1

Umpqua Valley

Enjoy the mild year-round climate, magnificent scenery, and authentic experiences in the Land of Umpqua. Enjoy outdoor adventures including fishing, rafting, and discovering waterfalls galore just minutes from downtown Roseburg. Travel the Volcanic Scenic Byway along the famous North Umpqua River to Crater Lake National Park. Visit historic covered bridges and the many local wineries where you will meet the winemakers personally. Wildlife Safari animal park is an adventure for the whole family–and wind up the day in the pool at the Seven Feathers Casino & Resort on the South Umpqua River.

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2

Illinois Valley

The Illinois Valley is home to the Oregon Caves National Monument and the Wild & Scenic Illinois River. Recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities abound in countless local parks, galleries and non-profit centers. The famous Redwood Highway–Highway 199 from Redwoods National Park in Crescent City to Grants Pass–runs right through the Illinois Valley wine country, river swimming holes and other delightful outdoor spots.

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3

Rogue Valley

The Rogue Valley is well-loved for many reasons. For its “Wild and Scenic” Rogue River that runs from Crater Lake to the Pacific. For Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Pacific Crest Trail and skiing on Mount Ashland. For the rising wine country of the Applegate, Illinois, and Rogue Valleys. For Medford’s revitalized downtown and amazing sports facilities and orchards. For Jacksonville’s historic old town and Britt Festivals. For the jetboats and rafting in Grants Pass where everybody knows “It’s the Climate!” – Do Something Great in the Rogue Valley.

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4

Crater Lake

Oregon’s shimmering blue gem. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range. It’s a must-see spot during any trip to Southern Oregon. Born out of the eruption of Mt. Mazama 7,700 years ago, the mountain collapsed and created a nearly 2,000-foot deep crater. Seven millenia of rain and snowmelt have filled the crater and has resulted in one of the world’s clearest bodies of water. Scientists have measured the water’s clarity to as deep as 120 feet.

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5

Klamath Basin

With four well-defined seasons and over 300 days of sunshine a year, Klamath County has plenty of outdoor experiences for you to discover. From fly fishing for giant native rainbows on the Williamson River, to kayaking and whitewater rafting to the Upper Klamath River to quiet canoeing on Klamath Lake at Rocky Point, the recreational op­portunities here are virtually endless. And you just might have the place to yourself.

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6

Southern Oregon Outback

The west is alive and kickin’ in Lake County! The area offers spectacular vistas of rich forests, century ranches and the breath-taking splendor of the high desert. Hang gliders and paragliders fill the skies in the summer, and the winter months are fabulous for skiing the powder of the War­ner Canyon Ski Hill. This is a paradise for rock hounds, mountain biking, birding, hot springs, hiking, fishing and camping. Come and discover the excitement where the old west meets the very best.

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Stories

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01

Your Guide to Southern Oregon Stargazing

This area of cosmic wonder includes portions of Malheur, Lake and Harney counties to the east of larger Southern Oregon cities like Medford, Klamath Falls and Ashland. They are so sparsely populated that the region is also known as the Oregon Outback. And while much of the nighttime world grows brighter every year, as much as 11 million acres of Outback are on track to become an official Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2023. That would be the largest area of its kind, and good news not just for curious humans checking out the Milky Way but also for wildlife that needs the dark to thrive.

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02

Summer on the Rogue Valley Food Trail

With fertile fields of vegetables, pastures filled with grazing livestock and peaceful back roads lined with sun-dappled orchards, delicious farm-fresh products are everywhere in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Food trails, tours and festivals make it easy for visitors to take advantage of this remarkable bounty — especially in summer, peak season for the region’s famous fruits. Here’s everything you need to know about making the most of the bountiful summer season in the valley.

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03

Rivers & Lakes of Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon is known for it’s crystal clear lakes and scenic rivers.

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04

Oregon Outback Road Trip to Lake County

When the Oregon Outback in Southern Oregon was designated the world’s largest Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2024, the experts at DarkSky International recognized this amazing place to see galaxies reaching far beyond the imagination. But there’s even more to see in the exceptional backcountry in Lake County. You’ll find history, sunstones, hot springs and more. Here are some suggestions for a road trip to this beautiful, remote area. For more about the area’s dark skies, visit our guide to Southern Oregon stargazing.

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05

The Rogue River: Central Point to Eagle Point to Prospect

Add These to Your Bucket List! Whether you enjoy scenic hikes, whitewater rafting , or just enjoying a picnic lunch […]

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06

Ultimate Guide to Gravel Rides in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon cyclists are gravitating to gravel, and no wonder. Gravel riding — which is simply cycling on unpaved roads — offers scenic views, blissful solitude and a sense of adventure as you veer off the well-worn asphalt. Gravel riding doesn’t require the technical prowess of mountain biking, and many cyclists feel safer on less-trafficked roads that often comprise gravel routes in these rural counties. The region’s many group rides tend to be fun and inclusive, too. Read on for rides and races throughout Southern Oregon.

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07

Road Trip Adventures on Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon

Seasoned travelers headed through Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon know to take it slow and enjoy some time in many unique communities along the way. Here you’ll encounter walkable small towns, award-winning restaurants, parks, museums and more — all surrounded by lush forests and scenic mountains. Try a few of these itineraries designed to showcase top spots for every kind of road-tripper.

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08

Spotlight on the Historic Steamboat Inn

Along a deeply forested stretch of the North Umpqua River, there’s a revered fishing lodge where time stands still. That’s part of the magic of the Steamboat Inn, a woodsy retreat just under 40 miles from Roseburg, perched on a bluff above one of the most famous stretches of fly-fishing water in the world.

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09

Making Shakespeare Accessible to More Theatergoers

In an effort to show “all the world’s a stage,” the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is ready to meet the challenges of the last few years. After a year of hard-core fundraising and a new artistic director, Tim Bond, the rotating repertory company has new funding, new audience goals and a wide variety of offerings on its three stages.

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010

Spas and Wellness Spaces

Get pampered, soak and relax in Southern Oregon If you are looking for places to reconnect and mellow out with […]

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011

Give the Gift of Southern Oregon

Plan your trip to Southen Oregon Welcome to Southern Oregon, where the spirit of the holidays shines brighter than ever! […]

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012

Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail runs north and south 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada; every year hardy thru-hikers attempt to complete the trail in a single season, logging 25 to 30 miles a day.

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013

Cozy Winter Wineries in Southern Oregon

’Tis the season for cuddling up next to a fireplace with a richly flavored, warming glass of red wine. From the scenic wineries of the Umpqua Valley to the snug, softly lit urban tasting rooms of Jacksonville, here’s where you’ll find some of the coziest wine-tasting experiences in Southern Oregon.

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014

Bucket List Adventures in Southern Oregon

If you like epic outdoor adventures, delicious locally sourced dining, and small-batch wine then you are coming to the right […]

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015

Giving Back in Southern Oregon

The dark skies of the Oregon Outback; picturesque wineries in the Applegate Valley; epic mountain biking through old-growth forests on Brown Mountain — there are myriad reasons to come to Southern Oregon. Did you know there are also plenty of ways to give back to the special places you love to visit and help ensure a strong future for these destinations?

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016

Top Culture and Heritage Museums in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon’s rich history spans millennia, influenced by everyone from Indigenous people to prospectors, farmers and ranchers, and more who have made their mark on the region. Visitors can delve into the past at museums and historic sites that tell their stories. Here are a few of our favorites.

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017

Family Friendly Fall Festivals and Events

UPDATED September 2023 Fall in southern Oregon is absolutely stunning!  Every tree bursts out in beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows […]

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018

Local Burgers Spots

From the classic to the unique and unusual get your cravings met at these local burger spots found only in Southern Oregon.

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019

Calm-Water Paddling in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon may be world-famous for its frothy whitewater, but flatwater paddlers also have plenty of options. Placid lakes come ringed by shady forests and gentle creeks with little current flow under rolling mountains, making this an ideal place to float in a kayak or atop a paddleboard. Late summer and fall are ideal times to go, but all you need is a calm day any time of year. There’s no way you’ll stay for just a day, so book ahead for a relaxing getaway. Read on for eight places to dip your blade.

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020

Unique Farm and Ranch Stays in Southern Oregon

Want to truly embrace the culinary bounty of Southern Oregon? Spend the night on a farm,  ranch or winery. There’s no better way to get a true sense of where your food and wine comes from, or to experience the region’s warm hospitality and breathtaking landscape. Here are some extraordinary stays where you can experience the sights and sounds of rural life. For even more options, check out Farm Stay USA or Harvest Hosts — an RV camping membership that pairs visitors with farms, ranches, wineries and breweries that have cool spots to camp — and plan to stop for local provisions along one of Southern Oregon’s food trails. 

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021

Sutherlin and Historic Oakland

Take some time to explore Sutherlin and historic Oakland where you will be delighted to find a friendly community in growth. Enjoy a meal, shop locally owned businesses, get outdoors and you will be charmed by the warm welcome you receive.

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Olympic size mineral pool

Road Trip Less Traveled