: The Big K Guest Ranch

Unplug with an Oregon Farm Stay

April 20, 2015 (Updated August 25, 2021)

Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor and outdoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. It’s also wildfire season — plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.

Staying at a farm or ranch in Oregon is all about trade-offs — trading your alarm clock for the rooster’s crow, that breakfast snack bar for a plate of farm-fresh eggs and an evening in front of the TV for sunset on the porch. 

When you come to a farm stay, it’s your decision how much (or little) activity you want to do. With lodging ranging from luxury farmhouses to rustic cabins, it’s all about connecting to the food, fresh air and countryside. You can certainly choose to help out with farm chores or take part in farm-based activities. Or you can opt for the hammock and glass of wine. Here’s your guide to Oregon’s wide variety of farm and ranch stays across the state. 

A permanent canvas tent is perched on a platform in a forest
Willow-Witt Ranch
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Southern Oregon

Just north of Grants Pass in the town of Rogue River — and part of the Rogue Valley Food TrailPholia Farm houses guests in a 1970 Airstream trailer on its 24-acre off-grid goat farm. Help feed the Nigerian Dwarf goats, take a cheesemaking class (Pholia makes award-winning, handmade aged and raw-milk cheeses) or take a hike in the forested foothills.

Stay in a three-bedroom off-grid solar house, a farmhouse studio, a wall tent, or your very own tent, RV or campervan at Willow-Witt Ranch, in the hills just outside of Ashland. Part of the Rogue Valley Food Trail, this 445-acre property offers it all: marked hiking trails for meandering through the farms, forests and wetlands; a guided day-hike experience with pack goats; and organic eggs and raw goat milk available for purchase. Owners Suzanne Willow and Anita Witt share a passion for land conservation and restoration, alternative energy, and sustainable agriculture. 

The Big K Guest Ranch in Elkton offers 20 spacious guest cabins with country-chic decor and even Wi-Fi, if you’re not ready to fully unplug. You can upgrade to the country suite, which includes a gas fireplace, hot tub and private balcony. The 2,500-acre ranch sits along the Umpqua River, with fishing, hiking and wine tasting being some of the most popular activities. Make sure to visit Elkton’s wine-tasting rooms just a few minutes north, and find more inspired experiences along the Great Umpqua Food Trail.

A woman rides a horse along a ridgeline
Wilson Ranches Retreat (Photo by Christian Heeb)

Eastern Oregon

As the name suggests, Barking Mad Farm in Enterprise welcomes your four-legged friends to wipe their paws on the welcome mat. Enjoy 42 acres of pastureland (with many off-leash romping spots) and proximity to millions of acres of public lands rich with wildlife. Cozy suites offer views of the Wallowa Valley.

Imagine waking up on a working cattle and hay ranch in the heart of Oregon’s John Day Territory. The 9,000-acre property at Wilson Ranches Retreat, just west of Fossil, combines Western charm with style and comfort. You can stay in the historic 1910 Sears Roebuck Ranch House bed-and-breakfast that features six ranch-style guest rooms and a country breakfast each morning. Your only decision will be what to do all day: ride into the high-desert hills on horseback, join a cattle drive, wander through the property to see the fruit trees and wildlife, or set off on a daytime adventure to explore the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, just over an hour south.

Cornucopia Lodge & Pack Station in Halfway offers one-bedroom and two-bedroom cabins that are pet-friendly and include small kitchenettes and front porches for lounging. Couples may opt for more luxury in the two lodge rooms. Prepare for homemade, family-style breakfasts (included) and upscale dinners (at an extra charge) as well as limited cell service, since the lodge is off the grid. The property is easily accessible in the summer but must be accessed by snowmobile (or requested transport) in winter. See views of the Wallowa Mountains at the southern edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Spend time exploring the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and don’t miss the nearby ghost town of Cornucopia, accessible by foot or bicycle. 

 

Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge

The 40-acre farm at Draper Girls Country Farm just south of Hood River sprawls at the foot of Mt. Hood. Relax in the country cottage at the heart of this U-pick fruit farm, which grows cherries, apples, pears, and strawberries, and operates the only fresh-juice cidery in the region.

 

Willamette Valley

If you’re a horse lover, a glamping farm stay at Territorial Farm Stay & Stable in Junction City may be just the getaway you’re looking for. Guests can opt to meet the horses, take riding lessons, bring your own horse to ride the local trails or stable overnight during your stay. RVs can pull in for full electrical hookups, or parties of four may book the pet-friendly RV on-site, known as “Fern.” Find tons of food and drink options along the self-guided South Willamette Valley Food Trail, as well as endless outdoor activities in nearby Corvallis or Eugene. 

Families looking for a luxury countryside adventure will fall in love with Crooked Finger Farms, located on a large organic farm in Silverton. Guests have access to 67 acres of private lawns, gardens, fields, meadows and trails where you can hang out with the horses, chickens, cat and friendly dog. The home is filled with original artwork and antiques, plus a gourmet kitchen. It also offers high-speed internet so you can stay connected to work if that’s your goal. Nearby in Silverton, you can tour local wineries, hike or bike at Silver Falls State Park, and visit the year-round blooms at the Oregon Garden Resort

Gotlands at Appletree Farm

Just outside of Eugene, Appletree Farm offers a one-of-a-kind French countryside-inspired experience, inviting guests (who wish) to work with the animals, tend the garden, help with French cooking and preserving, and work with wool. The herd of Gotland sheep and flock of hens will keep you company. Add-ons include a French breakfast and a bottle of local wine, a snack board, and a batch of handmade madeleines. The cozy farm studio is perfect for two guests and comes stocked with farm-fresh eggs and seasonal produce. 

Just minutes from Oregon City, Moon Ridge Farms in Beavercreek transports you to a different era. The renovated 1901 farmhouse set on 40 acres offers room for six guests looking to reconnect to nature. Top activities include watching the sunset from the back deck, cooking a meal on the outdoor patio in the rose garden, picnicking in the grassy fields, walking around the meadow labyrinth, and enjoying the orchards, streams and old-growth forests. The working farm produces organic blueberries, vegetables and fresh eggs, and raises goats, rabbits and chickens.

 

Central Oregon

At Long Hollow Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Sisters, there’s always something to join in on: moving cows, fixing fences or harvesting hay. Enjoy hearty home-cooked meals and comfortable rooms in the historic ranch house. Fill your days with trail rides, fly-fishing and hiking in the Central Oregon mountains.

About The
Author

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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