Here’s another entry in the Things to Do in Oregon With Kids category (previously: Crescent Lake), if I actually had blog categories, which I totally don’t because the last time I tried to mess with my WordPress theme everything blew up and I vowed to never ever ever touch it again. PHP WHUT?
The Rogue River has a special place in my heart. It’s so gorgeous and wonderful and I’ll always remember hiking the trail in 2010 and writing afterwards, “What if home were closer to all of this? Thinking, planning, plotting. How to get from here to there.” We’ve camped in the area four years in a row now, and this past weekend was the second time we stayed at the Indian Mary campground with the boys.
Where to go: Just past Merlin in southern Oregon, about 140 miles from Eugene.
Why to go: The Rogue River is a must-see part of Oregon. Summers are hot and sunny and the scenery is unreal and you’ll never want to leave.
What to do: If your ideal family vacation includes shopping and spa visits, this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you like outdoorsy stuff, the options are limitless: hiking, boating, whitewater rafting, fishing, camping, etc. You can bring (or rent) a raft and do a brief leisurely float, or you can hire a guide and spend several days on the wild section of the river. (I did this once with JB years ago and it was absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t do it with the kids yet, though, because I’d be too nervous about their safety.) Next time we go I want to do a jetboat ride again, because those are crazy fun. You can hike a short section of the the Rogue River trail or walk the whole damn thing. You can park your ass in a chair in the sun and watch your kids throw rocks in the water for like 15 hours.
Where to stay: I can’t recommend the Indian Mary campground enough for families. It’s got great bathrooms, showers, a big playground, a disc-golf course, a basketball court, RV hookups, and so on. There’s a tent-only section that gets a little crowded, so here’s a tip: the very best spots are 54, 56, and 58. The camp is right on the river, and just a couple miles from the awesome Galice Resort where you can buy stuff at the little store or have lunch on their deck.
What might suck: Nothing will suck, except coming home and dealing with the giant pile of camp laundry.