Rapids on the Lower Rogue River, photo courtesy Travel Medford
For groups looking for adventure where the river does run wild, Medford, in the southwest corner of Oregon, not far from the California state line, could be ideal.
The city is about 40 minutes from Oregon’s Lower Rogue River, a National Wild and Scenic River that is loaded with opportunities to catch steelhead and salmon, conquer challenging whitewater and view black bears, river otters, black-tail deer, bald eagles, ospreys, water ouzels and Canada geese. Groups can raft, drift, jet boat or kayak down the protected waters.
The river starts at Crater Lake National Park, 75 miles northeast of Medford, where year-round adventure includes everything from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to boat tours and hiking.
“When groups come to visit, Crater Lake is usually on the itinerary,” said Angela Woods, director of sales for Travel Medford.
The historic 71-room Crater Lake Lodge is open from late-May to mid-October. The 1915 lodge was renovated in 1995 but its rustic atmosphere remains reminiscent of the 1920s.
Guests of Paradise Lodge, deep in the heart of the Lower Rogue River, leave the hustle of paved-road civilization behind. A boat or a hike are required to reach this luxurious and historical wilderness lodge.
Once there, groups can hike, white-water raft — the lodge is located just below the famous class IV rapid Blossom Bar — and fish, or simply enjoy the views from the lodge’s newly rebuilt decks.
If the outdoors can wait until after a meeting, consider two interesting venues at Medford Airport.
“One is an exact replica of the Oval Office, desk and all,” said Woods. “The other is an old cargo plane, a Boeing KC 97.”
Afterward, groups can venture to nearby Gold Hill, home to the longest zip line in the Pacific Northwest. Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure soars over 2,700 feet of zip line on five courses. The tour starts with a sneak peek at the historic Braden Goldmine, and guides share a lot of the area’s storied history at stops along the way.
“Medford is a great location because of the abundance of things to do,” said Woods.