What makes the Rogue Valley so special?
Oregon’s Rogue Valley is beloved by so many, near and far, for its endless wild beauty, countless activities and community feel. When you first see Rogue Valley, by plane or Interstate 5, you’ll catch a glimpse of the volcanic Mt. McLoughlin in the heart of the valley. The views are sweeping: Mt. Ashland to the south, Table Rocks to the north and Roxy Ann Peak to the east.
The Rogue Valley is the perfect place if looking for access to the great outdoors as well as immersive cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking for local theater, summer hiking along the iconic Pacific Crest Trail, or world-class hunting and fishing, there’s something for everyone.
Cities in Rogue Valley
Rogue Valley is home to a number of cities spread throughout the valley. Here are just a few of the most popular ones.
Medford is the largest city in the Rogue Valley and is home to the region’s local airport. Enjoy the city’s brewpubs, wineries, artisan cuisine, and shopping, or venture outside to explore the Rogue Valley’s best hiking – with Table Rocks offering a scenic backdrop to your excursion. The Rogue River runs through Medford, and Crater Lake National Park is only 50 miles away.
Ashland is that town that everyone talks about. This cultural hotspot is home to award-winning galleries, theaters and restaurants. The cute little town rests at the base of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, offering plenty of outdoor recreation activities, from skiing to hiking and beyond. It’s the perfect city to visit year-round, and it’s difficult not to fall in love.
This historic Gold Rush town was once known for its gold and its prime location as a stagecoach stop. Nowadays, the town has been transformed into a thriving cultural and epicurean scene. The city is home to the summer-long Britt Music & Arts Festival as well as local shops and eateries, celebrated winemarkers, and great hiking and biking opportunities.
If you’re interested in whitewater rafting, chances are you’ll find your way to Grants Pass. Grants Pass is home to Oregon’s best whitewater rafting, but the town is also known for its slogan: “It’s the Climate.” The Rogue River rushes through the town, but don’t get too distracted. There are plenty of great places to eat and drink as well as shopping and outdoor recreation.
Applegate Valley lies along the river of the same name in Southern Oregon. Take a scenic drive through the historic Jacksonville and Grants Pass and soak up the miles and miles of farmland around you. The valley, located by the Oregon-California border, actually extends into Northern California. This area is known for their countless trails.
Things to do in Rogue Valley
The Rogue Valley offers endless adventures, no matter the time of year. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Oregon’s Rogue Valley.
Southern Oregon’s Rogue River is nationally known for its reliable salmon and steelhead fishing. In addition, the area has plenty of trout fishing opportunities. No matter your level of experience, you’ll find something for every fancy, from easy summer angling to challenging fly fishing for wild trout to the special run of half-pounders in the lower river. If you love to fish, there are countless opportunities to explore in the Rogue Valley. Other noteworthy rivers include the Illinois River, the Applegate River, the Klamath River, as well as the Umpqua River.
Oregon checks all the boxes for any big game hunter’s bucket list. With over 34 million acres of public land open to hunters, the state draws hundreds of hunters each year looking to try their hand. Look out for elk, deer, pronghorn and bighorn sheep. In particular, Southern Oregon has wide stretches of public lands open to hunters. If you have the proper licenses, Southern Oregon can be a fantastic place to go hunting.
White water rafting & Boating
Looking for a little adrenaline? White water rafting is the way to go! No visit to Rogue Valley would be complete without experiencing the “Wild and Scenic” Rogue River. Explore more white water rafting options here. If white water rafting seems too daunting, don’t worry – the Rogue Valley region has plenty of boating opportunities along calmer waters, too.
Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival
If you love theater, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Ashland’s famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Each year, thousands of people flock to Ashland to enjoy the Shakespeare Festival as well as the quaint small town of Ashland.
The festival first began in 1935 with the production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Since then, the festival has grown quite a bit. It now spans three theaters and runs from early June to mid-October. Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival puts on 11 world-class productions by both classical and contemporary playwrights. In addition, aspiring actors, artists, directors and theater professionals can partake in classes and camps throughout the year.
Visit Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the United States. In fact, this beautiful spot is a bucket list destination for many. Crater Lake is located just two hours north of Medford and offers pristine blue waters and sheer cliff-rimmed viewpoints. If you visit in summertime, don’t miss the 33-mile Rim Drive around the lake; it’s open from early July to late October most of the time. The scenic drive may take two to three hours, but includes more than 30 gorgeous pull-out spots with breathtaking views.
Despite its ranking as the 9th deepest lake in the world, Crater Lake actively encourages fishing, swimming and boat tours. If you prefer to go on foot, don’t be afraid to hike around the lake. However, be aware of wildlife at dawn and dusk.
Soak up the wine scene
The Rogue Valley is known for their wine country, so why not try some of the local wineries? This region has been named a top global wine destination by both Forbes Magazine and Wine Enthusiast. Here are some fun facts for you:
- The Rogue Valley has 4 wine trails
- 52 tasting rooms
- 88 vineyards
- And it is home to 70 varietals grown in the area
When it comes to wine, there’s plenty to choose from! Wine enthusiasts know that most wine destinations are beautiful, but the Rogue Valley is truly stunning. You can’t help but fall in love with the rolling hills, lush grapevines and small rustic wineries. It would be hard to pick just one but we’d recommend visiting Naumes Suncrest Winery, Irvine and Roberts Vineyard, or Dancin Vineyard in Medford Oregon.
Stop by a farmer’s market
The Rogue Valley is known for its plentiful agriculture bounties. Apples, pears, peaches, corn, and of course grapes are just some of the many crops produced in this region. That makes the Rogue Valley one of the best places to buy produce. And what better way than a farmer’s market? You can find local markets in Ashland, Medford, Phoenix, Talent, Grants Pass, and Jacksonville.
Oregon state has countless epic hikes, but the hikes in Rogue Valley remain some of our favorites. The Table Rocks, for example, draws more than 45,000 visits each year looking to hike the moderate 1.25-mile trail. It’s especially pretty in the spring, when wildflowers are in bloom.
The iconic Pacific Crest trail also passes through the region, and it’s easy to jump on the trail for a day and experience a small section of the epic trail. Alternatively, you can also visit Prescott Park, Oregon’s second largest municipal park, for 360-degree panorama views of Rogue Valley.
Looking to Relocate?
If you’re looking to relocate to the Rogue Valley, you’ll need a trusted friend on your side. The professionals at Martin Outdoor Property Group can help you find the right property for your needs, from luxury cabins to the next legacy ranch in your family. Contact us here.