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?
Rough Rider Falls
Twenty miles northwest of Crater Lake, Rough Rider Falls is just 30 feet high but the reward is in the journey. The 6.5-mile hike leads through ponderosa and fragrant cedar trees, passes a few unnamed falls and stops at the bottom, where a downed log provides a path to a small island in the middle of the river. It’s a unique vantage point to gaze at the stunning falls without another soul around, and rejuvenate before the return.
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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.
While Crater Lake National Park may be your main destination for vacation, the journey’s half the fun. For travelers coming from Medford or Grants Pass, the winding route along the upper Rogue River offers adventures along the way, with the communities of Prospect, Trail and Shady Cove serving as gateways to fishing, boating and hiking to waterfalls, wilderness and mountain vistas in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.