Outstanding natural beauty and many sites of historical and cultural significance have earned Oregon more designated Scenic Byways than any other state. We’ll enjoy rafting on the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon that flows westward from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Ocean. Known for its whitewater rafting and rugged scenery, it was one of the original eight rivers named in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Throw in hiking in beautiful Crater Lake National Park, formed by the now-collapsed volcano, Mount Mazama. With Wizard Island near the western edge of the lake and the Rim Drive, a road surrounding the lake, the views of the park’s volcanic formations are amazing. Then there is the Redwood National and State Parks! A string of protected forests, beaches and grasslands along Northern California’s coast with trails through dense old-growth woods, giant redwood clusters, and a canyon with high, plant-covered walls frequented by elk. We’ll hike and kayak in a lagoon surrounded by all this natural gorgeousness. Join us on this amazing voyage with fun road sisters and great activities to create lasting, joyful memories.
Arrive Medford, Oregon (airport code MFR) by 1pm for pick up at the airport baggage claim. We’ll hop in the van and get acquainted on our 1.5 hour transfer to Klamath Falls with a stop on the way. Upon arrival in K-Falls (as the locals call it) we will check into our hotel, walk the quaint downtown area, and maybe a dip in the pool. We’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at the local Brewery that offers excellent food as well as great brews. Overnight Klamath Falls.
After breakfast, it’s a short drive to visit beautiful Crater Lake National Park for a full day experience in this lesser known and beautiful National Park. Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow. It’s the deepest lake in the USA and one of the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range. We’ll hike the rim trail to Discovery Point enjoying the views over Wizard Island and into the deep blue lake. It’s a photographer’s delight! We’ll head over to the Lodge for lunch, then it’s time to enjoy a drive on the scenic Rim Road. The historic Rim Drive includes 33-miles of lake views, panoramic vistas, forests and meadows. The contours of the road were designed to compliment the natural landscape, and disappear from view as you look across the lake from any point. Along the way there are 30 overlooks to provide opportunities to stop for views of the lake and caldera. We head back to Klamath Falls to get cleaned up and stroll around this fun little town. Lots of tasty options for dinner too. Overnight Klamath Falls.
After a leisurely rise and breakfast, and stop to pick up a picnic lunch, we’ll transfer to Ashland with a stop to hike in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is situated at the crossroads of the Cascade, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountain ranges, and represents an outstanding ecological wonderland. This convergence of three geologically distinct mountain ranges has resulted in an area with unparalleled biological diversity and a tremendously varied landscape. The Monument was established in 2000 in recognition of its remarkable ecology and to protect its diverse range of biological, geological, aquatic, archeological, and historic resources. We’ll have a scenic, short hike (2.2 miles) on the mainly level, low difficulty Green Springs trail. Have our lunch on the trail, and head to the van to continue on our way. (Total drive time between Klamath Falls and Ashland is about 2 hours.) Ashland is a lovely, artsy college town. Internationally known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland’s beauty will first capture you with the unique geographic setting of being nestled at the base of the convergence of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges at nearly 2,000 feet elevation. We’ll check into our hotel located within walking distance to the downtown area. We’ll stroll the town featuring wonderful boutiques, galleries, and interesting places to pop into. Dinner tonight is at an eclectic Pub with a wonderful and curious menu. Overnight Ashland.
After breakfast, we’ll enjoy a scenic drive with stops (about 3 hours) to the Redwoods National & State Parks area. This area has been declared both an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. We’ll have lunch and be ready for an afternoon hike on the Pacific Coastal Trail enjoying the beauty of the Northern California coast with its ferns, redwoods, and sweeping views of the coast. Although the parks are best known for redwoods, 70 miles of the Coastal Trail offers the adventurous hiker a different experience. Delicate tidepool creatures, sandy beaches, and the jagged Pacific coastline await our exploration. We’ll play on the beach then head into the redwoods. Did you know that redwoods are exclusive to this area of the world? We check into our ocean front hotel for two nights with time to walk on the beach. Tonight we like to dine at the local brewery. Overnight Crescent City, CA.
After breakfast, we’ll head to Big Lagoon for kayaking. Big Lagoon is the largest lagoon on the Redwood Coast. This marshy habitat is an important rest stop for migratory birds and herds of Roosevelt Elk. This mellow kayaking location is a great place for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. We’ll enjoy lunch at a seaside town. This afternoon we’ll head to the Redwoods Parks for more hiking, and incredible photo opportunities. We’ll visit Big Tree Wayside, Elk Meadow, Prairie Creek, Lady Bird Johnson Grove and more. Most people know the Redwoods as home to the tallest trees on Earth. The parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river-ways, and rugged coastline. For thousands of years people have lived in this verdant landscape. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks are managing and restoring these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all. We’ll head back to our hotel and have a delicious dinner. Overnight Crescent City, CA.
We’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and say farewell to California as we drive north to Grants Pass, Oregon (about 2 hours drive time). We’ll stop for lunch at a funky diner before our early afternoon white water rafting on the Rogue River. After our river orientation from one of the guides, we’ll hop in our rafts for the seven mile stretch of river. This section has some of the most exciting whitewater and beautiful scenery the Rogue River has to offer. While on the river it can feel like you are deep in the heart of the Southern Oregon wilderness even though this great stretch of water is only 10 miles north of Medford, Oregon. We’ll make sure to get the photos from our rafting adventure for the group. After this exciting experience, we’ll drive the short distance to check into our hotel in Medford near the airport. We’ll get cleaned up and enjoy a delicious Farewell dinner at an eclectic restaurant that offers (of course) local brews as well as Oregon’s famous wines. Overnight Medford.
Enjoy breakfast and the other hotel amenities before taking the complimentary hotel to airport shuttle, or stay and play in Oregon!