The Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest is a diverse landscape of old-growth Port Orford cedar and Douglas fir forest, mountain ranges, and several wild and scenic designated rivers including the mighty Rogue River. The National Forest stretches through parts of southwestern Oregon and northern California from the crest of the Cascades west into the Siskiyou Mountains. The largest cities in proximity to this area are Medford, Ashland, and Grants Pass.
Recreation activities are plentiful in the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest from whitewater rafting and flyfishing to hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. Numerous camping facilities, picnic areas, and cabin rentals are available throughout the forest, and here are some of our favorites.
Bolan Lake is a popular high mountain refuge during the sweltering summer months. The lake sits at 6.259 feet, high above the Illinois Valley not too far from the Califonia border. The Bolan Lake campground offers 12 shady sites on a first-come, first-served basis. A trail to a fire lookout tower on Bolan Mountain begins near the camping area, which is also available for rent and sleeps up to four people.
Located about 30 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon, the Sam Brown Campground is situated in a lovely meadow with abundant trails and wildlife viewing opportunities. Local legend has it that, Sam Brown, one of Oregon’s first African-American men settled here. Campsites are suitable for tents and small trailers and the spacious campground makes it a great option for large groups.
Squaw Lakes are two high alpine lakes nestled into the Siskiyou Mountains about 36 miles south of Medford. The campground is only accessible by hiking in providing a truly remote experience for those looking to get away from it all. Each campsite is well-spaced from neighboring sites, giving guests the feeling that they are alone in the woods. The closest campsites are a quarter-mile from the parking area and a seasonal ATV portage service may be available to transport camping gear.
Located on the banks of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, the Quostana Campground is one of the largest and most popular campgrounds in the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest. The campground is only 14 miles from Gold Beach, the town on the Oregon Coast where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean. The campground’s spacious sites can accommodate medium-sized RVs and campground amenities include a boat launch, fish cleaning station, and hiking trails through the neighboring old-growth forest.
Grayback Campground is located in a pleasant forested setting within a 20-minute drive of Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve. The campground is ideal for tents and small trailers and many of the sites are tucked alongside Sucker Creek, which is great for swimming. Several hiking trails are nearby and an adjoining day-use area has a large picnic area, horseshoe pits, and a volleyball court.