Long Rogue
Image: Pam Reid

The roaring Rogue River.

Natural Bridge Campground

Drive time: 5.5 hours

THIRTY MILES into its winding journey from Crater Lake’s Mount Mazama to the Pacific Ocean, the Rogue River plunges 200 feet beneath a moss-laden rock formation (the Natural Bridge) into a subterranean lava tube, only to surge back to the surface a stone’s throw downstream. Tucked in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Natural Bridge Campground sits adjacent to this geological gem, with 17 riverside sites. The Upper Rogue River Trail, a 50-mile trek that follows the river from Lost Creek Lake to Boundary Springs, flanks the campground, giving guests their own alluring way to disappear for the day.

Vitals: Open May to October; 17 sites; $10; vault toilets; fire pits; picnic tables; dogs allowed

Also Nearby:
Farewell Bend Campground
Near a great view of the Upper Rogue, this well-developed area has space for large trailers and RVs.
Mill Creek Campground
This secluded spot sits on the banks of Mill Creek about two miles from the Rogue River.

Sky Lakes Wilderness (Backpacking)

Drive time: 6 hours
Hike: Varies

DESIGNATED AS a wilderness area by Congress in 1984, Sky Lakes Wilderness, near Klamath Falls, is a 100,000-plus-acre swath of Southern Oregon outback jam-packed with the very best scenery Mother Nature has to offer: a series of peaks dips into three glacial-lake basins full of cliffs, creeks, springs, sparkling pools, massive lakes, open forests, and grassy meadows. Eighty-two miles of trail crisscross the eastern portion of the area, so hikers can bite off as big (or small) a chunk as they please. Ambitious types might hike from the Sevenmile trailhead outside Fort Klamath, through the Seven Lakes Basin, and over the craggy shoulder of Devil’s Peak (just drop off a shuttle vehicle at the Cherry Creek trailhead first). The steep elevation gain may have your quads complaining, but it also means you’ll have those high alpine views to yourself.

Vitals: US Forest Service Sky Lakes Wilderness Map