In Southern Oregon


  • cave junction
  • oregon caves
  • oregon cave chateau
  • kerbyville museum

Located in Illinois Valley is the City of Cave Junction and a few small towns, Kerby, O'Brien, Takilma, Wonder and Selma.

The beautiful Illinois Valley and the surrounding area of Southern Oregon were once part of a continental margin. They lie at the western end of the Siskiyou Mountains, where they abut the Coastal Range. The weather in this area is mild. Warm to hot summers and mild winters.

Cave Junction is located on Hwy. 199, approximately 30 miles southwest of Grants Pass, and is home to some 2,000 residents. Cave Junction is considered the "Home of the Oregon Caves", which are located about 20 miles east of town, off Hwy 46. It serves as a home base for visitors from around the world, many of whom travel to the Illinois Valley to see the unique geologic wonder.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in this area (see below) along with stores, gift shops and other amenities available to the residents of Illinois Valley, along with the thousands of visitors who pass through annually.

Oregon Caves Proclaimed a National Monument in 1909 the Oregon Caves has remained a geological wonder for all to experience. A 75-minute guided interpretive tour will allow you to view the stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone and other beautiful formations. Tours are available all year. The adjoining Oregon Caves Chateau offers accommodations from June to September, year-round bed and breakfast and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Kerbyville Museum in Kerby provides a wonderful insight into the history of our area with many artifacts displayed. See Kerby in our Profiles.

Selma - Named in 1897 by the postmaster's wife after her home town in Iowa, Selma is today the gateway to Southern Oregon's wild and scenic Illinois River and to the vast Kalmiopsis Wilderness which stretches 60 miles westward through the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The surrounding trees and mountains create a rustic setting for the town businesses and services which are located along a half mile stretch on both sides of the Redwood Highway 99. It is home to Lake Selmac & Resort. See our Lakes Page.
Wild Blackberry Arts and Crafts Festival in Illinois Valley is a favorite n annual event..
Boating and Water Sports include rafting, kayaking and canoeing. There are plenty of creeks, rivers and Lake Selmac for swimming and water activities.

Winter Sports include cross country skiing and snow mobiles at the Page Mountain Snow Park and a downhill facility at nearby Ashland. Serious skiers can travel to Mount Bachelor in Sun River, about a 4 1/2 hour drive.

Hiking, Camping and Picnic Areas are limitless in many state and federally operated locations. Trails include those for hiking, biking, horseback riding and four-wheel drive vehicles or motorcycles.

Illinois Valley Golf Course and several other golf courses in the surrounding areas. We also have baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and horse riding clubs.

Climate with an average elevation on the valley of 1,350', we offer more than 300 frost-free days per year, attested to by our fast-growing wine vineyard operations. The Illinois Valley lies in one of the few U.S. climatic zones which experience little summer precipitation and comfortably low humidity. Some summer days may reach 100 degrees, but the nights often will still require a blanket.
For the vast majority of the year there is zero air pollution and a low percentage of cloud cover, which contributes to the valley receiving more solar energy than most of the United States.
Winter temperatures seldom fall below 20 degrees. Occasional snowfall on the valley floor seldom reaches 6 inches and usually melts away in two to three days. Precipitation averages 30-40 inches in the winter. The water supply is primarily subterranean or is from the snowpack in the surrounding mountains.

The average latest and earliest killing frosts are April 17 and Oct. 25. Located less than 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean, our valley has cooler summers and warmer winters than adjacent areas located farther inland.

Local winter energy needs are met primarily by wood and heat pumps with solar energy being designed in new structures.

Public Schools - The Illinois Valley has an elementary school - Evergreen Elementary in Cave Junction. There is one middle school, Lorne Byrne, and Illinois Valley High School, both located in Cave Junction. There is also a Head Start Program and Alternative Education Center.
Private Schools - There are several pre-school and kindergarten programs and some providing education through the 12th grade. The Seventh-Day Adventist Academy and the Community Christian Academy are two having religious affiliations.
Higher Education s Rogue Community College has its main campus in Grants Pass, 25 miles north of Cave Junctions.
Geographical Location Illinois Valley In the Southwest corner of Oregon covers about 1,600 square miles of mountain terrain. The elevation ranges from 1,240' above sea level along the river to 7,055' above sea level on Grayback Mountain.
Valley Soil consists of stream-deposited sand, silt and gravel, bench gravel deposits, and glacial moraines. Some areas contain deposits of placer gold, minor platinum, nickel, and chrome made commercially unimportant by current regulations and restrictions.
Illinois Valley Economy is based on a fast-fading lumber industry; growing tourism, cottage industries and retirement, minimal agriculture, and employment by the government.

Lake Selmac in Selma offers boating, fishing, swimming, camping facilities, and horseback riding. See our Lakes Page
Labor - Almost any industry or company locating in the Illinois Valley can look to Rogue Community College for technical and vocational training to upgrade existing worker skills. Seventy-five percent of its 350 classes each session relate to job training and it can even provide special short-term programs for individual employers. A Small Business Development Center offers continuous courses and training in the Historic City Hall in Grants Pass as well as on campus.
Churches - The Illinois Valley is home to more than 20 churches covering almost every denomination.

Illinois Valley Airport s located four miles south of Cave Junction and provides a major flying and skydiving center, The paved landing strip is 5,200 feet long, 75' wide and at an elevation of 1,400'. It has 20,000 pounds single and 30,000 pounds double wheel bearing weight. Airline service is available at Crescent city, California or Medford, Oregon (verify info).

Ground - The Illinois Valley is bisected by US 199 (also called the Redwood Highway) which runs from Interstate 5 at Grants Pass to US Hwy. 101 on the coast. There is limited bus service in and out of the area. Daily delivery service is provided by UPS and FEDEX with local drop-off points. Several regional and national freight carriers also service the area. A Greyhound bus station is located in Grants Pass, approximately 30 miles from Cave Junction. Go-kart and motorcycle racing enthusiasts travel to nearby Crescent City in Northern California.

Hunting and Fishing
Oregon hunters annually bag more than 100,000 deer and 15,000 elk as well as a number of antelope and bear. For the bird hunter, pheasant, quail, pigeon, geese and duck provide a sportsman's selection. The Illinois (check restrictions), Rogue River and Applegate Rivers provide salmon, steelhead and trout, while Selma's 160-acre man-made Lake Selmac is the state's premier trophy bass lake. A 55-mile drive to the coast affords surfcasting and deep sea opportunities.


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