6 Winter adventures to explore in the rogue valley, discover, hiking, blog banner
By Samantha C | 01/19/2022 | Featured Articles, Lakes & Rivers, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Ski & Snowboard, State Park, Things to Do, Trails


Many of us think of summer as the prime time for hiking adventures, but don’t be fooled! Southern Oregon is filled with winter hiking destinations that are sure to give you a seasonal experience to remember. Here are 6 winter hikes to experience in the Rogue Valley!

Crater Lake National Park in the winter

It’s no secret that Crater Lake is one of Oregon’s most beloved tourist destinations. This incredible National Park is only 50 miles away from Medford, and it gets a lot of visitors in the summer months. But did you know that Crater Lake gets about 42 feet of snow per year? That means there is plenty of fun to be had in the winter season! Even the the road around the rim of Crater Lake is closed during the winter months due to the snow and unsafe driving conditions, you can still get a gorgeous view of the lake from Rim Village, and start your winter adventure from there. 

Mazama Loop: Located in the Mazama Campground, just past the park's entrance off Highway 62 is a 1.7 mile loop trail that is highly recommended for beginner ross country skiers. This trail is relatively flat and offers a view of Annie Creek Canyon.

West Rim Drive: The most popular trail for skiing and snow shoeing is along West Rim Drive which offers plenty of opportunities to reach multiple overlooks of Crater Lake and Wizard Island.  This route is generally suitable for all levels of skiers when the snow conditions are favorable. You can take this route for about 1.2 miles to get to Discovery Point, which will give you a spectacular view. Discovery Point also marks the spot where gold prospector John Wesley Hillman first viewed Crater Lake in 1853.

You can view the latest Crater Lake Visitor Guide to see more possible trails and plan your next snowy adventure! hike and witness some of Crater Lakes most majestic snowy views. There are even areas to ski and snowboard, however without a chairlift, you will need to hike up a slope before riding down. Regardless of whichever adventure you choose, you can enjoy a meal at Rim Village Cafe and pick up a souvenir at the gift shop to top off the great day in the snow!

Directions from Medford:

View from Roxy Ann Peak | Photo: VanMarmot

If you're looking for a quick and easy destination for a winter outdoor hike, Roxy Ann Peak Trail should be at the top of your list. The peak can be seen from the heart of Medford, and the view from the top is breathtaking, especially when it’s covered in snow! Open year-round, his trail is dog friendly, and a suitable hike for all levels. This trail goes by three picnic areas: Prescott Park Picnic AreaRoxy Ann Picnic Area, and Madrone Ledge Picnic Area. You can stop at any of these points for a great view. The best part about reaching the top on a clear day is that you can catch a glimpse of several other summits including Mt. Shasta, Pilot Rock, Mt. Ashland, Wagner Butte, Mt. McLoughlin,  and Soda Mountain.

Distance: 4.9 loop trail

Elevation Gain: 1,036 feet

Directions from Medford:

If you've been up Roxy Ann Peak Trail and are looking for a change, try Greenhorn Trail. This 5 mile ascends a different path, but meets Roxy Ann Peak Trail at the top of the peak and overlaps on the way back down. Just another route you can enjoy on a winter day!

Lower Table Rock

If an incredible view is what you’re looking for, Lower Table Rock may be just the thing. This hike offers something fun each season. While you may know that the spring wildflowers here bloom beautiful, you might be surprised to find that the winter brings it's own charm. In the winter, there are pools that form and invite the sounds of hundreds of croaking frogs! If you’re there in the very early morning, or early evening, you might catch their symphony! When you reach the top of the hike, you can the the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain Ranges. It always pays off when an uphill hike has a beautiful view at the top! And Lower Table Rock is no different.

Distance: 6.2 miles 

Elevation gain: 850 ft.

Directions from Medford:

Let’s face it, waterfalls are incredible no matter what season it is. Mill Creek Falls is a great trail for those who are looking for an easier hike with a wow factor. For a beginner level hike, this is great for families, kids and dogs alike. The trail includes access to two waterfalls: Mill Creek Falls and Barr Creek Falls. The flow from these waters fluctuate, but are their strongest during the winter and spring months. During especially cold days, the waterfalls may partially freeze and you could be in luck for an incredible photo opportunity!

Distance: 1.4 miles out and back

Elevation Gain: 164 ft


Lithia Park, best Oregon hikes in Medford, hiking and biking trails in Medford

In the heart of Ashland you will find Lithia Park, a 2.1 mile loop with lots to see! With plenty of shade and park benches, this leisurely stroll is comfortable for all levels. Be prepared to spot an abundance of wildlife, including deer, birds, turkeys, and a pond full of ducks. Accessible from downtown Ashland, Lithia Park is a fun relaxed trail to spend a winter afternoon. One of the best parts about visiting Lithia Park in the winter is the Ashland Ice Rink! Open daily, during the winter months, the Ashland Ice Rink is great for all ages to have some fun ice skating!  You can find the rink adjacent to Lithia Park, meaning you can go for a nice stroll through the park and finish the afternoon with a leisurely skate. This fun activity is in the heart of Ashland, meaning you can visit nearby restaurants and shops to make it a full day of fun!

Distance: 2.1 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 137 ft

Directions from Medford:

Photo: AshlandTrails.com

Further away from town, you can find Hyatt Lake Campground.  About 35 miles from Medford, this gem is accessible less than an hour from town, but once you’re there you’ll feel like you’re on a winter wonderland vacation! The campground turns into 1 mile of great show-shoeing terrain. And if that's not enough, the road around the east side of the lake shuts down in the winter making this area prime terrain for sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and some snowmobiles! This spot allows you to choose your own winter adventure. The best part is you can be there in less than an hour! 

Directions from Medford:

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