Welcome to the Mountain Lakes and the Rogue River. The Mountain Lakes provide boating, swimming, fishing, camping, equestrian camps and many access points and day use areas. They include Crater Lake National Park, Hyatt Lake Resort and Recreation Area, Howard Prairie Resort, Lily Glen Campground,Emigrant Lake, Lake of the Woods, Fish Lake, Fourmile Lake andWillow Lake. For maps of these areas, please refer to the Ashland Map Guide (PDF).
Celebrating 100 years of National Parks in 2016, Oregon’s only National Park is a 1.5 hour drive from Ashland making it the perfectday trip destination to southern Oregon’s landmark that welcomes 480,000 visitors annually from around the world. At 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest and clearest lake in the United States and the ninth deepest in the world, holding 4.6 trillion gallons of water. Crater Lake was formed 7,700 years ago, when Mt. Mazama, a volcano, erupted in a cataclysmic eruption. During this eruption, so much material was evacuated from the internal magma chamber that afterwards, there was not enough left to support the remaining mountain. It collapsed and created the caldera that we now see today, half filled with water. Over many years, rainfall and snow melt filled the caldera leaving the intense blue water. The lake was originally named “Deep Blue Lake” by local Native Americans who revered it. In June 1852, prospectors hunting for gold, led by John Wesley Hillman, stumbled upon it. President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national park May 22, 1902 making Crater Lake the fifth oldest national park.
Crater Lake is well known for its year-round recreational opportunities. In the winter months, snowshoeing, cross country and backcountry skiing can be enjoyed throughout the park, around the rim where accessible and open and by way of Ranger led snowshoe walks. Always be prepared with water, food, never travel alone, and dress accordingly. Access to the park fluctuates seasonally and is dependent upon weather and snowfall. Crater Lake receives an average annual snowfall of 533” or 44’ most of which melts by August. To check the latest information on what entrances are open and how best to access the lake, go to www.nps.gov/crla.
Lodging - Crater Lake Lodge offers dining and lodging with rooms typically booked out a year ahead of time due to the stunning views and popularity.
Biking – The most popular bicycle route at Crater Lake is the 33-mile Rim Drive. This road provides spectacular views of Crater Lake and the surrounding area throughout its length. The road is narrow with long, steep grades. Most cyclists start from the Park Headquarters area and ride around the lake clockwise. This direction puts one of the steepest and longest grades at the beginning of the trip. The Rim ranges from 6500’ to 7900’ elevation, is 33 miles long and about 1.5 hours if driving. For hikers and bikers, many camp mid-way around. Ride the Rim, car free day occurs each September where cyclists from all over the country come to ride the circumference of the lake without any vehicles. For the specific dates go to www.nps.gov/crla
Fishing- Fish are not native to the lake. They were introduced in the lake from 1888-1941. Six species were originally stocked, but only two have survived to today: Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Because they are not native to the lake, fishing is not only allowed, it's encouraged. No license is required and there is no limit on how many you may catch - the only rule is that you must use artificial bait. They do not want anyone to accidentally introduce any other species into the lake. Fishing is allowed along the shoreline and on Wizard Island (with the purchase of a boat tour and Wizard Island ticket.
Swimming – There is only one place where it is safe and legal to get down to the lake shore. It is the Cleetwood Cove Trail, which usually opens mid to late June. The trail is 1.1 miles long and drops nearly 700 feet down to the lake shore. Visitors are welcome to swim in the lake from the shoreline at the end of this trail.
Camping – It is easy to find an enjoyable location whether you are camping in a tent or RV with two different campgrounds to choose from one of which is Mazama Village Campground www.nps.gov.
Hiking – The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) goes right through Crater Lake National Park. As a day hiker, you can access the PCT by way of trails that diverge right from the Rim as well as North Entrance Road and Annie Spring Entrance.
Crater Lake Trolley - Crater Lake Trolley offers a 2 hour guided tour as you are escorted around the 33 mile Rim Drive. The second most exciting and unique way to enjoy the lake is by boat out to Wizard Island with a 2 hour guided Volcano boat tour. From the boat you can get up close and personal with the bluest water where visibility can be up to 140 feet in depth.
Culture and national beauty –On July 29 and 30, 2016, Britt Festivals will celebrate the unique majesty of Crater Lake when members of the Britt Orchestra and Music Director Teddy Abrams perform at the national park. Abrams will lead approximately 40 Britt Orchestra musicians in the performances, with the dramatic panorama of the entire lake as the backdrop. The musicians will perform a world premiere composition by New York-based composer Michael Gordon, commissioned by Britt and inspired by Crater Lake. Gordon will be an artist-in-residence at Crater Lake several times throughout the next year, to draw on the park for inspiration for his composition.
Road Trip South: The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (VLSB) begins at Crater Lake National Park and stretches 500 miles through Oregon to Mt. Lassen in Northern California showcasing the southern end of the Cascade mountain range. It passes lakes, diverse wetlands and scenic ranches all against a stunning backdrop of volcanic landscapes. The VLSB is just one of thirty one “All American Roads” in the USA. The All American Roads are so designated because of their unparalleled beauty and historical sightseeing value.
The Rogue Wild and Scenic River is best known for its outstanding natural scenery, fishing, whitewater boating, and wildlife and cultural resources. Eighty-four miles of the Rogue River was designated wild and scenic by Congress in 1968, under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, to preserve its outstanding qualities. The Applegate River (7 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon) is the east boundary and Lobster Creek (11 mile east of Gold Beach, Oregon) is the west boundary. The area gets over half a million visitors, annually. Recreation opportunities include: driving for pleasure, boating, fishing, guided motorized tour boat trips, guided whitewater fishing and float trips, camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, wildlife viewing, sun bathing and gold panning. The small towns of Galice and Agness are within the river corridor and have gas, lodging and food available May through September.
Recreation facilities include: 12 lodges, 1 RV Park, 10 campgrounds, camping and day use opportunities at 100 undeveloped sandy beaches along the banks of the river, 54 miles of trail, the Smullin Visitor Center at Rand, 4 National Historic Sites, the Rogue Wilderness and 15 boat launch sites.
Use of the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River is regulated each year, from May 15 through October 15, to protect the river corridor from overuse and to provide a wild river experience. During this time, 120 commercial and noncommercial users may obtain special-use permits to enter the Wild section each day. Permits for the regulated use period are originally allocated through a computer selection process, or “lottery.” The annual application period for the permit lottery is December 1 through January 31. From April 1 through October 14, available permits are distributed through a first-come/first-served telephone process. Permits and details on the permit process are available at: River Permits and Information Phone: 541-479-3735 Smullin Visitor Center at Randwww.or.blm.gov/Rogueriver
People travel from around the country to fish and fly fish on the Rogue River. Note the Key that lists the many fishing holes on this map. Or go with a Guide. A fishing license is required. Fishing licenses can be purchased at Ashland Fly shop in downtown Ashland, at BiMart in the Tolman Creek Plaza or go online to www.dfw.state.or.us . In the spring, Salmon run in May and June. Fall is the primary time for fishing with Chinook Salmon running in August and September and Coho Salmon in late October. Fall steelhead run September through the winter.
If you want to enjoy the river on boat, raft or kayak, there are many skilled guides and outfitters that offer half day, full day and multi day river trips for rafting and fishing. Many of them will pick you up in Ashland or are based here. Whether you are looking for a mellow afternoon float or exhilarating adventure, there is something for everyone. Go to www.ashlandchamber.com to find out more about getting on the river. Many local kayakers enjoy boating on the Rogue as well.
Take a Half Day and Full Day River Trip…
Most half day river trips starts below Lower Table Rock and concludes at Gold Hill. A scenic setting starting with mellow riffles and rapids, uniquely progressing from class 1 introductory rapids to the exciting but safe class IV whitewater. Walk around option is available on the two class IV rapids. Mellow stretches between the rapids allow river goers to play games, swim and enjoy river time. Beautiful scenery, sparsely populated and variety of birds and waterfowl add to the many memorable pleasures. www.noahsrafting.com . Half day trips run 3 – 4 hours.
Full day trips run 6 – 7 hours and enable you to see more of the Rogue River or the Upper Klamath River east of Ashland. Most outfitters put in for the full day at Touvelle State Park and head downstream. After mellow rapids, the second half involves fun rapids including Powerhouse and takes out at Gold Hill.
There are many river features to enjoy on the Rogue River, some of which are on this section of the river noted on this map. The rapids range from Class I to Class V. Whether by raft, kayak or boat, it is important to know the river. The European Rapid Rating System Whitewater rapids are rated on a scale of one through six, indicating the difficulty of each rapid at medium water level. CLASS I Very Easy – small, regular waves and riffles; few or no obstacles; little maneuvering required. CLASS II Easy – small waves with some eddies, low ledges, and slow rock gardens; some maneuvering required. CLASS III Medium – numerous waves that are high and irregular; strong eddies; narrow, but clear passages that require expertise in maneuvering; scouting from the shore necessary. CLASS IV Difficult – long rapids with powerful, irregular waves, dangerous rocks, and boiling eddies; precise maneuvering and scouting from the shore imperative; take all possible safety precautions. CLASS V Very Difficult – long rapids with wild turbulence and extremely congested routes that require complex maneuvering; a danger to your life and boat and near the limits of navigation. CLASS VI The Limits of Navigation – rarely run; a definite hazard to your life. These definitions are constant and unchanging; however, personal interpretation can vary. The same rapid may be rated a Class III by one person and a Class IV by someone else. You must determine for yourself the degree of difficulty of any particular rapid. Remember that fluctuating water levels can change the difficulty ratings for rapids. Higher flows make the water more powerful and cover up more rocks. Lower water makes the rapids more technical with more rocks to miss. On the Rogue River, flows below 1,200 cfs are considered low; flows above 6,000 cfs are considered high. Normal spring and summer flows are usually between 4,000 and 1,200 cfs.
Touvelle State Recreation Site is a beautiful day-use park located on the bank of the Rogue River and at the foot of the geologically prominent Table Rocks. You can fish, swim, hike, watch wildlife and experience nature at its finest. An ideal spot for family gatherings and group picnics, the has a large picnic shelter with cooking facilities. There’s a smaller picnic kitchen and three sites with water and electricity. Denman Wildlife refuge is located next to the park and has local and migratory wildlife. A boat ramp with toilet facilities provides excellent access to the river.
Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway
The Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway is the first designated Scenic Bikeway in Southern Oregon to join the 13 other Scenic Bikeways around the state of Oregon. It is an extreme ride for experienced, adventure cyclists. For more details go towww.rideoregonride.com or www.ridewithgps.com . With elevation in the winter, the roads are snow covered for conditions go towww.tripcheck.com . Scenic Bikeway routes often include roads with car and truck traffic, such as this one. Although the Bikeways are routed on low-traffic and low-speed roads whenever possible, most are designated for cyclists that are comfortable riding in some amount of traffic.
Cycling the Scenic Bikeway: The Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway incorporate 5,000 feet of steep and winding climbing through oak savannah into fir forests, showcasing the ecologically diverse ecosystem of the region. The 55-mile Scenic Bikeway starts in Ashland and the route skirts the edges of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the way, a region so ecologically significant that 62,000 acres of it is designated.
The route climbs oak-dotted mountainsides with views of the Rogue Valley and of Pilot Rock, a 25 million-year-old volcanic plug, standing over the valley on the Siskiyou Pass. In the spring wildflowers and red-tailed hawks can be spotted. Above the oak savannah, the Bikeway enters the Cascades ecosystem, with tall pines and Douglas firs providing welcome shade on the way to the 4,551’ Greensprings Summit. Riders can opt for a 5-mile out-and-back to historic Tub Springs State Wayside, where they can fill water bottles from a cold, pure mountain spring, just as emigrants traveling the Applegate Trail did in the 1800’s. Tub Springs is open year round and has restrooms.
Near Hyatt Reservoir you’ll see views of the 9,000’ Mt. McLoughlin, with glimpses of osprey and bald eagles nesting. Nearing the top there is one final 3-mile climb through the wildflower-covered alpine meads of Lily Glen and Buck Prairie before a winding 13 mile descent back to Ashland.
Bike campers can plan a two-day adventure by staying at one of the campgrounds near Hyatt or Howard Prairie Lakes.
For a shorter ride, many cyclists enjoy riding up the 3,000 feet to the Greensprings Inn for a meal and returning the same route which is a 35-mile ride round trip.
Recommended Day Hikes:
Hyatt Lake Resort and Recreation Area
Nestled in the northern corner of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the Hyatt Lake Recreation Area is generally open for camping from May through early October. Hyatt Lake Recreation Area has three campgrounds. The main Hyatt Lake Campground has 54 campsites, ranging from small RV sites to drive-in and walk-in tent sites. Wildcat Primitive Campground has 12 campsites and Horse Camp Equestrian Campground has 5 sites. One designated campsite for Pacific Crest Trail hikers is also available. The Bureau of Land Management's Hyatt Lake Campground is part of the Recreation.gov campground reservation system. The reservation system allows visitors to reserve individual campsites for Loops, A, B, C and Wildcat campground. Day use and Campsite fees apply. For more information please call (541) 482-2031 or (541) 618-2281.
Howard Prairie Resort – a Bike Friendly Business
The Howard Prairie Resort is 155 beautiful acres, including 1.63 miles of lake frontage and breathtaking views of Mt. McLoughlin. The lake waters are teaming with both trout and bass and has some of the best fishing in Southern Oregon. The Resort offers everything from tent sites to large RV sites, a store, restaurant, laundry facility and full service boat marina. Daily fishing licenses are sold in the Lodge building during hours of operation. Annual fishing licenses should be purchased as Sportsman’s Warehouse, Blackbird or Bi-Mart prior to arriving at the resort. You can also purchase your fishing license online through Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The restaurant, store, marina and campground typically are open April through October. Camping and Cabin Reservations accepted online or by phone with a Maximum of 9 Months (to the day) in advance for the 2016 Season.Horse Camp at Lily Glen
This popular equestrian park/campground is utilized by equestrian groups from all over Oregon and Northern California. There is a small stream to cross in the summer (larger in early spring), but most horses can cross it with no problems. With various trails, a campground with corrals in every campsite and two group camp areas with additional corrals, this equestrian park is the perfect place for a quiet afternoon ride and a great place to camp for the night under the stars. Lily Glen Equestrian Park/Campground at Howard Prairie Lake covers a total of 40 acres, including wonderful, easy, riding trails. You can ride around the shore of Howard Prairie Lake or just wander on the many unmapped trails.
Individual Campsites at Lily Glen Park are first come, first served. No Reservations. If your group is interested in reserving one or both of the Group Camp Areas, Reservations are required and made by contacting the Parks Office at (541) 774-8183 For more info go towww.jacksoncountyor.org
Emigrant Lake Park, Campground and Waterslides
As one of Jackson County Park's most popular destinations, Emigrant Lake has it all. Located just minutes from downtown Ashland, Oregon, the park offers a host of activities for the entire family. Emigrant Lake is a local oasis nestled between the hills of Ashland and a great opportunity to get away from it all without having to go too far from home. With 1467 expansive acres, including 12 miles of lake frontage, Emigrant Lake offers various recreational activities including RV/tent camping, fishing for bass, crappie, trout, boating, canoeing/kayaking, water skiing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, playing on the playground, or sliding down the refreshing 280-foot twin flume water slide.
Set up your family reunion, company party, school group function, or wedding reception at one of our four covered Group Picnic Areas. All areas offer electricity, tables, barbecues and nearby restroom facilities. Group Picnic Areas can accommodate from 125 - 300 people and are available to groups from 10 am to sunset. Whether you want to be close to the water, by the boat ramps, near the campground, next to the water slide or playground, one of our picnic shelters will be ideal for your group. Group Picnic Area Reservations are not required, but recommended, and must be made by phone through the Parks Office. Day use park fees are approximately $4 per vehicle. There are 3 boat put ins identified on the map.
The Point RV Park features 32 sites with full hookups, overlooking beautiful shoreline on the lake's north end. Each site offers water, 50-amp electrical service, sewer, and 14' x 50' pads to accommodate larger RV's. It is open all year. For a more natural experience, set up camp in one of the 42 tent sites at the Oak Slope Campground open April through October. All campsites include a campfire ring and picnic table and a nearby restroom/shower building in both areas. RV Park and Campground Reservations are recommended but not required, and may be made online or by phone through the Parks Office, 15 calendar days to 9 months in advance of the first night's stay. Firewood bundles are available for purchase. For prices and reservations go to www.jacksoncountryor.org
If you require a larger space, be sure to utilize the Group Campground area, which can accommodate up to 100 people. Group Campground area offers several picnic tables, large campfire ring, standing barbecue, horseshoe pit and a restroom/shower building nearby, making it a perfect spot for a family reunion, business retreat, or any larger social gathering. Group Camp Reservations are required and must be made by phone through the Parks Office.
Sky Lakes Wilderness
Sky Lakes Wilderness is a land of lakes, rocky ridges and timbered slopes, and was designated by Congress in 1984. Its 113,590 acres straddles southern Oregon’s Cascade Range from Crater Lake National Park southward to Highway 140. It is approximately six miles wide and twenty seven miles long, with elevations ranging from 3800 feet in the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River to a lofty 9495 feet at the top of Mt. McLoughlin. More than 200 pools of water, from small ponds to lakes of 30 – 40 acres, dot the landscape. Fourmile Lake, near the southern end of the area, exceeds 900 acres. The lake basins can sometimes be crowded with other campers, but the wilderness has thousands of acres of forest and scenic ridges where the visitor can find solitude.
Willow Lake Campground and Yurts
Willow Lake, at 3,014’ elevation is a wooded escape set at the base of Mt. McLoughlin, just 7.5 miles east of the City of Butte Falls, Willow Lake is a short drive with great views. With an expansive 927 acres, including 4.4 miles of lake frontage, recreational activities include hiking, swimming, fishing for trout, bass or crappie, camping and boating. Open year round, each of the four cabins at Willow Lake offers two bedrooms, a bathroom with shower, a dining/living area, and a kitchen. For a more traditional experience, set up camp in one of the 32 tent sites or try one of the 31 hookup sites to keep your stay as relaxing as possible. All sites come complete with campfire ring w/grate and picnic tables and restroom/shower building is nearby.
If you require a larger space, be sure to utilize the Group Campground area with its 11 sites, and can accommodate up to 150 people and 15-20 recreational vehicles, making it a perfect spot for a family reunion, business retreat, or any larger social gathering. For the best of both worlds, try one of our brand new cozy Yurts. Each of our two Yurts are furnished with a full Futon sofa, one single/double-sized bunk bed, coffee table, outdoor campfire ring w/grate, picnic table, and a locking door. Reservations are required for cabins, group campground and yurts. They are recommended for camp sites. Reservations may be made online or by phone through the Parks Office, 15 calendar days to 9 months in advance in the first night’s stay.
Fourmile Lake is located off Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods. The campground and day use area is at the southern end of Sky Lakes Wilderness area. Horse corrals are available in the upper portion of the campground and the proximity to the wilderness and Pacific Crest Trail make it ideal for the backcountry enthusiast. The wilderness has gentle, densely forested terrain with occasional steep areas. The name derives from the many small lakes, most of them clustered in several glacial basins near the crest of the Cascade Range. Several species of trees including Shasta red fir, western white pine, mountain hemlock, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce and whitebark pine are found throughout the area. The forest's understory is dominated by species of huckleberry, as well as manzanita, snowbrush, and heather. Visitors to the area will enjoy a variety of activities including hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, fishing, and horse camping.
The campground is equipped with hand-pumped water and stock-loading facilities, picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets and boat ramp. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Look for improved boat trailer and passenger vehicle parking in boat ramp and day use areas. Please follow directional signage and park in a responsible manner.
Lake of the Woods
Southern Oregon’s Playground and Vacationland has just got even better. Lake of the Woods Resort operates the Forest Service Campground with public camping and day use facilities. The day use fee is $5 per vehicle. There is a universal season pass for Lake of the Woods and Fourmile Lake for $40. This high mountain historic family and fishing, lake resort sits beside one of the clearest natural lakes found in the Southern Oregon Cascades. One can enjoy cabin life, comfort food, the wonders of nature, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Waterskiing, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Sailing, Hiking, Boating, Scuba Diving, Camping, Canoeing, Paddle Boats, motor boats, or lounging on a pontoon boat from our rental fleet, Summer Lodge Dining, and Championship Golf Courses Nearby. The Summer Lodge Restaurant & Bar that overlooks the lake is the hub of the resort serving breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. There are 34 Cabins that offer historic charm, some with gas stoves, all with bathrooms and kitchenettes. The Marina includes a gift and apparel shop, sundries, tackle, fuel, upgraded rental fleet, moorage, and exclusive resort’s boat ramp. 36 boat slips available for rent Seasonal, Monthly, Weekly and daily spots available. Marina Pizza Parlor offers dockside dining and takeout, open every day at 11 am in the summer. Summer General Store is open mid-May through mid-September and offers a wide selection of food and merchandise. 22 RV Sites offer wooded spaces available with hookups, daily and extended rates. Pack a picnic, take a dip and enjoy!
Fish Lake Resort and Campground
In the midst of an old growth forest Fish Lake offers some of the best fishing in the area. A boat launch for Fish Lake (10mph) is within the campground and many amenities are offered at nearby Fish Lake Resort. The resort encompasses 17 campsites, 3 walk in tent sites, a campground host, drinking water, 3 flush toilets with wash basins, garbage disposal, gray water sumps and firewood for sale.
Top Recommended Hikes and Trails;
Include High Lakes Trail, Brown Mountain Trail, Mt. McLoughlin Trail, Fish Lake Trail, Rye Spur Trail and Badger Lake Trail.
In addition to what Mt. Ashland Ski area offers (www.mtashland.com ) , there are miles of trails throughout Ashland’s outdoors that provide great terrain for cross country skiers, snow-shoers and snow hikers.
November through May Located at the summit of the Dead Indian Memorial Highway approximately 13 miles east of Ashland is the Buck Prairie Cross Country Ski Trail parking area. The trail system consists of approximately 17 miles of interconnected trails on public and private lands on the ridges just west of Howard Prairie and Hyatt Reservoirs. The trail system provides views of the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou Mountains to the west, and the Cascade Mountains and Dead Indian Plateau to the east. All trails share the same route for the first 1.25 miles from the parking area. Trails are marked with the traditional blue diamonds and signs show trail names, length, and difficulty levels. All trails return to the parking area by the same route. One additional loop trail which does not originate from the Dead Indian parking area is located just south of Camper's Cove Resort on Hyatt Prairie Road on the west shore of Hyatt Lake. The trail is a 2.5 mile loop and is rated most difficult due to steep terrain. Dogs are not allowed on the Buck Prairie Trail system but dog owners can use Buck Prairie II, a dog friendly area located approximately 3 miles northeast of Buck Prairie on Dead Indian Memorial Highway. Snow Park Permits are required at the Dead Indian Summit parking area, but not at Camper's Cove.
The Southern Oregon Nordic Club serves the greater Rogue Valley with lessons, group skis and outings. For more information go towww.southernonc.tripod.com Their normal ski season starts by early December and sometimes as early as the first of November depending upon snowfall. Snow cover at their usual venues starts getting thin by mid March but skiers will to travel to nearby Crater Lake, Mt. Shasta, or Telemark skiers interested in climbing Mt. McLoughlin and Mt. Scott can extend their ski season into April, May and beyond.
For those venturing into the winter wonderland, there is information provided by BLM and Southern Oregon Nordic Club regarding conditions and grooming. SONC Volunteers groom the Hyatt Lake BLM Campground and Buck Pr. Nordic trails. Timing and extent of grooming depend on conditions. Check latest grooming report and be aware that snow conditions are dynamic.