Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on Earth combines a deep and pure lake so blue in color, sheer surrounding cliffs that are almost two thousand feet high, two picturesque islands, and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom. Explore the wild and scenic Rogue River. Skim over the water and jet through historic Hellgate Canyon.
Day 1- Tualatin, OR to Crater Lake, OR
South we go, our first stop Salt Creek Falls… one of the most impressive waterfalls in Oregon as it hurdles 286 feet into a gaping canyon near Willamette Pass. It isn’t the size of the falls that is most impressive, but rather the process by which the falls were formed. Glaciers scoured the valley out during the last Ice Age. Next enjoy lunch at Diamond Lake Resort… it boasts spectacular views of both Mount Bailey and Thielsen. Our home for the night: One of our nations most beloved Lodges, Crater Lake Lodge, built to encourage tourism to Crater Lake National Park. It opened to guests during the summer of 1915, and has seen many changes over the years. Today it stands in lovely testimony to the efforts of many. On arrival you’ll have time to learn about the lodge, take a walk, or just relax before dinner. Crater Lake Lodge (L D)
Day 2 – Crater Lake, OR to Grants Pass, OR
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll have a ranger-lead tour of the rim… The ranger will travel with us as we circle the lake. We will make several stops for photos, and to hear about the history of the native people that lived here. You will have some free time to enjoy lunch on your own in the cafeteria and to explore. This afternoon we’ll travel one of the best scenic drives in America! Highway 138 stretching from Crater Lake to Roseburg… It certainly has earned its title “Hwy of Waterfalls.” It’s a stunning area where we’ll find numerous waterfalls to explore. Toketee, Fall Creek, Clearwater, Watson, Wolf Creek, and Cavitt Creek Falls are some of the nearly two dozen waterfalls along the North Umpqua River. Our home for the night is the Riverside Inn, Grants Pass… it features large balconies overlooking the Rogue River… Take some time to rest up before we meet next door for a fantastic dinner at Tap Rock Grill… it also overlooks the Rogue and has delicious food. Riverside Inn Grants Pass (B, D)
Day 3 – Grants Pass, OR to Tualatin ,OR
Get ready for the fun today, as we’re whisked down the Rogue River into the legendary Hellgate Canyon. You’ll view old floodwater marks on the narrow heights above and close-ups of remarkable rock shapes carved by the river’s hydraulics. See the canyon where John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn filmed “Rooster Cogburn”, and Matt Dillon plunged into the depths to escape a gang in hot pursuit in “Gunsmoke”. On the return trip we’ll stop at the OK Corral for a lunch you’ll not soon forget. Come with us as we explore some of Oregon’s best scenery! (B, L)