Crater Lake and much more -- Day Trips and Excursions
Some excursions, such as a trip to Crater Lake, can occupy a full day. Most however are short enough that you will be back to the Chanticleer Inn B&B in time for dinner and a play that evening.
Crater Lake National Park
Hiking, snow shoeing, touring the lake by boat, swimming in Cleetwood Cove, or just sitting on the lodge’s veranda and admiring the sheer beauty, Crater Lake National Park is one of the favorite day trips for guests.
Oregon’s only National Park is just a 2-hour drive from Ashland, Oregon. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US, and the ninth deepest in the world. [However, comparing average depth with lakes whose basins are entirely above sea-level, Crater Lake is the deepest in the world.] Formed 7,000 years ago, Mt Mazama’s caldera is filled by only rain and snow. The water is famous for its pristine cobalt-blue color. For a National Park it is remarkably uncrowded even in height of the summer.
To Crater Lake on Route 62
One must stop to see Natural Bridge and the Rogue River Gorge — both along the Rogue river. At Union Creek, there’s is a notable, if not famous, diner called Becky’s. Great for pie! Also, consider visiting the historic Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point.
Spend an afternoon in Jacksonville, an old gold rush town designated as a National Historic Landmark. Spend time wandering through the shops and the old cemetery, hike the Woodland Trail System, ride the trolley to view the many historic homes and landmarks.
A fun and unique way to learn about Jacksonville is on a Segway. Starting at 10 am and 2 pm, after a 30 minute orientation, a guide leads you on meandering tour, stopping at noted historical spots throughout Jacksonville. See among other things, Oregon’s oldest continuing Catholic Church, city hall, and cemetery all on a Segway.
Jacksonville is the gateway to the Applegate Valley wine country, as such some of the wineries and food artisans have tasting rooms in the town. For wines: South Stage Cellar, Quady North, Corks; and food try award winning Gary West for jerky.
The “Lake District”
As an alternate route to Crater Lake, north and east of Ashland in the Cascades are a collection of sub-alpine lakes. The area compasses the Winema National Forest, Hyatt Lake Recreation Area, Bureau of land Management, and the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.
In the spring and early summer the wildflowers are abundant. Fishing, canoeing/kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, birding, and sailing are all possible.
Lake of the Woods is one of Southern Oregon’s clearest natural lakes, making it Ellen’s — indeed most of Ashland’s — favorite lake.
Lake of Woods, as well as Hyatt Lake and Howard Prairie Lake, has a resort with picnic tables, convenience store, eateries and facilities for visitors; also a boat ramp making it very easy to launch a canoe or kayak without getting your feet muddy.
The two fastest growing industries in Southern Oregon are wine and artisan food, such as chocolate, cheese and jerky. Combining the two for a Culinary excursion is fun and satisfying.
Touring Southern Oregon Wine Region
For “Do It Yourself” wine tours, visitors have many options and can spend multiple days exploring this elegant wine region. The Southern Oregon wine region can be organized by the sub-regional valleys/rivers: Bear Creek Valley, the Upper Rouge, and Applegate Valley. Each area has its own winery association with a website (listed below) providing information on all the member wineries and growers, their events, tour maps and downloadable brochures.
- Bear Creek Boutique Wineries — These wineries are truly boutique, all of them grow, bottle and sell their own wines offering an interactive experience for all visitors.
- Upper Rouge Wine Trail — Six family wineries and six different interpretations of wine. Follow the trail and taste award winning wines along the way. One could easily drop by a couple while driving to Crater Lake.
- Applegate Wine Trail — From Historic Jacksonville to Grants Pass wander through stunningly scenic wine country on Rt. 238 choose from among 18 wineries to visit and taste.
For more details about food and wine in Southern Oregon, go to the Culinary Arts page.
Ellen’s Favorite Hikes list is ever-expanding, here are a few:
In town: In the Spring for the wildflowers and in the summer for the shade, Oredson-Todd and White Rabbit trails. For an easy stroll from the inn’s door, Lithia Park.
Siskiyou Mountains: Pilot Rock and Mt Ashland/PCT for views, wildflowers, and birding
Cascade Mountains: Grizzly Peak for a huge panoramic view of the Rogue Valley and at least 3 eco-regions of fauna and flora.
Rogue Valley: Table Rock for a 360 view of the Rogue Valley, early spring wildflowers, and vernal pools.
Crater Lake National Park has a new easy to walk trail.
Ask Ellen for details on when to go, what to see, and directions to the trail heads. For more information on trails in the area and a downloadable trail map of Southern Oregon and the Ashland area, go to the Northwest Nature Shop on Oak St., near Lithia St. in Ashland.
Southern Oregon Lavender Trail
Throughout the Applegate Valley tucked among the many wineries, are lavender farms, demonstration gardens, and a nursery. When the lavender is in bloom early to mid-summer each welcome visitors. Go to the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail’s facebook page to find the names, locations and opening times for all the lavender farms and gardens in Southern Oregon.
Crater Rock Museum
Tucked away in Central Point, a little town north of Medford is a hidden gem … the Crater Rock Museum. The museum exhibits include a collection of world-class minerals, as well as a large collection of petrified woods and indigenous rocks of Oregon, the US and Mexico. Other exhibits feature fossils, Native American artifacts, a mid-1800s scrimshaw collection, a collection of glass work by Dale Chihully and his students, and a wonderful collection of shells.