We Dream of Ashland
Plan Your Outdoor Vacation to Ashland, Oregon
Dreaming of your next amazing getaway? Dream like a local—an Ashland, Oregon local! This beautiful mountain town is a vacation dream come true. Nearby Mt. Ashland is a hiking and mountain biking heaven, including stretches across the famed Pacific Crest Trail. Ashland’s location in the Rogue Valley means enjoying one of the top five wine regions in the world. In the heart of Ashland, 93-acre Lithia Park is an urban oasis, including the new Japanese Garden. Hungry for more? Ashland is for foodies! You’re not dreaming … you’re dreaming like a local, in Ashland.
Signature & Stellar
Start with the marquee Mt. Ashland, where winter slopes have turned summer sensational, blinging with wildflowers and wowing views. Take the easygoing Nature Trail, starting and finishing at Mt. Ashland lodge (where you can pick up some snacks).
Or go big and trek to Mt. Ashland’s summit, a hearty hike that starts from the parking lot and heads up, and up! Get an eyeful of mountain flowers (including the endemic Mt. Ashland lupine) and southern views all the way to Red Butte Mountain and the Trinity Alps.
Tip: We won’t tell if you won’t tell, but just to tell you … you can drive to the top of Mt. Ashland and hike from there, along a 10-mile section of the PCT, which can be divided into shorter segments.
Mountain Bike Bonus: Rent mountain bikes (including e-bikes) and hop on the Ashland Mountain Shuttle, which takes you to Mt. Ashland for a rippin’ 13-mile downhill back to the Plaza.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
Considered America’s greatest Wild and Scenic Trail Experience, the Pacific Crest Trail comprises 2,650 miles of true adventure hiking. But you don’t have to do all that! Ashland is a basecamp for several stretches of the PCT that make great day hikes and can be accessed from Mt. Ashland. There’s the Grouse Gap shelter, with a giant fire pit, though it’s also just a great spot to enjoy a packed lunch. The hike to it—along a dirt fire road—has a campsite too (no fee, but no water either, so bring your own). From the Grouse Gap shelter you can take a sublime and scenic section of the PCT back to your starting point, to complete a loop.
Soda Pops: Set in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Soda Mountain Wilderness is for those who want to diversify their hiking portfolio. Wild and ecologically intriguing, this is a protected wilderness where the desert runs up to impressive stands of fir forest. Pristine sections of the PCT await, and wildflowers can still wow through part of summer. Access this biologically and geologically diverse area with Ashland as your basecamp.
Tip: Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument sits at the convergence of the Cascade, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountain ranges. Translation: It’s glorious. Hike to Pilot Rock—an ancient volcano so unique it’s become a beacon for road-trippers on the I-5. And part of the trail intersects the Pacific Crest Trail.
You’ve had an adventurous day of hiking, and now it’s time to wine down. Give it a swirl, you’re in the perfect location! Ashland has seven wineries and tasting rooms; okay, we’ll name the sunny seven: Irvine & Roberts; Weisinger Family Winery; Longwalk Vineyard; Grizzly Peak Winery; Dana Campbell Winery; Eliana Winery; and Belle Fiore Winery.
Don’t miss taking a beautiful drive through the Rogue Valley Wine Country, named a top-five wine region in … the … world. You can also head to Applegate Valley and the Umpqua Valley … for more wine, and farm-to-table foods.
Bonus Food: You like food? Ashland does too! What sets it apart from many mountain towns is the array of culinary offerings … you’re not going to have trouble finding a place to eat what you like to eat.
Park It Here
Ashland’s Crown jewel, Lithia Park—also known as the emerald urban oasis—is a central haven for taking a stroll in nature or enjoying a picnic. Ashland Creek courses through its 93 acres of lush terrain. It’s also located close to plenty of downtown cafes for those who want to pick up a meal and bring a picnic lunch to the park.
A must-see: the park’s newly opened Japanese Garden. It’s a marvel of authenticity and tranquility. Toru Tanaka designed the garden, which opened late last year. It has ten areas, each one a distinctly Japanese garden—from the Bamboo Forest to the Tea Garden. The Japanese Garden stays true to tradition, following an A-symmetry design and counterclockwise route along paths of sand, stone, and wood (the large cedar deck is ADA accessible).
In addition to the Bamboo Forest, there’s a grove of Douglas firs planted in 1916, symbolizing spiritual connection between the garden and the outside world. Flowing waters represent the passage of time, and there’s a waterfall in the garden too.
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