Crater Lake National Park and Oregon Caves
Includes all lodging, all meals, Cave tour, Timberline van shuttles, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included from Medford to Crater Lake prior to tour and from Oregon Caves to Medford following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:30 am
Crater Lake has gained a reputation for its impossibly blue lake – can that really exist? It was created about 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Now it is the deepest lake in the United States, and it is that depth that creates the postcard perfect deep blue hue. The lake is fed only by rain and snow making its waters some of the most pure and pristine in the world. Its location in the Cascade Range insures a variety of terrains to explore on the many trails available in the park.
Close by these mountains is the Siskiyou National Forest, which consists of extremely steep and rugged terrain and is home to five designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. Due the the area’s unusual geology, climate and fire ecology, some of the most diverse and rare plants have evolved in the area and it has become known as a botanist’s paradise. Within the forest is a National Monument to preserve a unique cave system, only discovered in 1874, containing twisting passages through marble rock – Oregon Caves. There we can discover these hidden mountains inside and out.
We have combined these two natural wonders in a new, five day tour that will take you high and low, in and out and up and down these fabulous coastal mountains. Our tour assembles in Medford on Day 1 and we shuttle up to Crater Lake National Park. That first view of the vibrant blue lake will take your breath away, and our hike this afternoon will be along the rim of the steep bank of the crater. Our lodging for the first 2 nights is right in the National Park and provides excellent star gazing at night.
Day 2 we will climb the highest point in the National Park – Mt. Scott. Name for an Oregon pioneer, this mountain is a relatively gradual climb to the top, but offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding scenery. On the way to and from the climb, we will drive the entirety of the Rim Drive, with views of the lake from every side.
On Day 3 we have time for one more hike just outside our cabin door. We will explore the Annie Spring Canyon and view Upper Annie Falls on this loop trail around a small canyon. From there we will shuttle in the van through Grants Pass and south to Oregon Caves National Monument. We’ll hike the Big Tree Loop, a good introduction to the pine and fir forests of the area. There is currently no lodging available within the National Monument, so we will return to Grants Pass to our beautiful lodge right on the Rogue River.
Our hike on Day 4 will take us to another summit looking over the Oregon Caves area and the entire Siskiyou Forest. Mt. Elijah is an unassuming peak with fabulous views, and our route takes us on a loop along meadows, past lakes, and along ridges.
We have saved the cave tour for last on Day 5– a time to explore underground and learn about the history and geology of the area. After the tour we exit near the Cliff Nature Trail where we can soak up the sun and learn more about the unique flora and fauna in the area. The Timberline van will return us to Medford in the afternoon for the conclusion of the tour.
|Day 1||Van Transfer to Crater Lake National Park, hike Watchman Peak and Cleetwood Cove||5|
|Day 2||Tour Rim Drive and Hike Mt. Scott||5|
|Day 3||hike Annie Spring Canyon, transfer to Oregon Caves National Monument - hike to Big Tree||1.7 + 3.3|
|Day 4||Hike Mt. Elijah||6|
|Day 5||Cave Tour, Cliff Nature Trail, return to Medford||3|
Total Distance: 24 miles
- Crater Lake Lodge