Known for its beauty, the Applegate Valley consists of several small
communities. Six miles north of Applegate
Ranger District is Ruch, a small community with an elementary
school, two churches, 2 grocery stores, a service station, three
restaurants, and a small shopping center. Jacksonville, the
nearest community of any real size, with a population of
approximately 2000, is located 14 miles north of the district.
Nineteen miles away in the Rogue Valley is Medford, a full
service community of 46,000. Southern Oregon State College is
located in nearby Ashland.
The town of Murphy is south of Grants Pass and is located just off Williams Highway where Murphy Creek meets the Applegate River. It features a market and several retail establishments along with Hidden Valley High School, which serves the high school students residing in the south Rogue Valley, Applegate & Williams Valley areas.
The community of Williams is also in the Applegate Valley and is located about twenty miles south of Grants Pass. It is a mix of ranches, rural residences and a town center with several businesses. It is a wonderful community, known for its artists and musicians and peace and quiet, accentuated by some of the most gorgeous scenery in the Rogue Valley