Go rogue on the trails of Oregon's Rogue Valley.
Few people will have "Southern Oregon" written on their bucket list of must-visit mountain destinations, but if you've ever driven through Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley while heading up or down Interstate 5, you might wonder why you've never heard of it before. Rolling mountain ridges surround the valley, with the tallest mountains soaring over a vertical mile above the valley floor. In the distance, snowcapped volcanic peaks tower over the landscape, providing omnipresent navigational landmarks. This mountainous landscape is home to hundreds of miles of trails and a lifetime of adventure... if you're willing to dig a little.
While Medford is the largest city in Southern Oregon, the small town of Ashland reigns as the cultural epicenter of Southern Oregon. With an internationally-renowned Shakespeare festival and an incredible wine, food, beer, and cannabis scene, Ashland draws tourists from across the country. While the outdoor access doesn't get nearly as much media coverage as the Shakespeare festival, for hikers, the incredible topography provides an even bigger draw. Top hikes near Ashland include Lithia Park, Bandersnatch to Red Queen, and Pilot Rock, among others.
Many of the hikes found in this guidebook are most accessible from Ashland, but the small historic town of Jacksonville also provides a great jumping off point for beautiful hikes. Forest Park offers dozens of trails, with the Norling Trail as one of the most accessible. And the views from East Applegate Ridge are some of the best in the region.
While Medford isn't nearly as cutesy and touristy as the towns of Jacksonville and Ashland, you can access a few great hikes from the outskirts of Medford, including Upper and Lower Table Rock, and Roxy Ann Peak in the second-largest municipal park in Oregon.
And these are just the highlights. You'll find even more great hikes in the guidebook below, and as you continue to explore further afield, you'll uncover a treasure trove of hiking opportunities!