From the third-story window of the lodge, bright green fairways stretch toward the horizon to the left and right. Darker shades of green from Ponderosa pine and juniper dot the grassy slopes of the hillside beyond. In the distance, the edge of Upper Klamath Lake marshland is visible.
Eight miles of paved trails weave through the golf course and forest for those who like to get their exercise via jogging or an early-morning birding walk.
From Ashland, take Dead Indian Memorial Road to Highway 140 and follow the directions from Medford. From Medford, take Crater Lake Highway to Highway 140, continue 61 miles, past Lake of the Woods. Ten miles before Highway 97, turn left on Running Y Road. Continue ½ mile to the lodge.
These are but a few of the outdoor possibilities available during a stay at Running Y Ranch, the mountain resort that's 4,000 feet in elevation, 10 miles west of Klamath Falls and 64 miles east of Medford on Highway 140. The quiet ambiance and a surfeit of sunshine lend themselves to an active, healthful getaway.
"We're a very relaxed and unpretentious place, both for families and for couples looking for a romantic getaway," says Kendal Daiger, director of marketing at Running Y.
The Ranch is best known for its 18-hole golf course, the only one in Oregon designed by Arnold Palmer and designated by Golf Digest as one of "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses."
Near the lodge is a complex of tennis, basketball and volleyball courts for those family members who want an alternative to golf.
Guests stay at the main lodge — a hotel — or in a rental apartment. Dozens of vacation homes punctuate the landscape throughout the property, a 9,600-acre resort community and ranch created by Jeld-Wen, a Klamath Falls-based manufacturer of windows and doors.
Depending on the time of year, you may see bald eagles, Canada or snow geese, white pelicans, herons, egrets and more in the marshlands or even in the golf-course wetlands. The Klamath Falls area is a world-famous bird-migration corridor, and many additional viewing sites are within an easy 20-minute drive.
Bird-watching tours, as well as canoeing, fly-fishing, hiking and other excursions can be booked at the lodge with local outfitter Roe Adventures for an additional fee.
A ranch isn't a ranch without horses, and there are 6,000 acres to explore at the ranch, many of which can be experienced on a guided trail ride. Throughout the summer, the ranch offers special Western-style events for visitors, including wagon rides, calf roping and barrel races.
After all those miles in the saddle or on foot, you may want to visit the Sandhill Spa, less than a five-minute walk from the lodge. To help work out the kinks, relax into a massage or facial or try an aromatherapy steam treatment. The spa is located inside the sports and fitness center, where a heated indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi are all a few steps away.
If you haven't had enough activity, the fitness center has weights and cardio machines and offers several types of aerobics classes. But you won't want to cram it all into one day.
"We're in the business of putting smiles on faces," says Daiger.
At Running Y, it's a smile that follows a day of hard play in the outdoors.
For more information, call 888-850-0275 or visit www.runningy.com