Special Places

Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway

[PHOTO: North Umpqua River near Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway - Larger image not available - Photo by: Creative Images, Roseburg, OR]Experience 172 miles of diverse river and mountain landscapes along the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway. Travel from rolling oak-covered hills to towering coniferous forests, from roaring white water rapids to incised intercanyon lava flows. Drive alongside the Upper Rogue and North Umpqua Wild and Scenic Rivers that contain world-class fisheries.

Travel high and deep into the Cascade Mountains of Oregon when you drive the Byway. Starting from Roseburg, enjoy whitewater thrills and super steelhead runs on the Wild and Scenic North Umpqua River. After you pass more than a half-dozen breathtaking waterfalls along the Byway, you will reach sparkling Diamond Lake, a year-round playground at the base of Mt. Thielsen. From here, you're only moments away from Crater Lake National Park's north entrance (usually open from June through October). Continue south and watch for unusual rock formations and layers of volcanic ash along the Rogue River and in the highway cut banks. Catch glimpses of the Wild and Scenic Upper Rogue River as it weaves its way through the tall forests. Visit the Rogue Gorge and the Natural Bridge where the river has carved its way through rock beds of ancient lava flows. After passing  through the Rogue Valley, with historic rural communities and ranch lands, end in Gold Hill.

About the Route

Length: 172.0 miles (276.8 km)

Time to Allow: 8 hours to drive this Byway.

Federal Land Agencies: Roseburg Bureau of Land Management District, Umpqua National Forest, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, and Medford Bureau of Land Management District.

The Byway route is paved and open year-round. Elevations range from 400 feet to over 5,100 feet, with snow usually above 2,500 feet from November to April. The drive starts and ends near Interstate 5 in southwestern Oregon, at the towns of Roseburg and Gold Hill (between Grants Pass and Medford). From Roseburg, take exit 124 off of the interstate and travel State Route 138 toward Glide. From Gold Hill, exit Interstate 5 onto State Route 234 to get on the Byway. See the map (521 KB PDF), and follow the Rogue-Umpqua Oregon Scenic Byway signs along the route.

[PHOTO: Mt. Thielsen from Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway - Click for larger 565 KB JPG - Photo by Gregg Morgan]

Special Places along the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway

  • Two National Wild & Scenic Rivers
  • Waterfalls
  • High Cascade mountain peaks & volcanic geologic features
  • Historic buildings (Civilian Conservation Corps era)
  • Viewpoints and scenic vistas
  • Adjacent Wilderness areas
  • Near Crater Lake National Park

Learn More...