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Jackson County: Among the Country's Best for Sportsmen

By Jason Haley
Jackson County is famous for the mighty Rogue River
, majestic mountains for skiing, biking and hiking and prime farmland that yields award-winning wines and gourmet fruit. In addition tot the headwaters of the Rogue River, Jackson County is also gateway to North America’s deepest lake and Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake. It features distinct versions of all four seasons, healthy fish and wildlife populations, diverse terrain and habitat types and the gamut of outdoor recreation opportunities.
Jackson County, Rogue River, majestic mountains, skiing, biking, hiking, prime farmland, award-winning wines, gourmet fruit, Crater Lake. Four seasons, fishing, wildlife, outdoor recreation
Outdoor life is year-round in Jackson County and what to do can get confusing if you consider the countless choices.

The County is characterized by Mt. Ashland on the south and Mt. McLoughlin, Rustler Peak and the Pacific Crest on the east. Mt. McLoughlin can be seen for miles around and calls to outdoor lovers from the valley floor below. Emigrant, Lost Creek, Agate, Willow, Applegate, Lake of the Woods, Hyatt and Howard Prairie are just a few of the lakes available for fishing, boating, and water sports. Upper and Lower Table Rock, the Applegate Valley, Sky Lakes Wilderness and the cultural attractions of the Cities of Medford, Ashland and Jacksonville just scratch the surface of what’s here.

The Rogue River, made famous by western writer Zane Grey, runs through the County. People come from all over the world to fish for salmon and steelhead in this mighty river that originates high in Crater Lake National Park. Bank and drift fisherman alike find success here. Rafting is equally popular and truly world class.

Jackson County, Oregon; Rogue River,
Whether it’s salmon, steelhead or whitewater adventure, the Rogue has it all.

The Upper Rogue River is popular with stream anglers who find access off Highway 62 near Union Creek above Lost Creek Lake. The stretch from Union Creek near Natural Bridge to just above Lost Creek is popular during the stream trout seasons and is stocked with healthy rainbows. Large portions of the Upper and Lower Rogue are designated Wild and Scenic. More Rogue River.

Crater Lake sits in the caldera of Mt. Mazama. Few places on earth combine 2,000 foot cliffs, mirror-like blue water, a turbulent volcanic past and captivating history and pre-history so close to world-class urban services. 

Jackson County, Oregon; Crater Lake,
Crater Lake is the deepest in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world. It also has some of the clearest water in the world.

No matter how many times you’ve visited this natural wonder, it never ceases to amaze. The depth, clarity, beauty and uniqueness of this national treasure are never taken for granted, even by County residents living virtually next door. Crater Lake is an easy day-trip from every City and town within Jackson County. Jackson County is the gateway to Crater Lake which is a summer and winter destination and is easily accessed from Highway 62. The lake has two islands which are amazing geologic formations of their own. More Crater Lake

Lost Creek Lake is formed by Lost Creek Dam, which holds back the waters of the Rogue, Lost Creek and smaller tributaries. The lake is the largest in Jackson County and is enjoyed by skiers, fisherman, swimmers, campers, hikers and bikers.

Jackson County, Oregon; Lost Creek Lake,
Impressive trees, rock formations, cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and plant communities can be observed while floating the shoreline.

Fishing is one of the major attractions. Smallmouth bass and trout are the primary targets. Water and jet skiing is also popular and occurs on the lower, warmer portion of the lake. The channelized section above Peyton Bridge is typically cooler and has a five mile per hour speed limit. This up-river portion of the lake is particularly scenic. More Lost Creek Lake

Mt. Ashland Ski Area sits atop this beautiful snow-capped mountain just minutes from the world-class City of Ashland’s fine dining, lodging, shopping and cultural attractions. Ski rates are some of the best around.

Jackson County, Oregon; My Outdoor Buddy,
Skiing is just one of the activities enjoyed on this special mountain. It is also a spiritual place of solitude  to many.

Mt. Ashland is the highest peak in the Siskiyou range at 7,533 feet in elevation and has nearly 1,200 vertical feet of drop with 200 acres of skiing and boarding area. It can accommodate all skill levels with four lifts and twenty-three ski runs plus open bowl skiing. Forty acres of trails are lit for night skiing. Lessons and rentals are available through the Tudor-style lodge which also has food service, bar/lounge, and ticket sales.

Sky Lakes Wilderness includes the Pacific Crest Trail along the County’s east side. This large wilderness abuts Crater Lake National Park and includes a huge network of trails, high-mountain lakes, streams and meadows. It also contains Mt. McLoughlin.

Jackson County, Oregon; Mt. McLoughlin,
On a clear day, Mt. Shasta in California can be seen from atop Mt. McLoughlin along with the Rogue Valley, Mt. Ashland and Crater Lake.

Mount McLoughlin is a steep-sided lava cone reaching 9,945 feet above sea level. It was named around 1838 after John McLoughlin, an agent for the Hudson's Bay Company. Mt. McLoughlin has been known by a number of different names over the years, including Mount Pitt (after the Pit River), Big Butte, M'laiksini Yaina (Klamath people), Malsi (Takelma people), Mount Shasty (although this name was applied to Mount Shasta to the south by the 1841 Wilkes Expedition), and Snowy Butte.

Well known cultural attractions abound in Jackson County, including the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville, Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Cabaret Theater and the Craterian Ginger Rodgers Theater in historic downtown Medford. There are also dozens of art galleries, museums, theaters, restaurants and antique shops and there is no sales tax!

Jackson County, Oregon; Britt Festivals, Jacksonville,
Music under the stars at Britt is one of the best kept secrets around. Famous entertainers love the small, personal venue and keep coming back.

Visit Harry & David’s Country Village to get a taste of the specialty fruit, nuts, sweets, fine-wines and other gourmet items that have made the Rogue Valley famous. History buffs will enjoy Jacksonville, the site of Oregon's 19th-Century gold rush and a National Historic Landmark. Jacksonville was once the County seat until the railroad bypassed it and Medford became the center of commerce.

Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon;

Jacksonville looks very much the same as it did during the late 1800s and historic preservation is high on the list of City officials.

Jacksonville is now a popular tourist attraction with fine dining, live entertainment, and hiking trails. Travel west through Jacksonville into the beautiful Applegate Valley and take the loop road through Murphy to Grants Pass before heading back south to Medford.

Jackson County is home to world-class hunting and fishing. Medford, the County seat, has consistently appeared in Outdoor Life’s list of America’s top 200 towns for sportsmen (2009, 2010 and 2011). Grants Pass, Bend and other nearby Oregon towns have also appeared, some very high on the list.

Jackson County, Oregon fishing and hunting;
The Boone and Crocket Record Book is full of blacktail buck entries from Jackson County and giant salmon and steelhead are routinely caught each year on the Rogue.

Public land and over-the-counter deer, elk and bear tags make this region home base for many who live the outdoor lifestyle. Blue and ruffed grouse, mountain quail, waterfowl, bass and trout, are also on the menu here.

Welcome to Jackson County!

Photos by Logan and Sarah Miles, Joan McBee, Amber Galusha, Barb Wilkinson, Steven Theel, Edward Lee Amerson of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waylon Parker, Michael Crawford, National Park Service, Crater Lake, Britt Festivals and Jason Haley

Other pages to visit:

Rogue River

Lost Creek Lake

If you are interested in advertising on these pages contact Jason Haley at 541-601-8799.



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