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Is November a good time to visit Ashland?

If you visit in early November, check out the Ashland Culinary Festival. And to make a weekend out of it, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival often has discounted tickets on plays during late fall.

November in Southern Oregon tends to be chilly and rainy, but the snow hasn’t usually flown at that point. This means that during a November visit, our winter recreation won’t yet be in full swing (think skiing, snowshoeing, and the like), but in most weather, you can still hike during November, if outdoor excursions are your thing.

If you’re looking for indoor entertainment, I would suggest a wine tour in November, since our summers are quite hot (making an afternoon of wine tasting somewhat difficult at times). Try the Applegate Trail or Upper Rogue Trail to see some pretty fall colors at the same time.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on October 14th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Can we stay close to Crater Lake in an RV in October?

I think October is an ideal month to visit Crater Lake! The two campgrounds within the national park are only open during the summer, but there are several wonderful campgrounds located on Highway 62 between Prospect and the park, plus Diamond Lake, located just northwest.

I suggest Natural Bridge Campground or one of the others nearby along the Rogue River.

No matter where you stay, make sure to look at the operating hours and road closures before your trip, just in case something has changed. You can find that information here, on the National Park website. If you decide not to camp, you can always park your RV at the rim and stay a night in the historic Crater Lake Lodge. We love it, and you might be able to get a reservation now that summer is behind us! Here’s more info.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on September 26th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Is there RV camping at Crater Lake?

Yes, you can RV camp below the rim at Crater Lake at Mazama Village Campground, the only RV camping in Crater Lake National Park. You can make reservations in advance online or by phone, but only for a limited number of RV sites. However, there are a number of first come, first served sites as well.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on August 31st, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Where can we see redwood trees in Oregon?

In Southern Oregon you can find wonderful redwood groves by driving out the Redwood Highway (Highway 199) from Grants Pass to the Oregon Coast. Along the way you can access short hiking trails into the redwoods at several locations, as well as find redwoods along the Oregon Coast once you reach that point. From Crescent City, you’ll want to drive north a few miles back into Oregon. My favorite spot is the Redwood Nature Trail in Brookings. This trail is actually a trail network of multiple loops that wind upslope of the Chetco River. You see multiple redwoods and other pines, as well as a clear, cold creek. Be sure to pay attention to which turns you take in order to find your way back to the start, as it’s not as well marked as we would like.

Directions: from Highway 101, turn east at Constitution Way to North Bank Chetco Road. Go 7.5 miles to Alfred Loeb State Park. The trailhead is half a mile past the entrance.

Should we visit Crater Lake or the Painted Hills?

I’ve fielded quite a few difficult questions, but this might take the cake. My initial response is, “why not both?”

If you have time for both, obviously it’s a no-brainer.

If not, there is no ultramarine blue that comes close to Crater Lake. I wish I was kidding when I say this but the first time I saw Crater Lake in person, I cried. Seriously. It is so beautiful. And it’s history is so interesting. Can you imagine: a mountain, taller than Mt. Hood, standing in it’s place? Can you imagine it erupting, spewing lava and ash and smoke and debris and then just sitting empty for hundreds of years? Yeah. Me neither.

But also, can you imagine a giant hole in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rich soil and a resilient ecosystem slowly coming back to life, one saved raindrop at a time? You probably can’t. At least I couldn’t anyway, until I saw it for myself.

I vote Crater Lake. The water is cold, crisp and refreshing if you’re up for cliff jumping. The views are jaw-dropping if you’re into sunset or killer views, or both. The hiking is rewarding if you’re up for old fire lookout vista picnics. The food is decent, I’d bring a few snacks. But Crater Lake wine is something you won’t want to leave without trying.

Novice tip for you: fill up your gas tank before you get to the park. There are no stations and people run out ALL THE TIME. Don’t be one of them.

Answered by Kristen Mohror on July 11th, 2016 - Post Your Answer
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Where can I pan for gold in Southern Oregon?

For gold panning, the Rogue River is a great place. We’ve seen many people panning for gold along the lower Rogue around Grave Creek (just past the little town of Galice…take the Merlin Exit of I-5 north of Grants Pass). You can pan on any public land stretch of river, and 1/4 a mile up any tributary. Further south, what’s known as the Gold Nugget site is on the Rogue by Gold Hill in Highway 234. People also pan in the Applegate River (take Highway 138 outside of Jacksonville). This BLM pdf gives you more specific information.

What are the most dog-friendly towns in Southern Oregon?

Oregon in general is a very dog-friendly state! In my opinion, Ashland and the smaller, historic town of Jacksonville are the most dog-friendly towns in Southern Oregon, with plenty of restaurants that allow dogs on their decks and lodging options for travelers with dogs. Four-legged friends are welcome on all forest service trails in the area, on leash. We’ve taken our dogs on hikes such as Upper and Lower Table Rocks, in Medford, Grizzly Peak in Ashland, and along the Rogue River Trail, outside of Grants Pass.

The Redwood Highway, which runs from Grants Pass to the coast at Brookings, is a beautiful drive, and the state park trails and forest service trails there also accept dogs.

Enjoy Southern Oregon!

Are there places to stand-up paddleboard near Ashland?

Excellent question! Yes, there are several great places to SUP near Ashland. In fact, my family regularly paddleboards. At Emigrant Lake, which is located just a few miles from town, maybe people SUP from the boat dock area at the county park, or from the campground or beach. During peak season (June-August), several kiosks on-site rent paddle boards by the hour or day as well.

About 45 minutes from Ashland in the scenic Applegate Valley. It’s lovely to SUP on Applegate Lake as well. From Ashland, take I-5 to the Phoenix exit, then follow signs to Jacksonville. From there, take Highway 138 to Applegate Lake. You can also head out Highway 140 to Fish Lake or Lake of the Woods, or Highway 62 (from Medford) to Lost Creek Lake.

For the adventurous and advanced, we have also seen quite a bit of SUP activity on the Rogue River, particularly on the (mostly) calm section from Lost Creek Dam to Shady Cove (also on Highway 62, before you reach Lost Creek Lake). There are riffles and Class I-II whitewater to contend with, however.

Have fun in Southern Oregon paddleboarding!

Besides Crater Lake, where should we stop in Southern Oregon?

Before you get to Crater Lake, I suggest exploring Ashland and the greater Rogue Valley.

Outside Ashland, I highly recommend spending some time in the Siskiyou Mountains. Whether you have kids or not, Willow Witt farm is a wonderful retreat. Stay the night in a lodge room or ‘glamping’ style in a canvas tent. In Ashland, I recommend Ashland Hills Hotel or the downtown Lithia Springs hotel. You can take in a Shakespeare show or just enjoy the culinary scene here.

Outside Ashland, the Rogue River is one of the most beautiful spots in the valley. See it in multiple places: head up to Shady Cove when you’re en route to Crater Lake and check out the lava tubes up by Prospect and Union Creek, or watch the whitewater rafters north of Ashland at Galice. You can even hike part of the river on the Rogue River Trail there.

If you’re into winery tours or wine tasting, check out the Applegate Wine Trail or Upper Rogue Wine Trail. Applegate Lake is a wonderful place to hike and swim (past Ruch and Jacksonville), and historic Jacksonville is charming as well!

What attractions are recommended for kids in Southern Oregon?

You’ll have a great time with kids in Southern Oregon! On the Oregon Coast, I highly recommend staying at Whaleshead Resort. They have very unique and beautiful cabins for rent that overlook the ocean, and a pedestrian walkway takes you directly to the beach. The upper units have the best views, but the lower units are in coastal forests and are on flatter streets (perfect for kids to play or ride bikes).

If you’d rather camp, Harris Beach State Park has wonderful yurts to stay in, but you’ll need to reserve early. Lesser known, Alfred Loab State Park is located on the Chetco River above Brookings, and has riverside campsites. You can access the coastal redwoods there too.

Between Grants Pass and the Coast, you’ll find Out ‘n About Treesort, which has treehouses to stay the night in. Even if you aren’t staying over, it’s worth a stop to try their zip lines. Nearby, Oregon Caves National Monument offers an excellent cave tour, but check to see if your kids are tall enough to enter. As you depart the coast on Highway 199, you should also stop at the CA redwoods (there’s info at the bottom of this post).

Right in Grants Pass, the Jet Boat Tours are fun for kids; they zip along the Rogue River, and some go as far as the ocean.

Enjoy your trip!

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