Southern Oregon includes the counties of Douglas, Klamath, Josephine, andJackson, south of Lane County and generally west of the Cascades, excluding the
coast. It’s where you’ll find the cities of Medford and Roseburg among others,
along with gold rush towns and lots of rivers.
Crater Lake National Park is one of the top
attractions, with its main feature Crater Lake,
the country’s deepest at nearly 2,000-feetdeep. It partially fills a caldera, formed by the
collapse of volcanic Mount Mazama.
The still sapphire waters reflect the mountain
peaks like a huge dark blue mirror providing a
postcard-perfect photo op and the area is also
a popular place to hike, swim, fish, take boat
tours, or even dive into the flooded volcano
and explore lava formations with remarkable
visibility. The 33-mile loop Rim Drive features
over 30 viewpoints winding around the edge
of the lake and is open between June and midOctober.
Just north of the California border, the
Oregon Caves National Monument is an
incredible marble cave system that was
formed by rainwater from the ancient forest
There are multiple cave tours that can be
taken, with the Discovery Cave Tour the
main option. You’ll explore the depths of the
underground with a ranger guide, strolling a
maze of marble passageways while visiting
sparkling flowstones and much more.
There’s plenty to do above ground, including
six different hiking trails and abundant
wildlife from deer and beaver to black bear
and around 130 species of birds.
The Rogue River is located in the Wild and ScenicRogue River Canyon and is one of the
country’s top spots for whitewater rafting. It flows
generally west from the Cascade Mountains to
the Pacific, and if you bring your own raft or rent
one, it’s possible to enjoy an easy ride suitable for
families with children from Lost Creek Dam.
The Rogue River is located in the Wild and Scenic Rogue River
Canyon and is one of the country’s top spots for whitewater
rafting. It flows generally west from the Cascade Mountains to
the Pacific, and if you bring your own raft or rent one, it’s
possible to enjoy an easy ride suitable for families with children
from Lost Creek Dam.
For the more experienced, drop in at Hogs Creek in GrantsPass. There are many river guides and outfitters offering
both day trips and multiday trips where you’ll paddle through
both gently surging waters and thrilling rapids among the
spectacular Siskiyou Mountains.
Just five miles west of
Medford, Jacksonville is a
small, picturesque town and
National Historic Landmark.
It was birthed in the mid1800s after the discovery of
gold nearby. It’s a fun place
to wander with its historic
aesthetics and also hosts
a number of wineries and
At the Beekman House, now
a house/museum, you’ll see
how families lived in a typical
western goldboom town
during the Victorian era with
guided tours available on the
third and fourth Saturdays
of every month from May
There are parks for picnicking, enticing eaters, and fun shops
too. If you’re here in the summer, you can enjoy the BrittMusic & Arts Festival performances that are held in an outdoor
amphitheater nestled in the pines.
If you like waterfalls, take a scenic drive on the “Highway ofWaterfalls,” officially known as the Rogue-Umpqua ScenicByway which runs between Gold Hill and Roseburg featuring 15
different cascades while following stretches of both the Upper
Rogue and North Umpqua rivers.
Watson Falls is one of the tallest in the region at 272 feet while
Toketee is a double-tiered waterfall that’s one of the most
photographed. One can also discover fabulous redwood groves
with a drive on the Redwood Highway from Grants Pass. There
are lots of short, easy trails to hike that wind through the giant
Gold Hill is less than a
20-minute drive northwest of
Jacksonville offers a kitschy
pit stop for road trippers.
The Oregon Vortex has been
around since 1930 when it
started out as the House ofMystery. It’s a place where
balls roll uphill, brooms
stand on end, and visitors can
experience a height change
to grow and shrink. It’s
also said to be plagued by
something many have
experienced over its nearly
100 years of operation.
When you’re ready for a cold
brew you’ll find many great
breweries in this region
too, with Klamath Falls and
Roseburg offering some