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Coming from California, the most direct route to Oregon is along I-5, running from the Mexican border all the way to Canada. Entering Oregon, this road crosses the 4,310-foot Siskiyou Summit, which offers a grand entrance to the Beaver State.
From Siskiyou Summit, a road going west five miles leads to Mt. Ashland – a skier’s paradise. Here a chairlift ascends 1,180 feet to the top of the mountain, and skiers can choose a number of runs to the bottom. During the summer, beautiful hiking trails are available in this pristine area of southern Oregon.
Lakeview is one of Oregon’s highest towns. Situated just 15 miles north of the California border, it’s an optimum route for traveling to Reno or San Francisco.
Dinner Bell Café: Exactly what you’d expect from a small town diner. Homestyle, cooking from scratch that leaves you full and satisfied. Enjoy this quaint stop for a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Schminck Memorial Museum: Administered by the Oregon State Society and Daughters of the American Revolution, this collection includes more than 7,000 pieces collected by Lula and Dalpheus Schminck, including 1880s fashions and a large collection of vintage quilts. Visit this quaint museum Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except December and January. (541) 947-3134.
Old Perpetual: A geyser that shoots about 60 feet above the ground. The underground water heats to a temperature around 200 degrees Fahrenheit before erupting. The geyser spouts once every 60 to 90 seconds in the winter and every four to ten minutes in the summer.
Albert Rim: The Albert Rim is one of the highest fault scarps in the United States. Big Horn were transplanted in the Rim in the 70’s and are now often seen by travelers on Highway 395. The areas frequent wind gusts makes it a popular destination for hang gliders. Are you looking for a high-flying adventure?
Continuing on through southern Oregon, head south via Highway 62 or US 97 toward Klamath Falls to explore one of the largest wildlife and wildfowl refuges in the Northwest.
Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge: 83,000 acres of marsh and lakes provide a home for many species of birds and waterfowl. For the visitor, there are endless opportunities to snap close-up pictures of birds in areas varying from grassy meadows to ancient lava flows. (530) 667-2231
Klamath County Museum: Offers exhibits and displays on the history, geology, anthropology, and wildlife of Klamath Basin. Located at 1451 Main Street, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (541) 883-4208
Wubba’s BBQ Shack: One of the city’s most popular restaurants and an essential stop for anyone who loves good barbecue. Sweet, smoky flavors and delicious deep fried sides are a sure thing no matter what you order.
Klamath Basin Bird Watching: The Klamath Basin boasts over 47 birding locations with a natural menagerie of over 350 species. Sunset magazine numbered the Klamath Basin among the “Fantastic Five Birding Destinations in the West.”
Ashland is best known for its Shakespearean past, and features three theaters anchoring a large outdoor plaza, a gift shop, and ticket offices. Visitors can also peek into fun shops and restaurants along Main Street.
Oregon Cabaret Theatre: Located at First and Hargadine Streets in a historic Baptist Church building, this theatre has put on a number of musicals, including Guys on Ice, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Nunsense Jamboree, and The Bachelors.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Held at Southern Oregon University, the festival was founded in 1935 and is now among the oldest and largest professional non-profits theatres in the nation. The eight and a half month season has a $22 million budget to produce 780 performances with an annual attendance of nearly 400,000.
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: This lush trail leads visitors through tall pine trees and Manzanita up to meadows decked with vibrant wildflowers that bloom in mid- to late summer. At higher elevations, you can also find wild larkspur, blue lupine and white bear grass in August.
Right next door to Ashland is Medford, known for its gold mining past and industrial role as a timber-processing and pear-packing center.
Medford Railroad Park: Offers a great activity for the kids where you can take a short train ride on the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The park and its vintage trains are located near Berrydale Avenue and Table Rock Road.
Southern Oregon Historical Society: Located at 106 North Central Avenue in downtown Medford, this refuge for the past contains exhibits and historical collections of some of the state’s earliest artifacts.
Rogue River: The Rogue River has something for everyone. Fast rapids for kayakers and rafters, gentle eddies for fishers and lush surroundings for hikers and mountain bikers. Medford’s outdoor community is thriving and boasts lots of guiding services to make sure you know all of the “secret spots."
Grants Pass, a vacation spot of legends like Clark Gable and Zane Grey is an ideal stopping spot for road trip travelers because of its location at the junction where Redwood Highway joins Interstate 5.
Grants Pass has everything you need for a fun sporting adventure from golfing to hiking to fishing. It is also home to the quaint Historic Downtown Grants Pass, featuring distinctive shops housing all sorts of treasures for the avid shopper – not to mention an abundance of wineries nearby.
Grants Pass Grower’s Market: If you’re in the area on a Sunday, make a point to stop by Grants Pass Grower’s Market where you will find breads and pastries straight from the oven as well as farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Big Pine Loop Trail: Open year-round, this trail is perfect for the group with varying skill levels. For the easy-going adventurer, Creek Loop offers a quick 1/6 mile hike while Challenge Loops offers a 3/4 mile sloping trail. The trail also features the world’s tallest Ponderosa Pine, the Big Pine Tree, and is a great place to take the whole family. If you continue on the trail to Briggs Creek, hikers can enjoy the cool water of a natural wading pool.
Hellgate Jetboat Excursions: The Rogue River runs through a canyon and hosts a vibrant landscape that is best appreciated from the water. Among the common animal sightings are bald eagles and otters. Packages can include lunch and are sure to entertain the whole family. Hot summer rides are refreshed by the occasional spray and splash from the water below.
Roseburg is a must-stop destination even if only to visit Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only full-fledged national park.
Crater Lake National Park: More than 6,000 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted in an explosion some forty times greater than the Mount Saint Helens eruption. The resulting basin is 20 square miles of gorgeous crystal blue waters called Crater Lake. Sure, you can view the lake at an elevation of 6,177 feet by driving the 33-mile long Crater Lake Rim Drive.
However, to fully appreciate the 360-degree panorama, you’ll want to stay the night at the BEST WESTERN Garden Villa Inn and spend the whole day exploring the 85 miles of hiking and nature trails. Crater Lake park staff (541) 594-3000.
Diamond Lake: Just north of Crater Lake National Park is Diamond Lake, a smaller jewel tucked away within Umpqua National Forest. Sailboats, motorboats, and canoes can be rented in advance and used to enjoy the rainbow-trout season that opens the third week of April.
Fishing and hunting licenses are also available at the tackle shop. During winter months, snow lovers can take a guided snowmobile tour or schedule a day of snowcat skiing.
South Umpqua River: Roseburg is divided by the meandering South Umpqua River and is a mainstay in the recreation for the citizens. Sections of the river are popular destinations for fishers and rowers. Stop by shops like Angling Adventures and River Secrets Guide Service for tips on when and where to get the most out of the water.
Sutherlin (Roseburg Area)
Outdoorsman will marvel over the vast hunting and fishing opportunities that await them in Sutherland. Over 80 percent of the county is timberland which means it is covered in parks for your family to enjoy.
Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway: Enjoy the scenery of Southern Oregon on this 172 mile byway that stretches from the scenic North Umpqua River to the wild Rogue River.