Grants Pass

Overview

Introduction

The Rogue River that flows through Grants Pass is a center for fishing and white-water rafting. Fishing guides and outfitters are both available in town (contact the visitors bureau for a list). There are many hiking and biking trails and streamside camping. Wildlife Images, a care facility for orphaned and endangered animals, offers educational tours and special events such as summer camps for kids and Wildlife at Twilight for adults. North of Grants Pass (off Interstate 5) is the historic Wolf Creek Tavern, a hotel and restaurant that dates to the 1800s. South of Grants Pass, near the border with California, is Oregon Caves National Monument, a group of caverns formed in marble bedrock. A guided tour takes you through the lighted caverns and corridors—they're so beautiful, and so unusual, that they're well worth a visit.

The area around Grants Pass is dotted with small ghost towns: Though they're not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, they bear witness to the hard life of the Oregon pioneers. Just 3 mi/6 km east of Wolf Creek, you can spend a little time in Golden. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the town has several homes, a carriage house, a store and a church. Or visit Kerby, 40 mi/65 km southwest of Grants Pass, where there are several well-preserved buildings, a museum and the "hanging tree," a large oak with a dark past. In nearby Gold Hill, the Oregon Vortex and the House of Mystery exhibit eerie natural phenomena. Legend has it that the Native Americans called it the "forbidden ground."

The entire town of Jacksonville (20 mi/32 km southeast of Grants Pass) has been declared a National Historic Landmark. It has an impressive collection of well-preserved pioneer buildings. Grants Pass is 210 mi/340 km south of Portland.

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