The General Recreation Page will feature activities that everybody enjoys doing in the outdoors of Southern Oregon. That will vary by season. But, we will give you a lot of information on all kinds of ways that you can get out and enjoy the great outdoors in this special part of the world that we live in.
RECREATION INFORMATION -
I was at a loss to decide where to put this next information....so I decided to put it here. I was contacted Wednesday the 4th by a lady who sent me this picture.
She said this picture appeared on another person's facebook page and it had sparked a debate as to what was in the picture. A wolf, a wolf hybrid, or a husky dog were all possibilities being thrown out. As to what was around it's neck, the going belief was that it was an invisible fence collar. This lady knew I was on the Jackson County, Oregon, Wolf Committee and that I knew my wildlife......SEE BELOW
I took one look at this animal and knew it was a wolf. I also knew that was a satellite tracking collar on it's neck. I was even pretty sure I knew what wolf it was. I was thinking it was OR 54 a young adult female wolf in the famous Rogue Pack that makes it's home in the Cascades of Jackson and Klamath Counties. They were able to get a collar on her to track the movements of the pack. But, since they collared her, she had crossed down into California a couple times. Once going as far south as Lassen County. But, both times she returned home. I thought she had done it again. I contacted the US Fish and Wildlife biologist assigned to our area to let him know about this picture and to pinpoint where she was.
As it turned out, he was already fully aware of the picture above. He had also had the photo reported as being taken in Eastern Douglas County. But, it was not. It was taken in Siskiyou County east of the Scott River Valley. And, the reason he knew the where was that tracking collar. And he knew what wolf it was. It was not OR 54 as I had thought. This is OR 44 you see in the photo. He is a male about 3 years old. He had moved nearly 200 miles in two days down through Oregon and into California to be where he was when the picture was taken. And he is still on the move! He is long gone from where this picture was taken at. What he is up to is the search for a mate and a territory. We have seen other wolves do this. Most famously OR 7 the alpha male of the Rogue pack.
California was never part of the Wolf Recovery Plan laid out ahead of the reintroductions of wolves into Yellowstone and in Idaho in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in 1994. It was somehow believed that the wolves would never get there. Somebody should have told the wolves. Because all we have seen first hand is how much of what we thought we knew, we actually did not. The wolves have been putting on a clinic that has pretty much exploded a lot of long held myths, or pointed out things that were not exactly correct. This business of dispersal is one of those things. We have found out that we just did not fully understand how dispersal really worked. And now it is clear that with knowing how it works for real, EVERY state west of the Mississippi should have been part of the original recovery plan. Because other than Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, I have seen reports and pictures of wolves from every other state west of the Mississippi. And, now knowing this, it adds even more credibility to my long held belief that wolves never were completely eliminated in Oregon, or in California for that matter. because if they were.....and that is a huge IF.....it was not long before wolves dispersing out of Southern British Columbia were coming in. This also explains the very persistent and numerous reports of wolves in Southern Oregon and Northern California since they were declared extinct in the 1930s.
Speaking of wolves, I also meant to get into this weeks ago and flat out spaced it. Pictures of a wolf taken at Crater Lake National Park appeared in February. You have likely seen these.
As soon as I saw them, knew this was a wolf. But, I did not know for sure where. The internet took over and this picture was reported to be taken in a number of areas, by a number of people. One thing I was sure of as I looked at it, this wolf was VERY close to the photographer. Closer than you should really want to be to a wolf in the wild. I posted these pictures on Rogueweather's social media pages. I had to take them down because clearly this is just another topic that cannot be discussed. People just will not be rational at all. One of the things that really kept popping up was the belief people had that a telephoto was used to take this picture. I knew on enhancement of the photos that was not the case. And then I learned the REAL story behind these pictures.
The person who took these took them on the west side of the park. And that person was a UPS driver on Highway 62. The official story is that they were driving on the highway, looked up and saw movement in the trees. Being a wildlife lover, they stopped to see what it was. One they realized what it was, they grabbed their cell phone hoping the wolf would come close enough to take a good picture. The wolf REALLY did that! That second picture was taken at an estimated distance of 40 feet. Yes, just 40 feet. Remember the person taking these is in a UPS delivery vehicle. The wolf would wind up coming down off the snowbank and investigating the truck. It smelled it's way all around it. I am not sure if this person got any pictures at all when it was right thjere at the vehicle. Once it satisfied it's curiousity about the vehicle, it went up the snowbank on the other side of the highway and disappeared into the trees. There has been at least two other photos of wolves in Crater Lake National Park in the last year. But, these two are the very best in terms of clarity and really being able to clearly identify what you are looking at. Searches of the area where the photo was taken did produce a lot of wolf track finds. It was clear to biologists that the wolf or wolves did not seem to be just passing through. It looked like they were in the area on more of a resident basis. So if you head up to Crater Lake National Park in the future taking Highway 62 from Union Creek, you might want to really keep your eyes open. You might see a wolf, or wolves.
Camping is fast becoming a year round pursit here in Southern Oregon. We have a number of campgrounds that are now open year round. I have several favorites for sping camping that you may want to check out.
Emigrant Lake - Ashland.
As one of Jackson County Park's most popular destinations, Emigrant Lake has it all. Located just minutes from downtown Ashland, Oregon, the park offers a host of activities for the entire family. Emigrant Lake is a local oasis nestled between the hills of Ashland and a great opportunity to get away from it all without having to go too far from home.
The Point RV Park features 32 sites with full hookups, overlooking beautiful shoreline on the lake's north end. Each site offers water, 50-amp electrical service, sewer, and 14' x 50' pads to accommodate larger RV's. For a more natural experience, set up camp in one of the 40 basic sites (no hookups) at the Oak Slope Campground. Small trailers are allowed in the Oak Slope Campground, but anything over 24' is STRONGLY not recommended.
All campsites include a campfire ring and picnic table and a nearby restroom/shower building in both areas. RV Park and Campground Reservations are recommended but not required, and may be made online or by phone through the Parks Office, 15 calendar days to 9 months in advance of the first night's stay.
If you require a larger space, be sure to utilize the Group Campground area, which can accommodate up to 100 people. Group Campground area offers several picnic tables, large campfire ring, standing barbecue, horseshoe pit and a restroom/shower building nearby, making it a perfect spot for a family reunion, business retreat, or any larger social gathering. Group Camp Reservations are required and must be made by phone through the Parks Office. Click here for reservation information.
Rogue Elk - Shady Cove -
Rogue Elk Park covers a total of 33 beautiful acres including three-quarters of a mile of access to the upper Rogue River. This special park provides numerous activities such as camping, fishing, rafting, swimming and an excellent opportunity to escape for a day trip, picnic or family event. Rogue Elk is the county's most popular camping spot along the upper Rogue River with prime riverfront campsites, RV sites with water/electric hookups, restroom/showers, picnic tables, barbecues and a playground.
Campsite Reservations are recommended but not required, and may be made Online or by phone through the Parks Office, 15 calendar days to 9 months in advance of the first night's stay. Click here for reservation information.
Indian Mary - Galice -
This gorgeous campground is the center piece of the Josephine County Parks campground system. Lots of meadow areas. Great areas to walk around and explore. It has a great playground and disc golf course. Most sites are very close together so privacy is not real great. Access to the river stretches throughout the park and for this reason, it makes a great spot for fishing trips as well. It is situated next to the major access road into the middle Rogue River area so traffic can be an issue especially on weekends. Click here for reservation information.
We are in Spring and in spring, the thoughts of golf abound. We are blessed to have many great courses to enjoy here in Southern Oregon. I am going to line you out on some of those. These courses will reflect a wide range of type of courses. Everything from executive nine holers to championship flight courses that have been laid out by the biggest names in the golf industry.
CENTENNIAL GOLF COURSE - MEDFORD.
Centennial Golf Club opened to rave reviews on May 20, 2006 and has been the talk of the town since. This facility boasts 18 holes of spectacular golf designed by two time PGA Tour winner and 1977 US Amateur Champion, John Fought. Centennial Golf Club is centrally located in Medford, Oregon at the heart of the bountiful Rogue Valley region.
Stretching over 7300 yards from the back tees, this fun-filled layout will also be home to an inviting clubhouse (complete with golf shop and restaurant) and a functional practice facility.
“The design at Centennial was inspired by the classic designs from the Golden Age of golf course architecture when such geniuses as Donald Ross, Alistair Mackenzie and AW Tillinghast were creating their master works” states golf course architect John Fought. to see the full course layout and to learn more about it, click here.
STONE RIDGE GOLF COURSE - EAGLE POINT.
Tucked away in the Rogue Valley, Stone Ridge Golf Course sprawls across a scenic and ever-changing landscape. With trees, water features, and a variety of elevation changes, every hole offers something different. Not only that, each hole provides stunning views, some that even stretch to Mt. McLoughlin.
The landing areas are generous, allowing a little room for error, but the large greens can be tough if you're not paying attention to your pin placement. Stone Ridge is a golf course where you'll find yourself using all the clubs in your bag but it's not overly rigorous.
The course is a fun challenge for players of all skill levels and it's also one of the more affordable courses in the area. Many locals consider it one of southern Oregon's must-play golf courses. Stone Ridge G.C. also has a full-length driving range with both natural and artificial tees. For more information, click here.
OAK KNOLL GOLF COURSE - ASHLAND.
The 9-hole Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland, OR is a public golf course that opened in 1924. Oak Knoll Golf Course measures 3020 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 118 and a 34.1 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels. Oak Knoll will usally have very playable conditions in the winter when other courses are in icy fog in Jackson County. The spring months will usually find this course playing exceptionally well. The course does have a driving range to warm up or fine tune your swing. For more information, click here.
LAUREL HILL GOLF COURSE - GOLD HILL.
This beautiful 9-hole golf course is nestled near the town of Gold Hill just off of Interstate 5 in the heart of the Rogue Valley. It is a heavily treed course and that is both good and bad. The good part is that on sunny hot days, this course offers abundant shade and cooler conditions to enjoy a round of golf. On the bad side, errant shots here are going to find a lot of trouble very fast. Many times these shots disappear never to be seen again. This course is a teacher. It will force you to hit accurate shots. But, when you do, it will reward you with the chance to shoot low scores. This is an excellent course to golf with kids at. It is very low key and kids are really welcomed here. They have a long standing summer vacation golf program for kids here that is very popular. To learn more about this course, click here.
DUTCHER CREEK GOLF COURSE - GRANTS PASS.
Just four and a half miles west of Grants Pass Oregon, nestled in the beautiful Rogue Valley is the Dutcher Creek Golf course. This picturesque par 70 course golf course is set in pastureland just north of the Rogue River. You'll enjoy a 360 degree panorama of the Siskiyou and Grayback mountain ranges. The only sounds you'll hear are geese overhead, the crack of your drive, and the rustling of the wind through the trees as your ball falls in the hole.
Most of the fairways are wide open, but tree-lined chutes pose challenges on several of the men's tees. The Dutcher Creek Clubhouse offers equipment, clothes, snacks, and beverages. For practice From the patio outside the clubhouse, golfers can relax after their game and observe a panoramic view of the entire course.
The setting here is spectacular. The course is fun for both the novice and the experienced golfer, plus Dutcher Creek is one of the best golf values in Southern Oregon. For more information, click here.