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Illinois Valley

Cave Junction is at the heart of the Illinois Valley with the towns of Selma and Kerby nearby. Incorporated in 1948, Cave Junction is a city in Josephine County, Oregon and got its name by virtue of its location at the junction of Redwood Hwy (U.S. Route 199) and Caves Hwy (U.S. Route 46).
The Takelma Indians inhabited the Illinois Valley. Their culture was destroyed when the first gold in Oregon history was discovered in the early 1850s, causing the subsequent Rogue River Wars. After an 1853 treaty, most of the Takelmas lived on the Table Rock Reservation. In 1856, after the wars ended, they were moved to the Grand Ronde Reservation and the Siletz Reservation.
The first gold in Oregon history was found in the Illinois Valley. As gold mining in the Illinois Valley became exhausted in the 1860s and 1870s, the residents diversified into ranching, fishing, logging, tourism and agriculture. In 1874, Elijah Davidson found a cave while on a hunting trip, and is now credited with discovering the Oregon Caves. After World War II, timber became the main source of income for residents. Timber income has since declined and Cave Junction is becoming more of a tourism location and a haven for retirees.
Attractions and Activities

Cave Junction's main point of interest is the Oregon Caves National Monument, which is a 480-acre area of hiking trails and caverns. Located at the end of a 20-mile "stomach churning" drive along State Route 46, there are limestone caves discovered in 1874 by a hunter and his dog. At the caves, there is a 23-room chateau that was built in 1932.

Located about 10 miles SE of Cave Junction, in Takilma is the home of the Out'n'About Treehouse Treesort, a multi-treehouse resort run by Michael Garnier using Garnier limbs. Garnier developed the Garnier limb, which is a one-and-a-half-inch-thick bolt surrounded by a cuff, both made of Grade 5 steel, and is able to support 8,000 lb. As of 2007, the treesort has nine treehouses, three with bathrooms.

Great Cats World Park is located a few miles south of Cave Junction. As of 2014, Great Cats World Park is home to 44 cats, of 17 different species, including cougars, leopards, jaguars, lions, Siberian tigers, a fishing cat, and an ocelot. 

     The Illinois River is a tributary, about 56 miles long, of the Rogue River. It drains part of the Klamath Mountains in northern California and southwestern Oregon. The river's main stem begins at the confluence of its east and west forks near Cave Junction in southern Josephine County. Its drainage basin includes Sucker Creek, which rises in the Red Buttes Wilderness, near Whiskey Peak on the California state line. The main stem flows generally northwest in a winding course past Kerby and through the Siskiyou National Forest and Kalmiopsis Wilderness. It joins the Rogue River from the south at Agness on theCurry–Josephine county line, 27 miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

      Recreation on the Illinois River is considered outstanding because of challenging whitewater boating and steelhead fishing. Winter steelhead are renowned for putting up a fierce fight and often exceed 15 lbs. The lower canyon below Collier Creek provides fly and lure fishing for acrobatic summer steelhead. October is prime time to watch 40-lb wild Chinook salmon leap upstream at Illinois River Falls and Little Falls. Other recreational activities include hiking, hunting, mushroom harvesting, horseback riding, backpacking, wildlife viewing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and discover the area's botanical wonders is a highlight.



Each year Cave Junction features an ArtWalk on the second Friday of each month, except during the winter, with the city's businesses exhibiting various types of art such as pottery, iron art, music and fire dancing. Just up the road, Grants Pass hosts Boatnik during the course of each Memorial Day weekend. A number of interesting experiences are offered during the event, including a popular boat show on the Rogue River. A carnival is held right along the river as well. The meaning of Memorial Day itself is commemorated in part by an F-15 flyover. Monday also brings a dramatic whitewater hydroplane contest to Grants Pass and the Rogue River. There is also Concerts in the Park from the end of June to the first part of August. Art Along the Rogue, 4th of July, Back to the 50’s, and much more. The Rogue Valley is full of community events and support. You can see an event calendar and more information about our area at the Grants Pass Oregon web site.



Kurt has been a full time real estate agent since 1987, and is a consistent John L. Scott President’s Elite Award Winner since 2002. Kurt has firsthand knowledge of the Illinois Valley real estate and Southern Oregon real estate and communities so, whether it comes to selling or buying, Kurt and his team can meet your needs. Give him a call today at 541-660-3844

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