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Exploring The Natural Wilderness Of Southern Oregon & The State's South Coast

An overview of exploring Southern Oregon‘s Wildness: Fly-fishing North Umpqua, Touring Crater Lake and camping on Southern Oregon Coast.

For an immersive retreat into nature replete with opportunities for wine tastings, world-class fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, dune buggy riding, cycling, white water rafting, and other water sports, check out the offerings available in Southern Oregon and the Southern Oregon Coast. Here’s a few suggested getaways that give you a taste of this region’s natural bounty.

Fly-Fishing at the North Umpqua River

Thorlaf casting into the North Umpqua at Steamboat Inn Fishing Nature River Forest

Thorlaf casting into the North Umpqua at Steamboat Inn

As noted by the North Umpqua Foundation, “Since first gaining fame in sporting circles in the 1920’s and 30’s from the dispatches of Major Lawrence Mott and western novelist Zane Grey, the North Umpqua has earned a place on the list of important fly fishing destinations.” In particular, the 33.8 miles along the North Umpqua River river designated only for fly fishing represents a paradise for fresh water fly fishers. Depending on the season and location, you can cast your line in search of native Steelhead, Chinook, Coho Salmon, and Cutthroat Trout.

Other nearby opportunities for outdoor explorations include hiking the five mile North Umpqua. Also, one could spend a day touring the area wineries and waterfalls that include Watson, Toketee, Clearwater and Fall Creek Falls.

For an inclusive outdoors package, check out the Steamboat Inn (42705 North Umpqua Highway, Idleyld Park, OR, 97447) situated right along the Umpqua. Cast your line into the North Umpqua River, which flows right outside your room. Their small but carefully curated gift shop has local flies, leaders, and other fly fishing accessories for sale though you need to bring your own fly rod.

With wifi and phone access only available in the main lodge, you can disconnect completely from the outside world and tune in to nature. Also, they offer a full menu of locally sourced food available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Depending on your preferences, you can take your meals in their indoor dining room, outside on the patio weather permitting, to go, or in your room.

After a day exploring the areas natural delights, conclude the day with a glass of wine from a local winery as you listen to the sounds of the river from your balcony that overlooks. Other relaxing options include booking a onsite massage, grabbing a drink at their bar, or curling up with a book in their library.

Before booking your trip to the North Umpqua, he’s sure to purchase your fishing license online. Also, check out the Oregon Department of Wildlife’s fishing report to ensure you are arriving during a time when fly fishing will be optimal.

Exploring Crater Lake

Crater Lake, Avenue of the Boulders, and Prospect Historic Hotel Nature forest river

Crater Lake, Avenue of the Boulders, and Prospect Historic Hotel;

With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake has the distinction of being the deepest lake in the United States. Despite this lake’s size, it only occupies less than ten percent of Crater Lake National Park. Established in 1902, this national park serves to protect 15 species of conifers including ponderosa pines and ancient whitebark pines that shelter wildlife such as black bears, mountain lions, elk and spotted owls.

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While the park is open 24/7, many of the park's roads, trails, and facilities are closed seasonally due to snow. Also, the lake is typically invisible about 25% of the time especially when it's raining or snowing. Check out their website for the latest weather conditions, as well as information about any closures and other park news. In addition, purchase your day pass ahead of time to avoid spending considerable time waiting in line to pay in person.

Seasonal accommodations are available at the Cabins at Mazama Village located seven miles south of Rim Village. For another lodging option available year round, check out Prospect Historic Hotel. This 19th century B&B situated 32 miles from Crater Lake is listed with the National Registry of Historic Places. Choose from one of their 10 restored rooms with antiques and a private bathroom or one of their 14 motel-style units located behind the hotel Some of these units have kitchenettes that work well for preparing easy meals and storing beverages and perishable snacks. Breakfast is included for those staying at the B&B, with dinner available.

When in Prospect, spend some time touring the area’s local waterfalls. Along the route, check out the Avenue of the Boulders, which consists of boulders that were thrown by Mt. Mazama more more than 20 miles away, when it erupted close to 8,000 years ago and formed what later became known as Crater Lake.

Camping on the Coast

Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago Ocean

Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago

Oregon’s Adventure Coast, the area comprising Coos Bay, Charleston, and North Bend, offer visitors a chance to partake in a range of water and outdoor activities while immersed in one of the most scenic areas along the Oregon Coast.

Connect intimately with this natural beauty by camping at Sunset Bay State Park. This campsite can accommodate tent camping and RV’s, as well as offering cozy furnished yurts. Other amenities include flush toilets and hot showers along with firewood for sale.

From your campsite, you can easily walk to the Sunset Bay State Park for picnic on one of the nearby picnic tables along with day use facilities. A network of hiking trails connects Sunset Bay State Park with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago state parks for a fully immersive nature experience. In addition, a public golf course is situated next to the site with day use facilities and picnic tables located at the beach. Also, you can venture into nearby Charleston to pick up locally sourced seafood, ice and other necessities.

Reservations can be made 6 months in advance. While you might find an available site upon your arrival, reservations are highly recommended for tent camping and RV sites and are required for yurt stays.

Be mindful when camping that the Oregon Coast tends to be cooler and a foggier especially in the morning hours and once the sun sets. So even during the summer be sure to pack along extra layers to keep yourself warm when the weather dips. Also, be mindful that open fires may be banned during fire season (July-September) so come prepared with a propane stove should you wish to prepare cooked meals on site.

For additional information about booking your trip to these regions, check out Travel Southern Oregon (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), Oregon’s Adventure Coast (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and Travel Southern Oregon Coast.

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