By Madison Childers | 04/15/2024 | Featured Articles, Fishing, Jetboats, National Park, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Rafting, Things to Do

EXPLORE CRATER LAKE: AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO MEDFORD AND BEYOND

In the heart of Southern Oregon, Medford stands as a base camp for those drawn to the rugged outdoors and the raw beauty of the Pacific Northwest. This 3-day trek is a guide for adventurers eager to explore the wilds of the Rogue Valley, the deep calm of Crater Lake, and the region’s hearty culinary offerings. From the swift currents of Rogue Jet Boats to the tranquil shores of America's deepest lake, this journey is an invitation to explore the untamed corners of Southern Oregon.

Our tale starts with your arrival in Medford, a city surrounded by peaks and forests, offering a warm welcome and a variety of places to bunk down before setting off into the wilderness.

The adventure kicks off  with Rogue Jet Boat Adventures, where you’ll be transported through the Rogue River. This ride is filled with thrill and awe as your guide provides you with a history of the Table Rocks while you enjoy a high-speed adventure. You’ll arrive in Discovery Park where often you’ll find live music as well as local food and beverage options.

As dusk falls, the river calls you to dine along its banks, where you can fill up on dishes that are as straightforward and hearty as the landscape around you. Check out Touvelle Tavern and eat right amongst the Table Rocks at this bar & grill highly recommended by locals.

The early bird gets the worm for the drive to Crater Lake National Park. Head out at sunrise to fill your day with all of the adventures in Medford’s backyard. Plan for extra time during your commute to the park. Half way through your drive, stop at Union Creek Falls and Natural Bridge Trail for the perfect introduction to Southern Oregon's water scene. 

Reaching Crater Lake, you're greeted by its vast blue expanse, surrounded by cliffs and pines. The Rim Drive serves up a variety of perspectives, each stop a new angle on the lake’s serene beauty. The trails call to you, leading to sweeping views from Garfield Peak and down to Cleetwood Cove, the only spot where you can touch the lake’s icy waters.

Depending on the time of year, the park offers a variety of dining options before you make the trek back to Medford. Enjoy country-style burgers at Annie Creek Restaurant or gourmet dining at Crater Lake Lodge. If you prefer to eat in the comfort of your suite after a long, fun-filled day, click here for a list of hotels with exceptional room service.

Before heading out on your final day of adventure, stop in Central Point at the Artisan Corridor. Here you’ll find Rogue Creamery, home to the best blue cheese in the world, Coquette Bakery, a French-style bakery with delicious treats, Lillie Belle Farms and the Ryan Rose Wine Tasting Room. Indulge in coffee, baked goods and cheese for a full taste of the Rogue in one location. 

Once your appetite is satisfied, head to Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventure, where you can fly above the canopy with aerial views of the Rogue Valley. Complete the day with A rafting excursion on the Rogue River with Rogue Rafting Company finished with a wine tasting at Del Rio Vineyards. Had enough adventure for one weekend? Head back to Medford and relax with a variety or tasting rooms complete with full dining menus and exquisite culinary pairings.

This 3-day adventure through Southern Oregon, from the exhilarating to the peaceful, uncovers the unpolished charm of the region. Medford and its environs tell a story of exploration, rest, and the simple pleasure of good food, inviting all who journey here to carve their own path through its landscapes. As you leave, memories of Crater Lake's deep blue, the Rogue River's lively waters, and the local vineyards' bounty stay with you, a silent call to return and discover what lies beyond the next trail.

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