The Applegate Valley

The Applegate Valley is located in the Southwest corner of Jackson County and a portion of Southeast corner of Josephine County, Oregon. It’s just minutes from the California border and centrally located two hours from the coast and 45 minutes northwest of Ashland, 30 minutes west of Medford and 20 minutes west of the town of Historic Jacksonville. The valley is reached via State Hwy 238 from either Medford through Historic Jacksonville or Grants Pass at the Redwood Hwy 199 junction.

The Applegate River

The Applegate River flows from the Siskiyou Mountains northerly toward Ruch, then westerly toward Grants Pass (a distance of about 40 miles) where it feeds into the Rogue River. Maintained, paved roads follow the river, and most of its tributaries all the way through wide fertile valleys and wooded areas. There are parks and picnic spots by the wayside inviting one to spend a leisurely day in the cool, clean air of the Applegate.


The Applegate Valley is well known for it’s clear blue skies. The valley enjoys four obvious but mild seasons in it’s own “micro-climate”;

  • A crisp spring, with weeks of alternate sunny and showery days, is characterized by early wild  flowers, blossoming fruit trees, returning flocks of birds,and an urge to make a garden or scout for wild mushrooms.
  • A short, warm summer (most nights are cool and comfortable) with the hottest time of the year in mid to late August
  • A long colorful autumn with everything ready to harvest at once
  • A a short winter of rain and varying amounts of snow in the higher elevations.

Some years it is necessary to protect water pipes from freezing, but extremes of climate are usually mild in the Applegate. Snow is seldom a problem. Roads are kept open and there is excellent school bus service. Annual rainfall is about 20 to 25 inches, increasing to 40 inches or more at higher elevations and close to high mountains. There is considerable variation within a few miles.

Soil Types

Soil types vary throughout the valley but most are fertile and well drained. Much of the valley floor contains pastures of good feeding quality for a variety of livestock along with many organic vegetable and herb farms both big and small. The Applegate Valley is also a popular and growing wine production area with many varieties of wine grapes. The Applegate Valley Wine Trail is a great way to get familiar with the area and its local fare. You’ll find many established and upcoming wineries and farms with award wining products.

Water Rights

The Applegate Valley with its many water tributaries; springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes, offers a variety irrigation and water rights methods. Whether state water rights, personal well rights or purchased rights from the Corp. of Engineers, irrigated land is sought after for both personal and commercial production.

Stores, Schools, and Community Churches

The Applegate Valley is spotted with small non-incorporated communities. Each community offers local grocery, grange products, restaurants, elementary schools, day cares, medical services, beauty services and more. The following links are just a taste of what we have to offer:

Ryans Outpost, Applegate Store and Cafe, Applegate Nursery

Ruch Community Church, Applegate Valley Fellowship, Applegate Community Church, Provolt Community Church, Williams Community Church

Applegate River Lodge, Peace of Pizza, McKee Bridge Restaurant, Cocina 7 Taqueria

Ruch Elementary, Applegate School, Williams Elementary, Hidden Valley High School 


You’ll find an array of community activities from holiday dinners and gatherings, seasonal festivals, weekly live music entertainment and organized hikes and rides. The Applegate Valley is a fantastic location for many outdoor activities. The Applegate Lake is surrounded by extensive hiking trails and offers great fishing, swimming, and camping/picnic areas. Visit the trail to the “Big Foot” trap, camp at Squaw Lakes, float down the Applegate River or fish for Steelhead or Trout. You’ll find snow and water skiing nearby and the Applegate Valley is even a fantastic find for hang gliders and paragliders hosting the popular Rat Race off Woodrat Mountain in Ruch.

Some of the interesting side trips include…

  • a good forest-service road from the Applegate Lake through the mountains along Carbery Creek, past old mining claims and wooded areas down Thompson Creek to Hwy. 238 at Applegate
  • the loop from the top of Jacksonville hill along Sterling Creek, famous for early day gold mining, to the remains of the settlement of Buncom at the junction with the Little Road. History buffs could browse for days investigating pioneer sites and old cemeteries throughout the area. 

Historic Jacksonville

Located at the entrance to the Applegate Valley the Historic town of Jacksonville is a picturesque little town offering small town quaintness and culture to all who live here and visit. Built in the 1800’s as the center of the area it is now designated a National Historic Landmark.

Jacksonville offers and array fine dining, shops, hiking trails, seasonal activities and historic landmarks. Jacksonville is also home to the Britt Festival outdoor venue featuring a variety of talents in all types of musical genre, dance and a yearly childrens’ festival. With a population of just over 2,000, it’s a great town.

Britt Festivals

A nonprofit performing arts festival, the Britt Festivals are held in the Britt Gardens and Amphitheater in downtown Jacksonville Oregon. The Britt is considered one of the premier performing arts festival in the Northwest and each year attracts high profile and local artists who perform in the natural beauty that surrounds the garden. The main mission of the Britt Institute is “to invite audiences and artists to celebrate the joy of live performances, the power of community and the magic of the Britt Experience.”

Jacksonville Historic Cemetery

Dating back to the 1850’s the Jacksonville cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries found in the state of Oregon. Well kept by local volunteers it’s a great way to get a walk through the past.

Jacksonville Trail System

This local trail system was formed and is now run by our local non-profit, citizen based, Jacksonville Woodlands Association. With over 300 acres of land this association is dedicated to the preservation and education of the natural lands surrounding our quaint town.