Many know the Rogue Valley for its summertime pursuits: hiking to epic vistas, fishing Wild and Scenic Rivers, tasting artisan treats and sipping award-winning wine. But those unique opportunities don’t disappear in winter. In fact, one might argue they get even better.
Visit the Rogue Valley when the weather cools and the crowds thin. Snow-seekers can ski Mt. Ashland or find a snowshoe trail near a cozy lodge. Wine lovers can relish in cellar season, when production wraps up and winemakers have time to chat. And there are still plenty of hiking trails, golf tees and ziplines to explore. Ready for a wintercation in the Rogue Valley? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Ski Mt. Ashland
With a summit elevation of 7,533 feet, Mt. Ashland is the highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountains. Come winter the community-owned ski area becomes a snowy playground, with 23 runs, five lifts, two terrain parks and 220 acres of fun. There’s something for everyone — bunny hills for the novice; heart-pounding slopes and twilight skiing for seasoned pros. After you’ve skied to your heart’s content, relax in the newly renovated Tudar-style lodge. Then take the free Ski Hopper shuttle back to Ashland: stops include Callahan’s Lodge, Ashland Hills Hotel and Southern Oregon University.
Hit the trails
It’s no secret that Southern Oregon is a sunny hiker’s paradise year-round, with many top trails in the Rogue Valley. Near Grants Pass, the Rogue River Trail showcases the Wild and Scenic River with abundant wildlife; check the weather before going. Two volcanic plateaus standing 800 feet above the valley, Table Rocks is a must-do hike near Central Point and Medford. In Ashland, hike part of Pacific Crest Trail or stick to the peaceful trails in Lithia Park. Afterwards a soak at Ashland’s Lithia Springs Resort is well deserved.
Cast a line
Come December through spring, the Rogue River’s legendary steelhead runs inspire anglers to cast lines from Gold Hill to Grants Pass and beyond. Plan on spending a day with a local river guide like Roe Outfitters or Fishing the Rogue. Then retreat to Grants Pass at The Lodge at Riverside, located on the banks of the Rogue, or Redwood Hyperion Suites, set among scenic gardens.
Your winter golfing getaway awaits. Enjoy great weather and golfing on any day at the Eagle Point Golf Club. The 18-hole championship golf course showcases the natural terrain beauty with a variety of tees and distances suitable for all skill levels. Tee time is always just steps away when you stay at The Chalets, the club’s brand-new boutique lodging featuring luxury suites and ADA options.
Savor the flavors
Bring your appetite to the Rogue Valley, where the Southern Oregon Artisan Corridor in Central Point is a slice of culinary bliss. Chocolatiers at Lillie Belle Farms use old-world techniques to make ganaches, bon bons and caramels. Visit the historic shop of Rogue Creamery in Central Point for samples of the award-winning cheeses, including the famous seasonal blue cheese. Taste the signature Chenin Blanc at Ledger David Cellars’ petite tasting room. Then escape to the gardens at The Willows, a bed and breakfast with a sprawling estate and cooking school. Or rest easy in Medford at White House Bed & Breakfast, featuring gourmet breakfast to order.
Tour the vineyards
Wine lovers will enjoy a Wine Hopper Tour through the beautiful Applegate Valley, Oregon’s oldest wine region. Sip earthy Spanish-style wines at Red Lily Vineyard, where for added fun tastings can be served in test tubes. On the quest to become biodynamic, Troon Vineyard produces Mediterranean-inspired wines that showcase the Rogue Valley’s terrior. In addition to estate wines, Wooldridge Creek Winery is known for its artisan cheeses and charcuterie made onsite; in fact CrushPad Creamery at Wooldridge Creek is Oregon’s first joint creamery and winery. After your tour, enjoy small-town luxury in Jacksonville at McCully House Inn or Magnolia Inn, both walking distance from the charming South Stage Cellars.
Explore Lake of the Woods
Located east of Medford and south of Crater Lake, Lake of the Woods Resort is a magical escape during winter, when snow covers the ground and brings new thrills. Spend the day in the sunshine, enjoying the crisp chill of fresh white powder while snowmobiling groomed trails and snowmobile parks. Sled, snowshoe and cross-country ski at one of the nearby sno-parks, with equipment rentals available at the resort. Then shake the cold off with a hot cup of soup in front of the fire and a stay in one of their cozy lakeside cabins, perfectly suited to combat a cold winter night.
Zip through the valley
Take in the valley from the trees at Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventures in Central Point. The zip line is open all year and will treat you to spectacular views of the Rogue Valley (if you dare to open your eyes and take it all in). Stay the night at The Rogue Regency Inn and Suites in Medford and fuel up in their restaurant, that transforms from casual to fine dining at the blink of an eye; then catch a comedy show or the big game in their sports bar.