Southern Oregon receives surprisingly few tourists. Most of the campers and hikers you will meet are locals with family in the area, and if you do meet folks from out of town, they're probably here for the salmon.
If you're one of them, that's fine. There's plenty of Rogue River to go around. There's only a few weeks out of the year when anyone might complain that the fishing was busy. And in Oregon, that means you saw four or five other boats on the river. If you came to walk around, and bike, and enjoy the scenery, you'll have the place to yourself most days.
Valley of the Rogue State Park is four miles of high-bank river front trail filled with towering old maple, oak, and cedar trees. It is about halfway between Medford and Grants Pass, which are both way more fun and inviting than anything you've heard in the news. The Rogue is wide and slow, often carving right into giant sections of ancient bedrock with potholes and eddies to provide endless honey holes for fishermen.
The area has had several major booms in history. It has been famous for gold mining, fruit, and timber, and is now in the midst of a new boom, legal marijuana and hemp farming. As you explore the area you'll see remnants of all of those and you'll probably smell the marijuana farms, which are scattered all over the Rogue Valley.
The campground is open year-round because the weather is very mild here. It usually only sees snow a few days each winter, it gets half the rain of Eugene to the north, and they see entire months of highs around 100 degrees. The dry weather also means very few mosquitoes, so it's very easy to enjoy your time outside.
RV Rentals in Valley of the Rogue State Park
Transportation in Valley of the Rogue State Park
Oregon roads are newly paved and pleasant all through this area. There are several small passes on I-5 coming from Eugene which have just enough elevation to touch the snowline in freezing weather. Siskiyou Summit on I-5 south of Ashland is much higher at 4310ft and gets snowy enough to shut down during major storms. The park itself is has wide roads, roomy parking spaces, and no issues for large fifth-wheels and RVs.
Campgrounds and parking in Valley of the Rogue State Park
Campsites in Valley of the Rogue State Park
Grants Pass KOA
Grants Pass, Oregon puts you close to the thrills of Jumpoff Joe Creek Waterfall, the whitewater action on Rogue River, and 100 miles south of the snow-fed waters of Crater Lake National Park. Enjoy convenient pull-through sites at Grants Pass KOA, where rigs of up to 80 feet are welcome. Full hookup sites with up to 50-amp service in scenic locations are available. Some sites are close to the creek or the waterfall while others are close to facilities and Kamp K-9. Keep warm with firewood and propane on-site for purchase, and well-fed at the snack bar. The abundance of trees may interfere with wireless access.
Valley of the Rogue State Park Campground
The campground is incredibly scenic and filled with a variety of large mature trees. There are 95 campsites with 23 pull-thru and 55 with power and water. There are modern restrooms and showers, a dump station, and firewood sales. The sites are extra large and were designed with group camping in mind. Four miles of walking on the paved Rogue River Greenway Trail are right beside the campground. The park stays open year round.
Seasonal activities in Valley of the Rogue State Park
Valley of the Rogue SP is right in the heart of river adventure. Several whitewater rafting companies are located in nearby Gold Hill and thousands of tours brave the class IV Nugget Falls and others on the Rogue River upstream to the east. These trips are about four hours, including shuttle time. There are many choices for those with more time, including multi-day river camping trips deep into the Hellgate Recreation area and scenic evening floats designed just to enjoy the sights. All equipment is provided by the charter companies.
Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure
The longest zip line in the Pacific Northwest, a replica mining town and beautiful hiking in the Rogue River Valley combine to make this an unforgettable day. There are five zip lines on the property and they are high on the hillside with views of Mount McLoughlin and even the Crater Lake Rim. Tours take three hours and RVZA also rents GoPro cameras to record the adventure. They are located in Gold Hill, OR.
Gold Nugget Recreation Area
Millions of dollars in gold has been recovered from the rivers of Southern Oregon in this area and large nuggets are still being found wedged in the bedrock. Most places are restricted from mining because of private property or active claims. The Gold Nugget Wayside has been preserved for the public, and anyone can try their luck at panning gold from this nearly mile long section of the Rogue River. Check with the BLM for current regulations.
Mountain of the Rogue - Bike Park
Just across the road from the campground is one of the best mountain biking opportunities in the area. Mountain of the Rogue is a seven mile network of trails on BLM land which are helpfully organized by difficulty level. You climb up the mountain three miles and then choose a variety of different paths for the descent. The park was purpose built for mountain bikers in 2015. The climb to the top is about 1,300ft. It is all single-track and fun for all levels of experience. There is a small parking lot and porta-potty at the bottom.
Southern Oregon enjoys large waves of King salmon and Steelhead on the Rogue River. There are a variety of regulations in different parts of the year, but this is the place for trophies, however you decide to fish. There are nearly twenty public places to launch a boat on the Rogue River around Gold Hill, including in the State Park. There are also many shore spots and pull-offs along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway north of Gold Hill. Check with ODFW for regulations and limits.
Del Rio Vineyard
This fourth generation vineyard can trace their history back to 1850. Their newly remodeled tasting room, open every day, is in one of the oldest buildings in southern Oregon. Tours of the vineyard are available on weekends with a reservation and will walk the gorgeous hills of the Rogue River valley and get a taste of at least ten different wines produced on site. There is a nice outdoor picnic area so that you can savor the moment.