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Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Rogue River Valley abounds with natural beauty and attracts year-round tourists. Since the late 19th century, guests from the famous to regular folk have enjoyed the Prospect Historical Hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitors on their way to the Pacific Crest Trail or Crater Lake can stop overnight for a stay in the hotel, 34 miles from the lake. The lodging's guestbooks include the names William Jennings Bryan, Zane Grey, John Muir, Jack London, Gifford Pinchot and President Hoover.

Originally the Boothby House, after its original owners, the hotel has been an anchor of this small community for more than a century.

In March 2005, Fred and Karen Wickman took ownership of this luxury, and much-updated, wayside. In winter the hotel becomes a base camp for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and snow-loving explorers. In summer visitors can enjoy three scenic waterfalls within a few miles of the hotel, or they can explore the surroundings. In addition to Crater Lake, nearby attractions include the Rogue River Gorge and access to trails of the Mountain Lakes Wilderness.

The 10-room hotel is open year-round. Each room is unique and is named after a well-known historical figure, including London, who wrote "Call of the Wild," and Muir, the naturalist who founded the Sierra Club. Lodging includes breakfast for hotel guests. From May through September, the owners also serve scrumptious dinners nightly in the renowned dinner house. In October, the dinner house is open only on weekends.

The adjacent 14-room Prospect Motel is family- and pet-friendly. Room amenities include coffee service, microwaves and cable TV.

Getting there: From Medford drive north on Oregon 62 toward Crater Lake. At Milepost 43, turn right at Prospect and right on Mill Creek Drive.

Prospect Historical Hotel 391 Mill Creek Drive Prospect, Ore. 97536 1-800-944-6490; www.prospecthotel.com

Rates: $95-$145 May-September, $85-$130 October-April. -- Barbara Bond

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