10 FAMILY-FRIENDLY SOUTHERN OREGON WINTER FUN ADVENTURES

I used to hate winter!  Well, not necessarily hate winter, but I was more of a sit by the fire snuggling, drinking a hot toddy while watching the snow fall outside the window kind of gal.  Gary and I would go to Tahoe and while everyone was out skiing we would hit the local dining spots and go shopping.  Yah, I know, WHAT?!  I don't know what switched inside my brain but things have changed.  I still love the snuggling by the fire and shopping but now I have to get out in the snow!  It's just a matter of bundling up and jumping in!

Now that the holidays are over it is time to really get into the winter fun and start enjoying all that there is here in Southern Oregon.  Here are 10 Winter Fun ideas that are family-friendly and even some that are really budget friendly!  I can't wait to get started!

SKI or SNOWBOARD MT. ASHLAND

Ski or snowboard in their record snow this year!  Every day is awesome and they even have ski lessons if you have never tried!  Full info about rentals, weather conditions, and events here.

 Photo credit:   Jordan Alec Boyd  - Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Photo credit:  Jordan Alec Boyd - Mt. Ashland Ski Area

 

SNOWSHOEING AT CRATER LAKE 

An experience like no other.  Crater Lake is an amazing wonder all on its own.  Add in a FREE ranger-guided snowshoe walk and you are on the road to one of your most memorable experiences of your life!  Kids must be eight and up to participate (no exceptions)  If you want to go call 541-594-3100 to sign-up.  If you want to rent snowshoes so you can make your own adventure there is a list of places at the bottom of this blog.  For more information about the range-guided walks go HERE to read our blog.

Other places to go snowshoeing:  Diamond Lake | Quartz Mountain | Warner Mountain Ski Area | Camas | Mt. Ashland | Siskiyou Summit |  Maps links for all of these destinations are at the bottom of this blog.

 Photo credit: What to do in Southern Oregon

Photo credit: What to do in Southern Oregon

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

I've never been but I want to go!  I imagine beuatifully smooth, untouched snow.  And then the satisfaction of achy muscles from a day of exploring serene meadows with breathtaking views. I don't know if I will have time this year but I hope you do!

Where to go:  Crater Lake | Diamond Lake | Quartz Mountain | Warner Mountain Ski Area | Camas | Mt. Ashland | Siskiyou Summit.  Maps links for all of these destinations are at the bottom of this blog.

 Picture credit:   Oregon Nordic Club

Picture credit:  Oregon Nordic Club

 

SNOWMOBILING 

Have you ever been?  Yes, for some it sounds scary and intimidating, but when you try it you will get an adrenaline rush like no other.  Think of a motor cycle but on snow.  Pure exhilaration.

Where to go: Diamond Lake | Quartz Mountain | Warner Mountain Ski Area | Camas | Mt. Ashland | Siskiyou Summit | Maps links for all of these destinations are at the bottom of this blog.

 Photo credit:   Mountain Adventures

Photo credit:  Mountain Adventures

 

ICE SKATING

Olivia can't stop talking about going ice skaing and while we can go anytime at the RRRink in Medford she really wants to go to skate at Ashland's outdoor ice rink.  They are usually open November through the last Sunday in February (as long as the weather holds up), so we will be making our way over there before it gets thawed out.  Want to go?  Check out their schedule and rental information here.  MAP  Other places to ice skate: Bill Collier Ice Arena  MAP

 Photo credit:  Jim Chamberlain

Photo credit: Jim Chamberlain

SLEDDING

We usually sled basically wherever we can find a hill including our local park (when we get snow).  It cures our desire, but if you can drive a little ways there are some really great places to hit around the valley.  

Farewell Bend  right past Union Creek.  It is free except for the snow permit. There are three hills that you have to walk up with varying degrees of incline.  Our kids have a great time zooming down the hills racing eachother.  It was crazy up there too, so be  ready for a crowd.  If you want to skip the crowd I would suggest going during the week if you can.  Also, there is only one bathroom available so be ready for a line.

Table Mountain at Hyatt Lake was one of my favorite places from my teen years!  We would take our inner tubes and fly down the hill with 4 more people than should be possible on one tube.  It still is one of my favorite memories with friends that I can say are still my friends. :)  They even have a warming shelter that you can bring your own wood for .  It is also FREE.

Diamond Lake Resort - Diamond Lake has a new rope tow that can move 100's of people an hour.  They have cabins to stay in and also offer snowmobile, cross country ski's, and snowshoe rentals!

GO ICE FISHING 

Lake of the Woods Resort rents augers, sleds, and ice fishing shelters.  They even have cabins to rent if you want to make a weekend of it.  More info is on their website here.  Never been?  I found this cool website that gives you all of the details on what you need and how to go ice fishing!  Go here for more info.

 Photo credit:  Lake of the Woods

Photo credit:  Lake of the Woods

WHALE WATCHING

If you get lucky you can catch whales anytime during the year but the last weeks in December and March is the prime to go viewing.  Coming up March 25th-31st you can talk to trained "Whale Watching Spoken Here"  volunteers at various spots on the coast to help you find the whales.  For a map of all of the best spots to whale watch go here.

HIKE THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

Hiking isn't just for the warmer months.  We love to hike year round!  The snow makes our everyday hiking spots a whole new experience with a whole new view.  In fact one of our most talked about trips was 2016's New Years day hike on White Rabbit in Ashland.  Olivia was only three years old and hiked about 2 miles through the snow.  So many family memories made.  See our hiking adventure here.

HIKING - What to do in Southern Oregon - Things to do

TAKE A SNOW HOLIDAY

There are some pretty amazing spots, that many may not know about, to indulge a persons need for serenity and to enjoy the winter season.  A couple of places that look extra special and have stuck out to me -

WILLOW-WITT RANCH MEADOW HOUSE or FARMHOUSE STUDIO

An off-grid living experience you are free to enjoy the surrounding landscape and go snowhoeing, cross country skiing, or any snow activity you can think of.  They also offer you free tours of the farmhouse and you can enrich your experience by shopping at their onsite farm store!

THIMBLEBERRY CABIN

A sweet little cabin 7 miles west of Lake of the Woods.  It has two bedrooms and sleeps five.  What better way to jump into the winter fun that staying right where the snow and toys are.  Want to stay there?  Make your reservations on VRBO here

 Picture Credit:   Thimbleberry Cabin

Picture Credit:  Thimbleberry Cabin

If you don't want to play in the snow of course there are lots of great places to enjoy indoors during the colder weather.  Our blog 13 PLACES TO HAVE INDOOR FUN ON A RAINY/SNOWY DAY!!

 

Go here for a list of Oregon Sno-Parks

 

Places to rent equipment: 

Snowmobiles: 

Mountain Adventures in Medford

Snowshoe & X-Country Ski Rentals:

Klamath Falls - The Ledge | Klamath Basin Sports

Medford -  Blackbird | Northwest Outdoor Store 

Ashland - Ashland Outdoor Store | Mountain Provisions

Roseburg - Waldron's

 

MAPS

Annie Creek

Camas

Cinnamon Butte

Claude Lewis Trailhead

Crater Lake

Diamond Lake

Farewell Bend

Mt. Ashland

Mt. Thielsen

Quartz Mountain

Thousand Springs

Union Creek

Warner Mountain Ski Area