By Jason Haley
Jackson County is famous for the mighty Rogue River, majestic mountains for skiing, biking and hiking and prime farmland that yields award-winning wines and gourmet fruit. It’s also gateway to North America’s deepest lake and Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake. It features distinct versions of all four seasons, healthy fish and wildlife populations, diverse terrain and habitat types and the gamut of outdoor recreation opportunities.
The County is characterized by Mt. Ashland on the south and Mt. McLoughlin, Rustler Peak and the Pacific Crest on the east. Mt. McLoughlin can be seen for miles around and calls to outdoor lovers from the valley floor below. Emigrant, Lost Creek, Agate, Willow, Applegate, Lake of the Woods, Hyatt and Howard Prairie are just a few of the lakes available for fishing, boating, and water sports. Upper and Lower Table Rock, the Applegate Valley, Sky Lakes Wilderness and the cultural attractions of the Cities of Medford, Ashland and Jacksonville just scratch the surface of what’s here.
The Rogue River, made famous by western writer Zane Grey, runs through the County. People come from all over the world to fish for salmon and steelhead in this mighty river that originates high in Crater Lake National Park. Bank and drift fisherman alike find success here. Rafting is equally popular and truly world class.
The Upper Rogue River is popular with stream anglers who find access off Highway 62 near Union Creek above Lost Creek Lake. The stretch from Union Creek near Natural Bridge to just above Lost Creek is popular during the stream trout seasons and is stocked with healthy rainbows. Large portions of the Upper and Lower Rogue are designated Wild and Scenic – more Rogue River.
Crater Lake sits in the caldera of Mt. Mazama. Few places on earth combine 2,000 foot cliffs, mirror-like blue water, a turbulent volcanic past and captivating history and pre-history so close to world-class urban services.
No matter how many times you’ve visited this natural wonder, it never ceases to amaze. The depth, clarity, beauty and uniqueness of this national treasure are never taken for granted, even by County residents living virtually next door. Crater Lake is an easy day-trip from every City and town within Jackson County. Jackson County is the gateway to Crater Lake which is a summer and winter destination and is easily accessed from Highway 62. The lake has two islands which are amazing geologic formations of their own.
Lost Creek Lake is formed by Lost Creek Dam, which holds back
the waters of the Rogue, Lost Creek and smaller tributaries. The lake is the
largest in Jackson County and is enjoyed by skiers, fisherman, swimmers,
campers, hikers and bikers.
Fishing is one of the major attractions. Smallmouth bass and trout are the
primary targets. Water and jet skiing is also popular and occurs on the lower,
warmer portion of the lake. The channelized section above Peyton Bridge is
typically cooler and has a five mile per hour speed limit. This up-river
portion of the lake is particularly scenic -- more Lost Creek Lake
Mt. Ashland Ski Area sits atop this beautiful snow-capped mountain just minutes from the world-class City of Ashland’s fine dining, lodging, shopping and cultural attractions. Ski rates are some of the best around.
Mt. Ashland is the highest peak in the Siskiyou range at 7,533 feet in elevation and has nearly 1,200 vertical feet of drop with 200 acres of skiing and boarding area. It can accommodate all skill levels with four lifts and twenty-three ski runs plus open bowl skiing. Forty acres of trails are lit for night skiing. Lessons and rentals are available through the Tudor-style lodge which also has food service, bar/lounge, and ticket sales.
Sky Lakes Wilderness includes the Pacific Crest Trail along the County’s east side. This large wilderness abuts Crater Lake National Park and includes a huge network of trails, high-mountain lakes, streams and meadows. It also contains Mt. McLoughlin.
Mount McLoughlin is a steep-sided lava cone reaching 9,945 feet above sea level. It was named around 1838 after John McLoughlin, an agent for the Hudson's Bay Company. Mt. McLoughlin has been known by a number of different names over the years, including Mount Pitt (after the Pit River), Big Butte, M'laiksini Yaina (Klamath people), Malsi (Takelma people), Mount Shasty (although this name was applied to Mount Shasta to the south by the 1841 Wilkes Expedition), and Snowy Butte.
Well known cultural attractions abound in Jackson County, including the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville, Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Cabaret Theater and the Craterian Ginger Rodgers Theater in historic downtown Medford. There are also dozens of art galleries, museums, theaters, restaurants and antique shops and there is no sales tax!
Visit Harry & David’s Country Village to get a taste of the specialty
fruit, nuts, sweets, fine-wines and other gourmet items that have made the Rogue
Valley famous. History buffs will enjoy Jacksonville, the site of Oregon's
19th-Century gold rush and a National Historic Landmark. Jacksonville was once
the County seat until the railroad bypassed it and Medford became the center of
Jacksonville is now a popular tourist attraction with fine dining, live entertainment, and hiking trails. Travel west through Jacksonville into the beautiful Applegate Valley and take the loop road through Murphy to Grants Pass before heading back south to Medford.
Jackson County is home to world-class hunting and fishing. Medford, the County seat, has consistently appeared in Outdoor Life’s list of America’s top 200 towns for sportsmen (2009, 2010 and 2011). Grants Pass, Bend and other nearby Oregon towns have also appeared, some very high on the list.
Public land and over-the-counter deer, elk and bear tags make this region home base for many who live the outdoor lifestyle. Blue and ruffed grouse, mountain quail, waterfowl, bass and trout, are also on the menu here.
Welcome to Jackson County!
Photos by Logan and Sarah Miles, Joan McBee, Amber Galusha, Barb Wilkinson, Steven Theel, Edward Lee Amerson of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waylon Parker, Michael Crawford, National Park Service, Crater Lake, Britt Festivals and Jason Haley
If you are interested in advertising on this page contact Jason Haley at 541-601-8799.