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Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway Weekender

Waterfalls are the main attraction along Oregon's forested detour off I-5 between Roseburg and Gold Hill. The route also boasts wineries, diners, and festivals.

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  • Toketee Falls off Hwy 138 in Douglas County, Oregon, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Wollertz/Shutterstock
    Photo caption
    Two-stage Toketee Falls flows year-round.
  • woman pours a glass of red wine at Del Rio Winery in Gold HIll, Oregon, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: James Bueti
    Photo caption
    Del Rio Vineyards pours at least half a dozen reds, including pinot noir.

Sights and Events

Trophies and free hot dogs for kids draw big crowds on June 3 to Diamond Lake Resort during Free Fishing Weekend. After landing a rainbow trout or taking a fly-fishing workshop, visitors can rent paddleboats or ride horses around the lake. 350 Resort Dr., Diamond Lake.

One of Oregon's premier festivals for more than 50 years, the Glide Wildflower Show (Apr. 29–30) displays 600-plus types of vegetation. Take a guided tour to learn about native flora such as false Solomon's seal, a woodland plant with lacy white blossoms. 20062 N. Umpqua Hwy., Glide.

Roseburg's Summer Arts Festival brings upwards of 100 artists to shady Fir Grove Park, June 23–25. Participate in a massive community art project; see experts demonstrate weaving, wood turning, and glassblowing; or browse the tents for one-of-a-kind jewelry, sculpture, and handicrafts. 1624 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg.

Shops

Take home a taste of the region by picking up a bottle at Del Rio Vineyards, housed in a hotel built in 1865 for weary stagecoach travelers. Choose from 13 distinctive wines, including a crisp grenache rosé redolent of grapefruit and strawberry. The winery also hosts outdoor concerts every Friday starting June 16. 52 N. River Rd., Gold Hill.

One-stop weekend shopping is easy at the Fishin' Hole Fly Shop and Picnic Basket Delicatessen. These adjacent businesses with the same owner offer everything from rods and tackle, raft rentals, and guided fly-fishing trips to coffee, smoothies, and sandwiches to take on the boat. 21873 Hwy. 62, Shady Cove.

You can't miss Shady Kate's Boutique: Just look for three oak trees hung with nearly 3,000 neckties. Inside you'll find colorful jewelry made of recycled magazines, dragonflies fashioned from upcycled metal, and quirky antiques. 21584 Hwy. 62, Shady Cove.

Eats

A wood-cabin diner at the entrance to the Union Creek Resort fishing lodge, Beckie's Cafe has been in business since 1926. Enjoy a hearty Rogue omelet with peppers, onions, and sausage gravy for breakfast; home-style dinners; and boysenberry pie anytime. 56484 Hwy. 62, Prospect.

Begin or end your trip at the Parrott House, a landmark mansion recently converted into a gorgeous restaurant. Feast on Italian-inspired dishes such as braised oxtail-stuffed agnolotti in black-garlic brodo. 1851 SE Stephens St., Roseburg.

Dinner at the Steamboat Inn just outside Glide is open even to those not staying overnight. From March through June the historic spot presents a series of meals featuring guest chefs, among them John and Caprial Pence of Portland's beloved, defunct Caprial's Bistro. 42705 N. Umpqua Hwy., Idleyld Park.

Outdoors

Highway 138 between Roseburg and Crater Lake is known as the Highway of Waterfalls for the 10 cascades found along its route. Check out Toketee (milepost 58.6), a spectacular tiered tumble over striated columnar basalt, or Watson (milepost 60.5), one of the tallest plunges in the state at 293 feet.

May and June are perfect for launching onto the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers (though boating season lasts through September). Rapid Pleasure Rafting Co. in Shady Cove floats rafts and kayaks down 10 miles of gentle Class I–II waters on the Rogue. Oregon Whitewater Adventures offers trips with a licensed guide across the Umpqua's faster rapids and pools of emerald water.

A short detour off Highway 62 north of Prospect, the 3.5- mile Rogue Gorge Trail connects the Rogue Gorge and Natural Bridge Viewpoints. Interpretive signs at each end teach visitors about the area's ancient lava flows, which created tubes that channel the river under the rock.

This article was first published in Summer 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.