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When is the best time to visit Crater Lake?

Timing your visit to Crater Lake depends on which activities you most enjoy. Summer, obviously, is the most popular time to visit because the park is most accessible. In addition to viewing the lake from the rim or by boat in the caldera, there are opportunities for hiking, camping and learning about the lake’s history and unique ecology.

In wintertime, outdoor activities turn to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (free, guided hikes are offered by volunteer rangers generally from November to April). Crater Lake officials always say winter is the park’s dominant season, considering that it is snow-shrouded most years from October to May.

I would recommend visiting both times of year.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on September 5th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Can I visit Crater Lake in June?

Glad to hear you’re focusing some of your visit on Crater Lake National Park. It’s perhaps Oregon’s most unique feature and an attraction I routinely recommend.

June still isn’t considered high season for visiting Crater Lake, but your chances will start rapidly improving for seeing more of the park. While there likely will still be some snow on the ground, and lake visibility could be affected by weather, more of the trails will be accessible. Last year, the park’s north entrance and most facilities opened in mid-June, but the year before that, it wasn’t until the end of the month.

Because Crater Lake is at 6,000 feet above sea level, snow has been known to fly in midsummer, and conditions can change in a flash. Be sure to pack a weatherproof jacket and shoes, long pants and a hat and gloves for the time of year you plant to visit. The only way to know what the current conditions are at the park is by checking its website http://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/current-conditions.htm

Answered by Sarah Lemon on March 27th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What are good things to do in the Grants Pass, Ashland and Medford areas?

Greetings from Southern Oregon.

Many attractions in this region depend on the season and how active visitors are. The Grants Pass area is renowned as the gateway to the wild and scenic section of the Rogue River. As such, it is a destination for whitewater rafting and fishing. For those who prefer to see the river from a motorized craft, there is Hellgate Jetboat Excursions.

Grants Pass also is very near Oregon Caves National Monument, the state’s oldest and one of the region’s top attractions. The city’s downtown is popular with antique collectors, and there are lots of wine-tasting opportunities in the nearby Applegate Valley, as well as a Saturday farmers market downtown.

Wildlife Images in Merlin and the Bear Hotel Artworks Museum are popular with kids and adults alike. Here are recent stories from the Mail Tribune’s Joy magazine about those attractions: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101020/JOY/10200347&cid=sitesearch and

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110921/JOY/109210348&cid=sitesearch

Just south of Grants Pass in Gold Hill is the offbeat and quirky Oregon Vortex House of Mystery. Here’s another story about that: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120415/OURVALLEY/204150329&cid=sitesearch

Medford is the headquarters of Harry & David and home to its Country Village. The city of Jacksonville, just west of Medford, is an Old West-style town designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Most tourists come to this area for activities in Ashland, which has the region’s highest concentration of art galleries, live music, restaurants and the popular Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Oregon Cabaret Theater. The city’s beloved Lithia Park, which extends for miles into woodland above downtown should not be missed.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on February 28th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What are the best trails in Southern Oregon?

Greetings from Southern Oregon,

Our outdoors writers always tout that the Pacific Crest Trail runs through our region, through the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Soda Mountain Wilderness and Sky Lakes Wilderness. Of course, those areas are most popular for longer, overnight treks.

If you want a relatively easy day hike, consider locals’ favorite, the Table Rocks. While the trail to the top of these mesas cuts through the region’s typical, oak-savannah flora, the view from the top of these distinctive geographic and geologic  features is unsurpassed: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111023/READERSCHOICE/110230356.

There also are popular trail systems through the Jacksonville Woodlands and Ashland’s Lithia Park. For more on the region’s hiking trails, check out the landing page on the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Oregon Outdoors site: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=OREGONOUTDOORS01&keyword=Hiking

Enjoy your trip.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on January 30th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What is the best time of year to visit the Rogue-Umpqua Byway to see the waterfalls?

Greetings from Southern Oregon,

The most commonly recommended time to travel the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway is June through October, mainly to ensure clear roads, fair weather and more daylight hours. Volumes of water running in the falls largely depend on wintertime precipitation. We’re off to a good start for this year, considering the flood warnings throughout Southern Oregon several weeks ago. And Crater Lake started seeing enough snow in October to close some roads.

You could plan your trip in mid- to late spring, but mountain travel in this region could still be unpredictable then. If I were planning the trip for myself, I would check the National Weather Service’s precipitation records for this region throughout the winter to confirm they were average or above, obtain extended weather forecasts for the period that I wanted to visit and verify favorable road conditions on ODOT’s website, www.tripcheck.com.

Here’s a story from the Mail Tribune newspaper on the Rogue-Umpqua waterfalls that may help: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080313/LIFE/803130301&cid=sitesearch

Answered by Sarah Lemon on January 4th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

I’d like to get information about bicycling the entire length of the OC&E Woods Line State Trail. I’d like to hear from someone who has actually done it. I’m interested in the best type of bicycle to use, is an off-road touring bike OK (Salsa Fargo, for instance), recommended tire size, water availability (streams, creeks, etc.), location of the trailhead in the Sycan Marsh, and so on. I haven’t been able to get much information from people who have cycled on the trail. Thanks.

I have not been on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, but I found some people who have.  Most helpful was Zach Gilmour at Hutch’s Bicycles in Klamath Falls (541-850-2453).  He has ridden most of the trail and here is what he says:


Best type of bicycle to use:
It’s soft gravel for nearly all of it (the last seven or eight miles of it closest to Klamath Falls are paved).  For what I’ve ridden on the unpaved portion of that trail, a wide but low knob 29’er tire would do the trick perfectly.”

Water availability (streams, creeks, etc.): “As far as water stops goes, it’s pretty bleak out there for any kind of civilized water. The trail runs very close to and crosses Sprague River and Five Mile creek at several locations. You would be best off bringing water filtration.”

Location of the trailhead in the Sycan Marsh: For the location of the Sycan Marsh trailhead I actually did a bit of digging around. Nobody I knew has ever been out there so I called the park ranger responsible for that area. The closest access to Sycan Marsh is from Horse Glade trailhead. Apparently there is a gap in the trail that was put in to deter motorized vehicles from driving on it between those two locations (there are endangered species in the marsh). To his knowledge it should be accessible to bikes and hikers still.  You should be able to access the Horse Glade trailhead off of Ivory Pine road and turning on road 27″

and so on: “We get people from time to time asking about this section of trail but I have yet to hear of anybody that has traveled it. The park ranger even admitted a degree of ignorance to specifics of things out there. It seems to be a very remote area. If you do make the trip, I would really like to hear about it!”  I do have first-hand knowledge of many of the dirt roads and ATV trails in the land just south west of Sprague River. If travels bring you through there I should probably be more helpful.

I also found this journal on crazyguyonabike.com.  It has some good info, but is a little dated… 2008I hope this helps you plan your trip.  I can’t say enough about how helpful the folks were at Hutch’s with my questions and they can also help you if you have more specific questions or need supplies before your ride.

 

Answered by Cari Soong on December 9th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I will be visiting Southern Oregon in March. Is this a good time to go mushroom foraging?

Hi Emily,

I gather that you’re after morels, which are this region’s signature springtime mushrooms. The actual season depends largely on elevation. If we get some warm weather in February (50s), which is not uncommon, there can be early flushes of mushrooms in March, particularly in areas burned over by forest fire the previous year. The picking starts to accelerate in April at lower elevations, around 1,000 to 2,000 feet, but the main crop comes in May out of the region’s mountains.

You could get lucky if you have a proven spot in mind. Otherwise, speaking from experience, you can spend a lot of time wandering around in the woods, getting poison oak for your pains and coming home empty-handed. Then you’ll walk past a bark-mulched planter bed in the city and see the mushrooms among the shrubbery!

Just make sure wherever you go, you obtain a permit from whatever agency manages the land you’ll be picking on, which can take a bit of figuring out. It’s usually Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service.

Here’s a story I wrote for the Mail Tribune newspaper about shrooming that has some more tips.

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080508/LIFE/805080301&cid=sitesearch

Sincerely,

Sarah Lemon

www.mailtribune.com/wholedish
www.facebook.com/thewholedish

Answered by Sarah Lemon on December 7th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are some fun things to do in the Roseburg area? We like museums, scenic drives and local attractions. -Terry L.

Perhaps the most well-known attraction in the Roseburg area is Wildlife Safari, a few miles away in the smaller town of Winston. Speaking from personal experience, this is fun for kids and adults alike. Here’s a story from the Mail Tribune newspaper’s Joy magazine about it: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/JOY/706200302&cid=sitesearch

There’s also the Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History. And you’re very close to the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, which as the name implies is one of the most scenic drives in the region, with numerous waterfalls to see along the route.

The Roseburg area has become a major player in wine grape-growing in Oregon, so there are lots of opportunities for wine tasting if you’re so inclined. Another adult form of recreation is Seven Feathers casino and resort, about 30 minutes away in Canyonville. It’s a main venue for musical acts, comedy shows, rodeos and the like. There’s also a new spa at the resort.

Like other Southern Oregonians, residents of Roseburg spend a lot of time in and around a major river, the Umpqua, which has rafting, fishing and jetboating opportunities.

I would suggest consulting the community calendar published online by the Umpqua-News Review when you get to town: http://www.nrtoday.com/Entertainment/Calendar.

Answered by Sarah Lemon on October 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are the most beautiful sites in Southern Oregon? What is the best beach for RVs?

In the Southern Oregon Region, the most beautiful site arguably is Crater Lake, the centerpiece of the state’s only national park and a sacred site to native tribes long before settlers “discovered it.” The summertime and wintertime landscapes each show unique facets of this natural wonder.

In Southern Oregon, there are several sites I recommend at various points along the coast. Starting with the farthest south, Harris Beach State Park has 36 full-hookup sites; http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_79.php About 80 miles north in Bandon, Bullards Beach State Park is larger with 104 full-hookup sites. About 25 miles just outside Charleston, Bastendorff Beach county park has 74 full-hookup sites: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/CoosCountyParks/Bastendorff.aspx.

And although Bastendorff Beach isn’t quite as easy to access on foot as beaches at the previous two sites mentioned, this is my personal favorite beach on the South Coast, and the one I always go to. On the south end of the Coos Bay jetty, the beach is long and flat with finely textured sand. A sandstone cliff borders one end that makes for nice tidepooling and surf fishing at low tide. Water is shallow for a quite a ways in the surf zone. It’s popular with surfers and people flying kites and walking dogs. On a clear day, Cape Arago lighthouse (isolated, closed to the public and hard to spot from almost any other point on the coast) is visible from the beach’s north end.

Enjoy your stay,
Sarah Lemon

 

Answered by Sarah Lemon on October 17th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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What are some of the best spots to view fall leaves between Crater Lake and Lakeview?

Greetings from Southern Oregon,

West of Crater Lake in northern Jackson County, there are stands of maple that turn orange and crimson this time of year. East of Crater Lake, the fall color show is put on by native aspens. The main concentration is in the Fort Klamath area. But there are numerous groves in the vast Fremont National Forest scattered in the upper reaches of the Sycan, Chewaucan, Sprague and Williamson rivers, between Klamath Falls and Lakeview, according to the Oregonian.

Here’s a story from the Mail Tribune newspaper about some of the best aspen viewing: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071011/LIFE/710110301&cid=sitesearch

Sincerely,
Sarah Lemon

Answered by Sarah Lemon on October 15th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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