Crater Lake Highway (Hwy. 62)
Many locals who live near the Crater Lake Highway sport bumper stickers on their vehicles that read “I Survived Highway 62.” The challenges of successfully navigating this precipitous and circuitous thoroughfare, with its horrific winter weather and slow-moving summer crowds, help give it a killer reputation.
Snow can sometimes get deep enough on the upper reaches that 15-foot-tall snow poles lining the roadbed are rendered useless in helping the snowplows navigate. In these cases, the crews can only locate the road by means of a radio transmitter, embedded in steel cable, that emits a signal.
This isn’t surprising when you consider the scenic appeal of the Rogue River and the Cascade Mountains. And then there’s fishing. The salmon runs on the Rogue River are second in size only to the ones on the Columbia. Nearly 3 million fish are reared and released into the Rogue from the Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery, located 153 miles from the mouth of the Rogue.
With swimming, boating, and rafting opportunities, the Rogue River is indeed tempting, and you too will be taking to the hills along Route 62.
The following contacts can help plan your foray into the Rogue River National Forest: Prospect Ranger Station (541/498-2531), Rogue River National Forest Service (3040 Biddle Rd., Medford, 541/858-2200), and Travel Oregon (www.traveloregon.com).
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel