When Oregonians talk about southern Oregon, they usually mean the southwestern corner of the state, including the upper valleys of the Umpqua and Rogue Rivers, the spine of the southern Cascade mountains, and east to Klamath Falls. The outstanding features of this region include world-class kultur-fests at Ashland and Jacksonville, Crater Lake National Park (Oregon’s only national park), the biggest chunk of remaining wilderness on the Pacific coast, and more summer sun and heat than you expect to find in Oregon.
If you think of Oregon as a bastion of progressive politics, then some aspects of southern Oregon may surprise you. From back-to-the-land idealists to hard-core survivalists, southern Oregon attracts settlers of all stripes.
Added to this eclectic mix are more than 100 high-tech companies (the “Silicon Orchard”), white-water rafters, anglers, and theater lovers who flock to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and the Peter Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville.
It’s an unlikely blend of populations, but confounding expectations is just part of the mix in southern Oregon.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel