Image Courtesy of: Travel Medford Facebook
There is so much beauty and recreation to explore in Southern Oregon. One of the best ways to experience it is by visiting one of the many local state and national parks. Here’s a list of some of the best state and national parks that Southern Oregon has to offer, handpicked by our team at Stage Pass.
Best National Parks in Southern Oregon
Let’s start with the big ones. Here are three of Southern Oregon’s most popular, awe-inspiring, activity-filled national parks.
Crater Lake National Park
Location: 1 Sager Building, Crater Lake, OR 97604
Crater Lake National Park is one of Oregon’s greatest treasures. It features the deepest lake in the United States, making it one of the most pristine lakes you’ll find on the globe. Located in the Cascade Mountain Range, Crater Lake was formed by a collapsed volcano over 7,000 years ago.
Activities to enjoy in Crater Lake National Park are:
- Scenic drive around Crater Lake rim
- Rim Village walking tour
- Boat and trolley tours
- Hiking and biking trails
- Skiing and snowshoeing
- Backcountry camping
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Location: Headquartered in Medford, OR, but spans all the way down into Northern California
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest by definition might not be a national park, but it is a nationally recognized, protected, and managed forest. It spans over 1.8 million acres — 324,000 of which are protected wilderness. Not only does it include old-growth forests and some of the world’s tallest pine trees, but it’s also home to some of the most prominent rivers in Southern Oregon: the Rogue River, the Applegate River, and the Illinois River.
There are plenty of ways to experience the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, including:
- Hiking and mountain biking
- White water rafting
- Skiing Mt. Ashland
- Exploring the Rogue River National Recreation Trails
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
Location: 19000 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction, OR 97523
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve is located within the Siskiyou Mountains and spans about 4,500 acres. It features the “Marble Halls of Oregon,” which is a system of jaw-dropping caves formed by eons of acidic water seeping into marble rock. You can also find a variety of rare plants and animals in the old-growth forests and high-mountain meadows that surround the monument.
Activities that Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve is known for include:
- Cave tours
- Hiking trails
Best State Parks in Southern Oregon
Now let’s check out some of the smaller yet equally beautiful state parks — all within a day’s trip from Stage Pass.
Valley of the Rogue State Park
Location: Valley of the Rogue State Park, Gold Hill, OR 97525
Valley of the Rogue State Park is one of Southern Oregon’s most popular places for overnight camping. It provides a central location to many of Southern Oregon’s main attractions, such as Crater Lake National Park and Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve.
At Valley of the Rogue State Park, you can enjoy:
- Sand volleyball
- Amphitheater featuring Junior Ranger programs
Casey State Park
Location: 32382 OR-62, Trail, OR 97541
Casey State Park is a day-use-only state park located just a couple dozen miles from Medford. It’s one of the most popular salmon fishing spots in Southern Oregon but also provides plenty of other activities for all to enjoy.
Some ideas for exploring Casey State Park include:
- Salmon fishing
- Hiking and biking trails
TouVelle State Park
Location: Table Rock Rd, Central Point, OR 97502
TouVelle State Park is a day-use-only park with many attractions. It’s located along the Rogue River and at the foot of well-known Table Rock. Various seasonal activities are allowed, with fishing and bird watching being the most popular.
A more comprehensive list of TouVelle State Park activities includes:
- Bird watching (local & migratory species)
Harris Beach State Park
Location: U.S. 101, Brookings, OR 97415
Located on Oregon’s southwest coastline, Harris Beach State Park is home to a beautiful, bolderous beach. Although a tad further away from the Medford-Jacksonville area, it’s still less than a three-hour drive — making it the perfect opportunity for a relaxing day trip.
The park is home to the prominent “Bird Island,” which is a national wildlife sanctuary and breeding site for rare bird species, like the tufted puffin. You may also see marine life like gray whales, harbor seals, and California sea lions as you look out to the Pacific waters.
You can enjoy the following activities at Harris Beach State Park:
- Marine life
Collier Memorial State Park
Location: 46000 US-97, Chiloquin, OR 97624
Collier Memorial State Park is home to Oregon’s most famous logging museum, which is a historic treasure featuring equipment that dates back to the 1880s. You can tour the museum or pay tribute to Southern Oregon’s rich history through a variety of outdoor activities. You may also want to check out the park’s new four-corral horse camp.
Some activity ideas for Collier Memorial State Park are:
- Amphitheater shows
- Horseback riding
Bask in Southern Oregon’s Natural Beauty & Build a Home at Stage Pass
From camping to hiking, fishing, biking, and more, there are endless activities in and around Southern Oregon’s amazing state and national parks. You can experience the fun and beauty of them all year round by building a custom home at Stage Pass.
Offering the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, our master-planned community is a great place to live, raise a family, retire, or build a vacation home. Request a private tour of our lots today.