Crater Lake_Justin Bailie
Whether you explore by hike, , bike, boat or car, a visit to Crater Lake National Park should be on everyone's bucket list. (Photo credit: Justin Bailie)
North Umpqua_Greg Vaughn
Challenge yourself on a guided rafting trip of the North Umpqua, boasting rapids from Class I to Class IV. (Photo credit: Greg Vaughn)

Can’t decide between riding the rapids or trekking around the deepest lake in America? Come to Southern Oregon and you can do both. On this itinerary, you’ll hike the rim of incredible Crater Lake and discover that a lake really can be that blue. Then go whitewater rafting on the Wild and Scenic North Umpqua, where you’ll pass striking basalt columns and vertical volcanic spires.

Considered one of the country’s crown jewels, a visit to Crater Lake National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. With more than 90 miles of trail, ranger-led hikes and boat tours, there are countless viewpoints to stop and marvel at the deep blue lake surrounded by 2,000-foot cliffs.

When you’re done exploring, the historic Crater Lake Lodge awaits. Built on the edge of the caldera in 1915, the lodge offers three restaurants and one of the most breathtaking views of the lake. Watch the sunset from the lodge, or hike to the top of the Watchman Peak Trail for amazing views from above.

The next day, it’s time to challenge yourself in the whitewater of the North Umpqua. Boasting rapids all the way from Class I to Class IV, floaters can just get their feet wet or test their rock-maneuvering skills. Contact Ouzel Outfitters for a fun guided trip on the water, where you’ll pass through gorges, ancient wilderness and dense forest.

When you’re ready for dry land, relax with a visit to Troon Vineyard. One of the oldest wineries in the Applegate Valley and Southern Oregon, Troon’s award-winning vintages and panoramic wine country views are the perfect cap to an exciting day on the water. Finish up your Southern Oregon adventure with a stay at the Steamboat Inn, where you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of the North Umpqua you now know well.

about author Emily Forsha

Emily Forsha is Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager. When she’s not road tripping around the state with her husband and two young boys, this proud native Oregonian is cooking up new recipes in her kitchen, sampling the latest craft brews and cheering on her beloved Oregon Ducks.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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