Almost 8,000 years after it was created by a vast volcanic explosion, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America, surrounded by one of the country’s most beautiful and most popular national parks – Crater Lake National Park. It’s known for its clear blue waters, wild conifer forests and abundant wildlife. As a rugged holiday destination, it’s right up there with the best. Go hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing and, in the winter, snowshoeing before retiring for the night in one of these cabins, lodges and hotels.
Channel Huckleberry Finn at this resort, with a stay in one of its 17 genuine log cabins. Yes, it’s rustic, but several come with home comforts, including fully equipped kitchens, wood-burning stoves and outdoor seating. There’s also a main lodge with a shared game room and living space, plus Beckie’s Diner if you can’t face any more of your own home cooking. Just 23mi (37km) outside Crater Lake National Park, it’s only a five-minute walk from the waterfalls and rapids of Rogue River Gorge.
There’s an alpine flavor to the style of this lodge, which is apt, considering its lake and mountain views could easily trick you into thinking you were in Switzerland rather than Southern Oregon. Only open in the summer months (May-October), this inn has grand views over the lake from the premium bedrooms – and some bathrooms, too – making you feel part of the stunning scenery. After a long day of hiking and biking, it’s comforting to know that you’re only steps from the on-site dining room, serving warm and hearty dishes, including fish from the lake.
This historic hotel, a 19th-century former stagecoach stop, is a gorgeous little piece of apple pie Americana. Previous guests have included the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Jack London, while its wraparound veranda, frontier-era furnishings and handmade patchwork quilts on every bed are picture-perfect. Nightly prime rib keeps guests returning to the Dinner House summer after summer – the restaurant is open from May to October – while the adjoining motel is happy to accommodate those with small children and pets.
The Steamboat Inn is a 90-minute drive from Crater Lake’s north side, but it’s well worth the journey, both for the scenery and the inn’s famous hospitality. Within the Umpqua National Forest, the inn has a range of wood-paneled accommodation options, from cabins and cottages to houses that sleep up to six, all overlooking the swirling North Umpqua River. Its restaurant – open from May to October – is noted for its use of local produce, including a wine list with more than 200 Oregon wines, while its pledge of “no phones, no tv, no wifi, no distractions” makes this welcoming resort a fantastic opportunity for a digital detox.
Just a half-hour drive from the entrance to the national park, this rustic resort is a big hit with families, who are well catered to with a wide choice of accommodation. Choose from campsites, glamping sites, RV plug-in stations or cabins, depending on the level of comfort and infrastructure you require. Add on-site fishing, hiking, biking and swimming, plus complimentary use of canoes, games and a playground, and there’s something to suit every member of your party.
If you have a car and you love to fish, then this is a great spot. On the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, it’s a classic motel set up with a pool, a hot tub, free wifi, cable TV and kitchenettes in the suites. There’s a gym, too – but you probably won’t need to use it, given that you’re a short walk from Upper Rogue Regional County Park and close to Crater Lake National Park, along with other hiking and biking trails, golf courses and more.
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