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Run Oregon Road Trip: Staying at the Steamboat Inn on the Umpqua River

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is The Steamboat Inn! Located on the N Umpqua Highway about 45 minutes from Roseburg and just over an hour to Crater Lake, it’s a wonderful little spot in the scenic corridor on the river!

The running:

The obvious running is on the North Umpqua Trail, a 79-mile trail with 11 specific trail segments, 12 trailheads, various campsites and swimming holes, and infinite enjoyment. The trail is open to runners, hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. A helpful and detailed brochure can be downloaded here.

Luckily some events incorporate the North Umpqua Trail, and a small list of races in the area include:

The Steamboat Inn is a great home-base for all of those events. But if none of those fit your schedule or your Southern Oregon getaway priorities, there are ample opportunities to explore the outdoors from the doorstep of the Steamboat Inn, just a few minutes’ drive, or an hour for some truly epic adventures at Crater Lake, Diamond Lake, climbing or hiking around/near Mts Thielsen or Bailey, and plenty of other sights to be seen and trails to wander.

Right from the backdoor of the Inn is the beautiful Umpqua River, well-known for it’s flyfishing (steelhead, anyone!?). We also saw many rafting groups and some whitewater kayakers. There are also some good waterfalls to scout out, from the easy 1-mile roundtrip hike to Fall Creek Falls, the 2-mile roundtrip to Susan Creek Falls, or the slightly more difficult Hemlock Falls, the beautiful Yakso Falls, or the aptly named Steamboat Falls. There’s plenty to do and see so bring the family for the weekend and do some exploring! Our cabin was dog-friendly and the river is a quick 5 minute walk from the front door, so we could take our dogg-o exploring easily. There was also a forestry road up from the back of the cabins for a little hiking or, as previously mentioned, the numerous hikes and trails so easily accessible can satisfy small or large, experienced or novice dog-hikers!

One morning, my husband and I drove the 12 minutes or so from our cabin at Steamboat to the Fall Creek Falls trailhead. It was mid-morning and we easily found a parking spot and took off up the trail. The falls were about 1/2 mile in and it was a gentle climb. We passed a couple of couples and a small group at the falls but it was relatively quiet. We continued on up the trail for about another 1/3 mile or so and came out onto what used to be the old highway. We both pondered what it would have been like to drive those narrow roads, en route from Roseburg to Crater Lake or some such adventure, and how slow going it must have been. We’d like to return to run or bike those roads to see the vistas and traverse the landscape at a slower pace.

After our mini run at Fall Creek Falls, we drove about 10 minutes more to the Tioga pedestrian bridge for a gorgeous view up and down the river and to start our proper run on the North Umpqua Trail. It was warm by this point in the day and we looked forward to logging the miles and then wading out into the river.

The trail was fantastic – soft underfoot, lush trees all around, dreamy singletrack. We ran “upstream”, so it was some runnable, but noticeable, climbing and I looked forward to the cruise-y downhill on the way back!

Our rental experience:

The Steamboat Inn has 5 different housing options:

Many thanks to the owners, Travis & Melinda, we were able to spend a few nights in one of the Hideaway Cottages. These are located about 1/2 mile from the Inn itself, just up the road, nestled in the trees.

There are three cabins overlooking the center “yard”, one by itself slightly down the hill and one by itself slightly up the hill. All of the them have easy parking for front door access, a front porch, designated BBQ grill, and privacy. We were in the center cabin and though we had neighbors, shrubbery, driveway placements, and the direction of the porches offered plenty of privacy and personal space. Alternatively, it would be ideal for several families to rent adjacent cabins, share porches, play yard games on the grass, and easily wander from cabin to cabin! Both are possibilities for whatever sort of getaway you’ve planned! We arrived and indeed, the neighboring cabin was filled with a family and the kids had pitched their tent on the grass for some “camping”!

I knew there was a kitchenette in our cabin but upon entering, it was much more than I was expecting! I had imagined a mini fridge and a baby coffee pot, much like you’d see in an average hotel. Our cabin had a full sink, a stove top, full-sized coffee pot, a toaster, proper dishes, pots and pans, and a kettle! I brought basic instant oatmeal and granola bars, but had I known this, we could have made a full breakfast with eggs and bacon!

Poking around the cabin a bit more, we also had a large bathroom with a soaking tub and quality soaps and bath salts, a king-sized bed, French doors to the deck off the bedroom, a loft with two twin beds, a fireplace (but it was August with high fire danger, so that’ll wait for a winter trip), and other thoughtful touches like games, dog treats and furniture covers, a package of local toffee from Holm Made Toffee Co. in Bend, luxurious bath robes in the closet, a guest book, and a nice binder with the restaurant’s menus and a detailed history of the Steamboat Inn. Another of my favorite amenities of the Inn is that you can place an order for a “sack lunch” if you are going out for the day: simply fill out the form and give it to the kitchen and they’ll prepare sandwiches and snacks for your day trip!

After our aforementioned running, we headed back to the cabin to shower and head up to the Inn’s restaurant for dinner. It’s summertime and it fills up, so be sure to make a reservation, even if it’s just for 2 people! There is a beautiful outdoor seating area under the trees with a view of the river, or in our case since it was raining, we sat in the sunroom with the same view, just from behind the glass.

There is also a gorgeous main dining room with a huge dining table and benches, made from sugar pine logs in the 1930’s. Lining the walls are oil paintings and vivid photography prints from local artists (for sale, too!). The entire feel of the restaurant is rustic meets classy, warm and welcoming, and shows pride of ownership and showcases the Inn’s rich history.

The menu featured tempting appetizers, beautiful salads, exquisite mains, desserts, a multi-page wine list, and craft beers. We ordered the salmon dip to start, pork tenderloins, pappardelle pasta with shrimp, and a local Roseburg beer. Everything was delicious, filling, and perfectly prepared and presented.

In the morning, the restaurant serves breakfast (and lunch, starting at 8 AM, if you feel like having a BLT with your coffee), or mix up the two and have brunch. They have coffee and espresso, a small gift shop (which sells more of that delicious toffee), books, fishing gear, and they have local maps available as well. They’ve thought of everything you need. Truly.

One thing I need to mention: this place is really honestly disconnected. There are no TVs in the rooms, no wifi (there is access in the dining room and library, but it is limited and spotty), and no cell service. This Inn is a place of relaxation and / or outdoor adventure, so leave your work / social media / movie streaming / blogging *cough cough* at home! As someone who is admittedly connected for 100% of my non-adventuring life, I was looking forward to the forced disengagement from the world. I worked on my knitting project, read a book (a real book! Not an article, not the latest [news source] piece, not a magazine…), my husband played his guitar, I had coffee in a real mug, not a to-go cup with my phone in my hand. It was refreshing and a reminder that information comes at us at warped speed all day long and that resting the brain from our screens is just as important as resting our bodies from the trail or pavement.


Overall:

As you probably picked up on, we were enamored with The Steamboat Inn. The Google and Yelp reviews all say the same thing we do: “Spectacular!” “An absolute gem!” “Peaceful & relaxing!” “A romantic getaway!” “Unique and surprising!” “Unexpected and delightful!” Go see for yourself. Plan a weekend, plan an adventure, plan a wedding, or just stop in for a meal and watch the river rush by. It’s easy to miss, but you won’t want to.

You can check out The Steamboat Inn on social media as well:
Facebook | Instagram | or their own blog!


Steamboat Inn Details:

Address:42705 N Umpqua Hwy, Idleyld Park, OR 97447

Phone: (541) 498-2230

Email: steamboatinnreservations@gmail.com

*More about the Steamboat Inn

Travis and Melinda Woodward are the new owners of Steamboat Inn. They purchased the inn on May 1, 2017. While they will be making some changes, the heart of Steamboat Inn will not change. They get a lot of “help” from their three year old daughter, Carmen. Travis is a fly fisherman and is happy to give you tips and help select equipment. Melinda has a food and beverage background with an emphasis on weddings and events. They are very proud to own this amazing and historic location.

Perched on a bluff with a commanding view of the North Umpqua River, Steamboat Inn offers beautiful accommodations, fine dining, local wines, exquisite gardens, and a tackle and gift shop. Located on Hwy 138 and a destination in itself, Steamboat is also the perfect place to stay while exploring all the area has to offer.

*The ”More About” information is taken from the company’s website. We like to let their own stories speak for themselves, because we review companies that have real personality and passion about what they do.

Many thanks to The Steamboat Inn for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

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About Bobi Jo (186 Articles)
Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan. Her best adventure buddies are her husband and her Australian Shepherd.

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