The SpaceMissing peace and quiet? Wishing for space to relax and renew? Here is your chance! Off the grid, atop a 40-acre meadow on 160 acres of private land. Surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest in Douglas County, Oregon.
Welcome to Summit Prairie!
2017 BOOKING PROCEDURE
We have reserved dates for guests for all of our 2017 season. Our experience is that half of these penciled in guests will not end up booking so if you would like to come in 2017, mark your calendar for 9 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, March 5, 2017 as we will be releasing unclaimed dates for May/June/July 2017 at that time and on April 30th, 2017 at 9 a.m. for August/September/October bookings. Believe me when I say they will all be booked within an hour so be sure you log in to this listing on Airbnb right at 9 a.m. IF YOU ARE A PREVIOUS GUEST AT THE SUMMIT PRAIRIE AND WOULD LIKE TO BOOK IN 2017, PLEASE EMAIL US OVER THE WINTER AND WE WILL ADD YOU TO OUR LIST AND GIVE YOU FIRST PRIORITY IN BOOKING IN THE SPRING. We are not keeping a wait list for 2017 but will start a 2017 Cancellation Notification List once our calendar has been firmly booked. At this point we do not accept reservations from November 1 through April 30 (too many unpredictable factors here in the winter!)
We will start booking our 2018 season at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on March 4th, 2018 for May/June/July bookings and at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on May 6th, 2018 for August/September/October bookings. Please check back here over the 2017/2018 winter to confirm the exact dates and times.
Finally, we do know that it is a complete hassle to book with us so we are extremely appreciative of you guys that stick with us through this process!!
ALSO, PLEASE NOTE in 2017 we will be hosting "Weekend Retreat at Summit Prairie" here (Thursday through Monday, come stay 2, 3 or 4 nights...) The idea is that you bring your tent, sleeping bag, etc. and we will have all the food catered - campfire every night, local entertainment, day trips to local sites like Crater Lake, South Umpqua Falls, beaver dams, etc. etc. About 20 people or so, from all over the US. It's not the same as having the place to yourself but the lookout basically becomes the "clubhouse" for the weekend. We are in the process of announcing this as one of the new Airbnb Experiences but you can find info here in the meantime - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11721311
Hear the wind give voice to the trees at the edge of the meadow.
Listen to the birds calling in the valley below.
Let the peace you feel here…. stay with you.
Your hosts, Alan and Dabney, will welcome you, help carry your things up the four flights of stairs, and orient you to all the wonders of this place, then leave you in peace so you can enjoy.
Built in 2009, the lookout tower is modeled after Fire Lookout Towers built by the US Forest Service in the early 1900's.
However, it's enhanced with modern essentials: a full kitchen featuring hot and cold running water, propane stove, refrigerator, heater and lamps, exterior shower, comfortable beds in the cupola and main floor with windows all around to let in summer breezes and breath-taking views.
And while simply chilling at Summit Prairie is oh-so-fine, think of this place also as a launch point for day trips to Crater Lake (2 hours), or Ashland, site of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (1.5 hours), or historic Jacksonville, site of the annual Brit Festival (1.5 hours), Rogue River Rafting (45 minutes), the South Umpqua Falls (45 minutes) or the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville (1 hour).
Imagine! Kick back and relax, read a book, play a game (or three)… write in a journal, meditate… daydream in the hammocks down the hill… soak your cares away and relax in a secluded wood-fired, spring-fed hot tub… Even dance under the moon or sing to the stars.
Memories are made here.
Come to Summit Prairie... Guest Access160 acres of private land, fire pit, wood-fired/spring-fed hot tub, vegetable garden, hammock tree and anywhere else you want to wander and explore. There are no "off-limits" places here... Interaction with GuestsWe will welcome you personally, help you move your things up, show you how things work and then retreat to our summer home that we are building a few hundred yards away, in a secluded grove, out of sight from the lookout. Be aware that we live on the property and will be available to answer any questions, help in emergencies or assist if any of the off-grid systems malfunction. You may see us once or twice a day either in a vehicle or by foot as our access to our summer house passes by the base of the lookout. We also will be using the hot tub but will try to give you priority use of it. You generally won't see or hear us unless we are accessing our summer house, watering the garden or tending the hot tub, both a distance from the lookout. And, to be sure, we are always up for sitting around the campfire and spinning tall tales! At the suggestion of several of our guests, if you are interested we can share a meal or two together - just let us know in advance if you're interested! Or we will stay out of sight as much as we can and give you as much privacy as you would like. The NeighborhoodEnjoy 160 acres of pure, private bliss. Surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest, you'll awaken each morning only to the sound of birds calling in the trees or bees humming about their business in the meadow. In the evening be amazed at the sunsets, and then as the dusk settles into darkness, exhaust your ability to count all the stars that light up the sky. Getting AroundJust hiking and maybe mountain biking! Other Things to NoteAs experienced Airbnb hosts, we want to make sure we describe the experience in as much detail as possible...
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER...
Location - We are located about 10 miles out of Tiller, Oregon with the last six miles on a one lane gravel forest service road which can take 20 to 30 minutes to drive. Tiller is at 1,000' elevation and we are at 3,500' elevation so the weather up here is generally 10 degrees cooler than it is in Tiller.
Groceries - If you are coming from the north, the nearest grocery store and gas station is in Canyonville, OR (Ray's, 151 NE Main St., open 7 am - 10 pm or the delightful Promise Natural Foods and Bakery, 503 S Main St, Canyonville, OR 97417, open 9:30 - 6, closed on Sunday - a real gem of a store with almost everything sold in bulk run by some of Oregon's finest folks) about an hour away.
If you are coming from the south or the east, in Shady Cove, OR (Shady Cove Market, 22111 Highway 62, open 7 am - 10 pm), about 45 minutes from the Summit Prairie
With the exception of Promise Natural Foods in Canyonville, you're probably better off shopping at a supermarket in an urban area because these grocery stores are expensive and have very limited selections.
Make sure you're full up with gas and food because there are no gas or grocery facilities once you leave either of those towns. There is a convenience store about 5 miles past Tiller (15 miles/25 minutes) from the Summit Prairie, but all they have is ice, beer, and a few expensive basic items... They do not have gas.
Bathroom facilities - We are off grid so the bathroom is a pit toilet (a nice one, I might add) that is about 100 feet from the base of the tower. We have a "pee can" in the upstairs cupola sleeping area, a "pee funnel" off the side of the tower and an "emergency potty" outside on the deck. It's actually pretty civilized, all in all, but it's not like having a flush toilet just a few steps away. The hot shower is outside on the deck - in front of God and everyone, but then, there isn't anyone else here!
Be aware that the lookout is one big room, so "private space" for changing clothes or showering is minimal!
The tower is 40 feet high, accessed only by four flights of stairs - there is no elevator! And, while there are landings for each set of stairs (to admire the view, and catch your breath!), everything must be carried up!
Spring water is pumped upstairs by a solar-powered pump from the a collection tank a few hundred feet from the tower. The water is tested as safe. We have been drinking it ourselves for years, but if you're squeamish about drinking untreated water, you might want to bring bottled drinking water.
Fire Season - During late summer forest fires are possible in the area. That could restrict campfires and use of the hot tub and it could result in smoky air. We will let you know immediately if there are fires. If smoke or fire in the immediate area of the Summit Prairie poses a threat to health or safety, you may cancel your reservation with no penalty. In 2015, fire season ran from June 24th through October 25th.
Please note that we do not have a television, clock or mirror!
WHAT TO BRING
Food for while you are here (there is a full grocery store in Canyonville (about an hour away at exit 99 off I-5) and in Shady Cove (about 45 minutes away and over the Rogue/Umpqua Divide Pass...) and a small convenience store just outside Tiller, about 25 minutes away). There are also several restaurants in Canyonville and in Shady Cove.
The upstairs cupola sleeping area has a queen size Tempurpedic mattress and is accessed by a ladder which can be tricky and requires being steady on your feet. On the main level are two twin size beds, on either side of the room. Linens are provided for both twin beds and the upstairs queen-size bed along with towels and wash cloths for up to four people.
Additional people (over the first 4) are welcome to either sleep on the floor, out on the deck or in a tent in the meadow. They will need to bring their own tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, towels, tableware, etc. There is an additional charge of $5 per person per night for guests over the first 4.
We have all the pots, pans, utensils and small appliances that you will need to cook, but no microwave or dishwasher. We have basic spices and condiments so feel free to use what we have. We have a saying - "just because you're off-grid does not mean you have to eat bad food!"
We have a small under-counter propane-powered refrigerator with a freezer compartment. It has limited cooling capacity during hot weather so consider bringing a cooler and ice if you're bringing a lot of food items that need to be kept cool.
We have a picnic table and fire pit at the base of the tower.
Environment - We are located deep within the Umpqua National Forest so there are wild animals that roam freely in the area - deer, elk, bear, cougar, coyote, bobcats, skunks, mice, lizards etc. There are also insects on the ground, in the air and sometimes in the cabin. We don't find insects to be a problem, but have a few temporary window screens if you wish to use them. Poison oak is native here which we do our best to keep it under control and out of areas where you might come in contact with it. However, we do have Tecnu wash if you get a rash from Poison Oak.
Pets - We DO NOT allow our guests to bring pets - no exceptions, so please don't ask. We fully realize this means that some guests will choose not to visit us.
Children - This property is not suitable for children under the age of 5.
Cell phone service - Verizon and US Cellular work at the Prairie, AT&T and T-Mobile do not. We're not sure about other carriers. We have Verizon service and a personal WiFi hotspot on our phones in case of an emergency.
Electricity - We do have a small solar-powered electrical system is used to for some lighting and charging cell phones and small computers. It can only handle 300 watts and it cannot handle any appliance with a heating element - hair dryer, coffee maker, etc. (we have a French press you can use). We are diligent about conserving electricity, especially if we have several days of cloudy weather.
The nearest hospital/emergency medical facility is in Medford, a little over an hour away or in Roseburg, about an hour and a half away.
WEATHER AT THE SUMMIT PRAIRIE THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
May - The meadow is in peak bloom, carpeted with waves of wildflowers, beginning with low-growing buttercups, then Oregon Sunshine and purple larkspur later in the month. Deer and elk graze in the meadow almost every evening and early morning. As the sun sets in the evening, you'll hear the frogs down in the valley singing their hearts out. It is Spring, however, and the chance of rain remains high. Temperatures are usually in the mid-60's during the day and low 40's at night. We've had snow as late as Memorial Day (in the US, it's usually the last weekend in May), though that is rare.
June - The meadow continues to bloom, the grasses get tall, and the deer continue to graze in the meadow. Birds can be seen and heard, especially early in the morning. Usually we see purple finches and juncos at our feeder. We still have a good chance of rain, but temperatures are a bit warmer, into the mid-70's during the day.
July - Probably the best all-round weather month - rain tapers off and the skies become perfect for star gazing at night. The wildflowers begin to fade, the grasses begin to turn amber, and the deer move on to other places to graze. It's also the season of thunderstorms, which can be dramatic to watch in the late afternoon.
August - The best star gazing month of the year! The meadow becomes very dry, the grasses drop all pretense of being green, and temperatures rise into the 90's during the day. Evenings are usually warm enough to sit out on the deck until the wee hours watching the Perseid meteor showers (This year it peaks during the new moon phase, so there will be no competition!) Forest fires can occur in the area which can make the air hazy and sometimes smell smokey. Some years we may have to close if forest fires come too close.
September - The meadow starts to become golden. Even the sunlight takes on a golden hue. Temperatures top out in the 80's and the air is dry with a hint of cool in the evening. On one level it can be the quietest time of year. Forest fires can still be a problem to be alert to. Grasshoppers can overtake the meadow on some days, but they never come up to the lookout tower.
October - Fall is in the air. Harvest time is here. The farmers markets are full of good produce. Temperatures cool off, and moisture rises, which can mean waking up to fog in the air and leaves dripping softly in the woods. Nighttime can be chilly, perfect for steaming drinks and a cozy blanket. If there have been forest fires, they have subsided. Deer hunting season begins in early October, so you may also hear the sound of baying dogs and gun shots in the area.
OTHER POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Sip cocktails and watch the sun set from the deck of the lookout
Sit around the campfire and tell ghost stories
Read a book in a secluded spot
Hike in and swim at the very secluded Fish Lake in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness (about an 1.5 hour drive)
Kayak or canoe on Lost Creek Lake (about an hour drive)
Be creative! It's a big space...