Medford, Oregon – Crater Lake and more!
Memorial day weekend was upon us and we wanted to go somewhere different so we picked Medford, OR. It was a short flight from San Francisco and there were seats available despite a last minute booking! We weren’t sure what was there but were going to wing it and make the most!
Score Card: 7.0/10
- Transportation: 5/10 (the weather in the winter can be dicey and public transit isn’t an option, but when you come to Medford you’re ready to road-trip)
- Price: 6/10 (most things are slightly less expensive than we were accustom to)
- Safety: 9/10 (we felt safe just about everywhere along the way and didn’t see any signs of crime)
- Food: 6/10 (the options were limited but some of the mom and pop shops were delicious)
- Culture: 5/10 (not many cultural experiences)
- History: 7/10 (there were a lot of historical options if you seek them out)
- Excitement: 7/10 (there were many outdoor exciting experiences to take part in)
- Awe Inspiring: 9/10 (everything was so beautiful and pristine, the sights were unlike anywhere else)
- Technology Equipped: 2/10 (limited service outside of Medford)
- Female Friendly: 9/10 (It’s a safe and friendly city for women)
- Solo Travel Recommended: 9/10 (everyone is friendly and there are a lot of solo outdoor activities to take part in)
- Language Barrier: 10/10 (if you speak English you’re good to go)
Where to go:
- Cache an offline map through Google Maps — cell service is spotty at best and without a cashed map you’ll lose service once you’re a few miles from Medford. You’ll be able to use it to located gas stations, food stops and stay on track when you’re driving.
- Bring a hammock (unless it’s cold out) as there are so many beautiful places to throw it up and take a nap. We like the hammock and straps from Eno.
- Bring bug spray for the spring, summer, fall months as the mosquitoes are out in full force
Lake of the Woods
Description: Just an hour or so from Medford, this beautiful place is a great solo, couple or family spot to enjoy mother nature. It is accented by red wood chairs throughout to give it that throwback, childhood feeling.
Location: 14700 Highway 140 EKlamath Falls, OR
Cost: $5 to park, boat/kayak/paddle boat rentals are available along with cabins and food for an extra charge
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Website / Tickets: http://lakeofthewoodsresort.com/
Notes: It has a beautiful view of the rolling mountains calmed by a sizable lake surrounded by tall, green trees — very picturesque.
Description: To some it’s considered a wonder of the world but one thing is certain, it’s awe inspiring.
Location: 42°54’50.9″N 122°09’04.7″W
Cost: $15 to enter the park and it’s good for a few days if you wish to come back. There are a few free days (consult the national park schedule for free days).
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Website / Tickets: https://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm
Notes: The stillness of the lake, reflective nature with the island surrounded by a rim of rock — makes for something out of this world. It was a former volcano (Mount Mazama) which, once it exploded about 7,700 years ago, gave rise to the crater like appearance. It’s the 5th oldest national park and the deepest lake in the United states at 1,949 feet. You can check the webcam on the national park site to see if the clouds are obscuring the lake and thus there isn’t a view.
Description: It’s a smaller lake and the amenities are not as well kept as Lake of the Woods or Crater Lake but still a nice area.
Location: 350 Resort Dr Diamond Lake, OR
Cost: It’s free to enter. They have cabin, boat and ammeities for an extra fee.
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Website / Tickets: http://www.diamondlake.net/home.aspx
Notes: The mosquitoes get crazy at night, bring bug spray!
Costs: $880 for 2 people for a 2 night, 3 day Crater Lake / Medford trip
- $400 ($200 RT per person) from SFO to Medford, OR and back
- $91 car rental for 2 days
- $41 gas for car rental
- $138 hotel for first night
- $80 hotel for second night
- $25 dinner during Warriors game
- $25 lunch at Lake of the Woods
- $24 snacks for the road trip
- $36 parking at the airport
- $15 entry to Crater Lake
- $5 entry to Lake of the Woods
- 8pm Leave SFO
- 9:30pm land in Medford, grab the rental then head to the hotel
- 10am eat breakfast at the hotel then head toward Crater Lake
- noon Stop at Lake of the Woods to bask in its glory and grab lunch
- 2pm Arrive at Crater Lake, take in the awe inspiring view then drive along the rim
- 5pm Arrive at Mirror Lake
- 6pm Head back to Medford to watch the Warriors game
- 8pm Head to the hotel
- 8am Eat Breakfast, pack, then head to the airport
- 10:30am fly out of Medford to SFO
- On a calm, clear, sunny day — Crater Lake is the only place you need to be. Its beauty is captivating and unreal — there isn’t a photo that does it justice. Take your time at the lookouts from various vantage points, it’s a place you’ll want to remember.