BootsnAll Travel Network

A southern Oregon river runs through it

North Umpqua

Oregon’s North Umpqua River       photo credit: Marico Fayre

The only blackberries you’ll find at the Steamboat Inn come from the kitchen in a fresh pie or cobbler.  There is no cell phone reception at this southern Oregon lodge, but internet access is available in the main building.

It was during my visit to Steamboat that I met renaissance woman Patricia Lee.  She earned her chops on the Umpqua as a fishing guide, turned cookbook author with Steamboat Inn Owner Sharon Van Loan.  Now general manager, Lee is a jack of all trades as well as an amateur botanist.

Walking alongside the mighty Umpqua with Grace, her two-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever, Lee pulled wild ginger from a stem for me to smell.  A few more steps along the Mott trail and minature orchids were revealed beneath the vibrant green canopy.

Back at the Inn I scanned the fly fishing books and magazines as some local men sat at a nearby table sorting fishing paraphenalia.  River devotees know to book a July reservation months in advance as the steelhead are plentiful this time of year.

 If you simply want to kick back and reconnect with nature, ask the front desk for a waterfall brochure with accompanying trail maps and photos of local falls such as Fall Creek, Toketee or Watson.  Visitors will want to stop at nearby Crater Lake for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, bicycling or a boat ride to Wizard Island.

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