Your Southern Oregon Guide


  • applegate valley
  • near murphy
  • near ruch and williams

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

Applegate Lake is located in the Applegate Valley Oregon. The forested slopes and often snow covered peaks of the Siskiyou Mountains are reflected in the clear blue waters of Applegate Lake in the Rogue River National Forest. In this scenic setting the U.S. Forest Service operates hike-in campgrounds and lakeshore areas for picnicking, swimming and boating. The lake extends to the California border and a hiking trail follows the 18 mile shoreline. Development at most of the recreational sites is minimal and the majority of the lakeshore has been maintained in a natural state. Another measure for preserving the rustic character of the lake is a ten mile per hour speed limit for all boats.

Paved trails and other barrier free facilities are provided at the day use areas so that they may be enjoyed by all visitors. Water, stored in the reservoir for flood protection, maintains a year round flow in the Applegate River, assuring good quality water, even in dry summer months.

The reservoir provides irrigation and flood protection for the lower Applegate Valley and enhances the fishery through maintaining higher and cooler water levels in the lower river. The Forest Service is responsible for the maintenance of the 10 campgrounds, viewpoints, and trail system around the lake. Hart-Tish park, primarily a day use facility with limited camping, is one of the few Forest Service parks with several acres of beautifully groomed lawn sloping down to the water's edge. From Hart-Tish one can look south across the lake to the peaks of the majestic Red Butte Wilderness.

The following Applegate Lake water level information will be helpful to those planning to use the various ramps and swimming areas around the lake. All lake levels are given in feet above sea-level. Water Levels Call 800-472-2434, for current lake level information.
Seven miles up Squaw Creek Road, a predominantly gravel road across the Applegate Dam, lie Squaw Lakes. See our Lakes Section in menu above.

For Lake fees, dates, hours, & info Call 541-899-9220 or visit their website at:

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