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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Valley, Oregon

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Oregon’s high desert, Christmas Valley Oregon is a hidden gem that offers enchanting secrets waiting to be discovered. From fascinating geological formations to charming accommodations, this small unincorporated farming community promises an unforgettable adventure for those who seek the road less traveled.

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Discovering Christmas Valley Oregon

Nestled in North Lake County, Oregon, Christmas Valley serves as a perfect getaway for adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts. Its unique name originates from the nearby Christmas Lake, adding a whimsical touch to the area’s history.

The town’s real estate development began post-World War II, with the creation of an artificial lake known as "Baert Lake", highlighting the area’s penchant for blending natural beauty with modern conveniences.

Just 110 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon, this small farming community teems with mesmerizing geological marvels and attractions. The town is also celebrated for its fascinating wildlife, including mule deer and desert whispers, which can be spotted throughout the region.

Things to do in Christmas Valley, OR

Christmas Valley’s breathtaking landscape is a treasure trove of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. The area is home to remarkable geological formations such as Fort Rock, the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, and the Crack in the Ground, all located inland from the Oregon Coast. These stunning attractions, combined with the town’s unique flora and fauna, provide the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

From the grandeur of the Crack in the Ground to the tranquility of the Lost Forest, things to do in Christmas Valley are not far few. Whether you prefer hiking through ancient forests, traversing desert landscapes, or simply marveling at the power of nature, you’ll find something to captivate your senses and leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Crack in the Ground

Crack in the Ground, an exhilarating open cave, provides a distinctive hiking experience for adventurers. Located roughly 10 miles north of Christmas Valley, this volcanic fissure was formed over 1,000 years ago due to nearby volcanic eruptions. The fissure stretches for an impressive 2 miles and reaches depths of up to 70 feet, making it a must-visit attraction for those seeking a thrilling hike.

Venturing through this awe-inspiring fissure, you’ll find yourself amidst towering volcanic rock walls, immersing you in a geological wonderland. The cave-like environment provides a cool respite from the desert heat, making it an ideal spot for hiking enthusiasts to explore. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, Crack in the Ground promises a distinctive and unforgettable journey.


Another fascinating geological wonder in Christmas Valley is the Hole-in-the-Ground, a volcanic maar formed nearly 15,000 years ago. This awe-inspiring half-mile-wide hole offers visitors the opportunity to hike to its base and explore the lush, sagebrush-covered landscape that surrounds it. The bowl of the Hole in the Ground is home to an array of wildlife, including coyotes, deer, and horned toads, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Hiking through the Hole in the Ground presents an unmatched opportunity to experience the raw power and allure of nature firsthand. As you traverse the trails, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the majestic ponderosa pines that dot the landscape and the vibrant small forest that lines the rim of the crater. Don’t forget your camera, as the Hole in the Ground is a picture-perfect destination that you’ll want to remember forever.

Derrick Cave

Derrick Cave is a historic lava tube located in the northwest corner of Lake County, Oregon, and offers a captivating caving adventure for visitors to Christmas Valley. Named after Hubert Emslie Derrick, a renowned rancher in the Fort Rock Valley, the cave is also a significant archaeological site where shoes dating back 10,000 years were discovered.

To reach Derrick Cave, follow these directions:

  1. Take the scenic Derrick Cave Road.

  2. Take a thrilling ride on the unpaved, minimally maintained dirt track through the stunning desert BLM land.

  3. Find a dirt parking lot near the cave to park your vehicle.

  4. Begin your exploration of this remarkable site.

As you venture into the depths of the cave, you’ll be immersed in a world of geological wonders and ancient history that will leave you in awe.

Lost Forest

The Lost Forest is an extraordinary 9,000-acre isolated forest located on the northeast side of the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, roughly 56 minutes from Silver Lake, offering a unique and enchanting outdoor experience for visitors.

Features of the Lost Forest include:

  • Diverse wildlife

  • Ancient ponderosa pines

  • Self-sustaining ecosystem

  • Surrounded by arid desert

This combination of features makes the Lost Forest a truly remarkable destination.

With several amazing hiking trails to choose from, including the Oregon Desert Trail and the Crack-in-the-Ground Trail, the Lost Forest provides the perfect setting for a day of adventure and exploration.

As you wander through this captivating landscape, keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that call the Lost Forest home, such as the majestic mule deer and fascinating fossils of mammoths, dire wolves, and giant beavers. Please note that collecting fossils by the public in the Fossil Lake area are strictly prohibited.

Christmas Valley Sand Dunes

The Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Here’s why:

  • They are the most incredible inland shifting sand-dune system in the Pacific Northwest.

  • The dunes cover 11,000 acres, with nearly 9,000 acres open to public use for exploration and enjoyment.

  • The dunes are a popular destination for off-highway vehicle riders.

  • They offer stunning landscapes for photographers.

  • They are also a great spot for bird-watchers.

The Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are home to majestic species such as Golden Eagles, Swainson’s Hawks, and Rough-legged Hawks. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or simply wish to marvel at the beauty of nature, the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes provide a unique and unforgettable experience.

Fort Rock & Homestead Museum

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the early 1900s at the Fort Rock & Homestead Museum. This fascinating protected historical site showcases life during the homestead era, with beautifully preserved structures such as:

  • a church

  • a school

  • houses

  • homestead cabins

All gathered from the surrounding areas.

As you explore the area, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the history and heritage of the area. With artifacts, tools, and structures from the early 1900s, the museum offers a glimpse into the past that is both educational and captivating. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this incredible historical site during your stay in Christmas Valley.

Christmas Valley Golf Course

For golf enthusiasts, Christmas Valley Golf Course offers a worthwhile golfing experience amidst a stunning backdrop. The Christmas Valley Golf Course, a nine hole golf course that opened in 1964, provides a challenging yet enjoyable game for golfers of all skill levels.

In addition to the beautiful course, golfers can also take advantage of the luxurious clubhouse, delicious restaurant, and convenient lockers and changing rooms at the golf course. With reasonable membership fees, you can enjoy a round of golf without breaking the bank, making for a perfect day out on the greens during your visit.

Motels & RV Parks in Christmas Valley, OR

After a day spent marveling at Christmas Valley’s natural splendors, a comfortable place to relax and rejuvenate for the next day’s adventures are essential. Thankfully, the town offers a range of excellent lodging options. From charming motels to rustic RV parks and campgrounds, there’s a perfect place for every traveler to call home during their stay in Christmas Valley.

With their strategic locations near convenience stores and service stations, you’ll have easy access to everything you need during your stay.

Lakeside Motel

Motels in Christmas Valley Oregon are far and few. If you'd like to sleep in cozy, remodeled modern rooms and wake up to stunning views, then Lakeside Motel is your best bet. Sitting on the banks of Baert Lake, this location is a chance for you to connect with nature before you set out to explore the rest of Christmas Valley.

Lakeside Motel rooms includes a queen, king, and double room. Offering pet friendly rooms and are equipped with free WI-FI, TV, bathtubs, and all you need to make your stay a breeze.

Desert Inn Motel

The Desert Inn Motel has been in operation since 1964. It's minutes away from a national forest, dunes, and a golf course, making it ideal if you're looking for a cozy place to stay the night and enjoy various recreational activities during the day. Room options include single units, rooms with two queen beds, and standard double rooms.

Lakeside RV Park

If you fancy life on wheels, then you understand the necessity of an RV-friendly location. Thankfully, you don't have to look elsewhere because Lakeside RV Park in Christmas Valley makes the perfect base for your RV trailer as you tour Christmas Valley Oregon.

Rates are very affordable, includes full hook-ups, water & sewage, an onsite bathhouse as well as being pet-friendly, the grassy RV park will make an excellent home base for your trailer. It's also ideal for regular campers and looking at what it offers, it's no surprise it's among the top-rated spots in the area.

Valley View RV Park

Valley View RV Park is the latest addition to Christmas Valley & Silver Lake's RV scene. Whether you're a seasoned RVer or just hitting the road for a quick getaway, this place has something for everyone.

With roomy parking spaces and electrical hook-ups galore – including 20, 30, and 50 amp service, water, and sewer connections – you're all set for a comfortable stay. And here's the good news for pet lovers: as long as your four-legged companions are on a leash, they're welcome too.

Peters Creek RV Camping Park

Located in Oregon’s high desert, Peters Creek RV Camping Park is another excellent option for RV trailer owners and off-road activities lovers. When you're not at the camping base, you can indulge in rock crawling for fun. There are picnic tables, a solar shower, and even potable water to make your stay comfortable.

Rockhorse Park at Horse Ranch

Rockhorse Park at Horse Ranch is a popular RV Park in Fort Rock. It's located 30 minutes from Christmas Valley and is Cannabis and pet friendly. It features a glass and smoke shop and doubles as a wedding and festival venue. You may, however, find it a bit pricey.

Restaurants in Christmas Valley, OR

A visit to Christmas Valley wouldn’t be complete without trying the popular restaurants Christmas Valley has to offer. The town boasts a variety of dining options, ensuring that you’ll never go hungry during your stay. Whether you’re craving a hearty meal after a day of exploration or seeking a unique dining experience, Christmas Valley has something to satisfy every palate.

Ranch Hand Bar & Grille

Nestled 100 yards off the main road in Christmas Valley, Ranch Hand Bar & Grill is a hidden gem with a rustic, old-west charm and a welcoming atmosphere. Inside, you'll find a lively bar with dart boards, a pool table, and multiple TVs broadcasting sports events. The menu offers straightforward pub fare with nightly specials, and the bar has a selection of beers, cocktails, and wine.

The large, dog-friendly outdoor area with fire pits is perfect for relaxing. The Ranch Hand Bar & Grill is more than just a bar; it's a destination worth visiting. They even offer RV hook-up spots for travelers, making it an ideal stopover during your journey.

Whether you're just passing through or staying at their campground, this place promises a unique and enjoyable dining experience with friendly service and delectable American cuisine.

The Lodge

If you love a good burger, be sure to swing by The Lodge when you visit Christmas Valley, OR. They say old is gold, and that's never been more true at this classic spot dating back to the ‘60s with rave reviews for burgers like the mushroom Swiss or jalapeño bacon.

The facility exudes rich country vibes thanks to its rustic wooden design, which features crossbeams and taxidermy all over the place. It has a nine-hole golf course and a small artificial lake, which is the picture-perfect place to hang around and enjoy some good conversations with your buddies when you visit.

Mrs. Claus's Coffee & More

Mrs. Claus's Coffee & More is a cozy drive-up coffee shop known for its exceptional coffee and diverse menu. They stand out as a local gem against larger franchises and warmly welcome all, even big trucks. Customers love their Taco Tuesday special, offering five delicious tacos at a special price.

Whether you need a refreshing cool drink in the summer or a comforting hot beverage in the winter, they've got you covered. Embracing the town theme, his local establishment is accessible and community-oriented. It's the go-to place for great food, fantastic coffee, and a warm atmosphere in the heart of Christmas Valley.

Cowboy Dinner Tree

The Cowboy Dinner Tree, located in Silver Lake, 30-miles Southeast from Christmas Valley, offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience, serving up a whopping 30 oz. steak or whole chicken. This hidden gem, along with the warm and inviting atmosphere, makes for an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Grocery Stores & Shopping in Christmas Valley

Sagewood Grocery Store

Sagewood Grocery store in Christmas Valley, OR offers you a wide selection of groceries, as well as a bounty of local produce.

Fast Break Convenience Store/Christmas Valley Market

Need some snacks to sustain you through your stay? Need fuel to keep you going on your trip across Oregon? Just pass by Fast Break Convenience Store. Locals love to meet up around the area to chat, and the services are super friendly.

Dollar General

Dollar General in a small town, offering a wide range of products that you might need, from groceries to household items and more.

Willows Antiques & Gifts

In addition to these practical shopping destinations, Willows Antiques & Vintage Gifts is a beloved local shop. This charming establishment offer a unique shopping experience, allowing you to take a piece of Christmas Valley home with you.

Santa Supply Co.

For those in need of hardware supplies, Santa Supply Co. is an amazing hardware store in the heart of Christmas Valley. With knowledgeable staff and a wide selection of products, you’ll find all the tools and materials you need for your projects and repairs. With these essential services at your fingertips, you can focus on enjoying your time in Christmas Valley.

Service Stations in Christmas Valley

V&V Automotive Repair

When it comes to essential services, Christmas Valley has you covered. V&V Automotive is a reliable and trustworthy automotive repair shop that offers a wide range of services, including auto repair, maintenance, and preventive maintenance. Open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, V&V Automotive ensures that your vehicle is in top shape for all your Christmas Valley adventures.

North Lake Point S | Tire Shop

North Lake Point S is a comprehensive automotive service center, offering:

  • Tire Services: From tire repairs to new installations.

  • Fluid Services: Keep your vehicle's fluids in check.

  • Roadside Assistance: Reliable help when you need it.

Chevron Gas Station

The Chevron station in Christmas Valley, Oregon, is your trusted one-stop destination for fuel, convenience, and more. Offering top-quality gasoline, a well-stocked convenience store, and friendly service, ensuring you have a smooth and pleasant experience on your journey.

Tips for an Unforgettable Trip to Christmas Valley

For a truly memorable trip, it’s imperative to be prepared for the warm or cold weather and ensure you have all necessary items for a secure and enjoyable adventure.

Essentials such as:

  • Navigation tools: Christmas Valley might be small, but it’s still easy to get lost in this rural town. Get yourself a GPS device, or go the old-fashioned way and bring a map and compass.

  • Light: If you're going to camp or explore areas like Derrick's cave, you'll need a flashlight, a lantern, or a headlamp.

  • Sun protection: Remember: this is a desert town, and the weather can get pretty hot. Don’t forget high SPF sunscreen and light but sun-protective attire.

  • First aid: Accidents happen. Equip yourself with a functional first aid kit. It should include at least an insect repellant, foot care, and an emergency guide.

  • Repair Kit: Knives, duct tape, scissors, screwdriver, and multi-tool equipment always come in handy when you least expect it.

  • Extra clothes: It could rain, you may fall into a pool of mud, or your clothes might get torn. Make sure you don't forget to bring extra clothes on standby before you regret it later.

  • Shelter: Who knows where the night will find you? Pack at least a tent and a space blanket for such moments.

  • Extra food: High nutrition provisions ready to eat are always a plus, no matter where your journey takes you.

  • Extra water: This is a no-brainer, but if you're going to tour Christmas Valley, you'll need plenty of water.

  • Fire tools: Matches, fire starters, and a lighter are always a must-have.

In addition to packing the essentials, be sure to plan your itinerary to include a mix of natural wonders, outdoor activities, and local attractions. Whether you’re hiking through the Lost Forest, exploring the Crack in the Ground, or simply relaxing at a cozy motel, your unforgettable trip to Christmas Valley awaits.

Explore Christmas Valley, Oregon Today

Christmas Valley, Oregon, is a captivating destination that offers a wealth of natural wonders, charming accommodations, delicious dining options, and exciting outdoor adventures for visitors to explore and enjoy.

From the awe-inspiring geological formations like Crack in the Ground and Hole in the Ground to the cozy motels that make for a comfortable stay, Christmas Valley is a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered. So pack your bags, gather your essentials, and embark on an unforgettable journey to this enchanting corner of Oregon.

If you’re planning on coming here soon, you need a good place to call your temporary home, and Lakeside Motel & RV Park is the perfect place to be.

It’s the crème de la crème of Christmas Valley lodging thanks to its strategic location, a diverse array of modern amenities, and incredibly friendly staff.

Get in touch to book your stay. We hope to catch you around soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Christmas Valley known for?

Christmas Valley, Oregon is North Lake County's fastest growing farming community and is well-known for its nine-hole championship golf course, ATV riding in the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes and geological wonders including Fort Rock, Crack in the Ground and Derrick Cave.

Why is it called Christmas Valley?

Christmas Valley, OR is named after the nearby dry lake bed, Christmas Lake, which was originally called Christman (or Christman's) Lake after a 19th-century cattleman named Peter Chrisman. Despite its name, this valley has nothing to do with Christmas festivities.

What animals are in Christmas Valley?

Home to majestic Bald and Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, owls, hawks, deer, elk, Sandhill Cranes, game birds and waterfowl, and migratory songbirds! Make sure to keep an eye out for all of these beautiful creatures.

What are some must-visit attractions in Christmas Valley?

Christmas Valley San Dunes, Crack in the Ground, Hole in the Ground, Derrick Cave, and Lost Forest – are all unmissable attractions!

Are there any unique dining experiences in Christmas Valley?

Christmas Valley offers a unique dining experience with the Cowboy Dinner Tree and Ranch Hand Bar & Grill, offering delicious meals for all visitors.


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