RATES & AVAILABILITY
Booking on this site is for Previous Guests only for April/May/June/July 2020. The 4 night/Thursday-Monday available dates will appear at 9 a.m. and as they fill up the 3 night/Monday-Thursday dates will appear but won't be able to be booked until 9:30 a.m. There are a couple of mid-week 4 nights that will appear and be able to be booked at 10:00 a.m. We'll be booking August/September/October/November in early June - we'll be sending out an email our previous guests with a reminder in late May.
We will start booking our 2020 season in early March, 2020 and early June 2020.
If you'd like to be on our Cancellation List/Booking Notification List, please complete the information above. Our calendar books within a few minutes of opening.
Because we are on over 30,000 Airbnb Wish Lists and we can only take about 50 to 60 reservations per year, there are hundreds of guests trying to get a booking when we open the calendar each year. See below for Tips on Getting a Booking.
In 2020 we will be going to 4 night stays Thursday until Monday and 3 night stays Monday until Thursday. Check-in days will be on Thursday and Mondays only, we will no longer do 2 or 1 night stays.
If you become a previous guest, make sure we have your email address so we can send you a notification of previous guest booking dates. Previous guests get priority booking each year and usually book about half of the season and almost all of the weekend dates prior to the calendar being opened to the general public.
You can Like the Summit Prairie on Facebook, follow on Instagram or visit this website for the latest updates.
TIPS FOR GETTING A BOOKING
1. Make sure your Airbnb profile is filled out completely including a clear photograph of yourself, what city you are from and a little bit about yourself. Our intention is not to discriminate against anyone but when we see an incomplete profile we feel like a guest is trying to hide something.
2. Have all of your credit card information completed on your profile. Booking will happen very quickly and you will not have time to add credit card information when the calendar opens.
3. Early season for 2020 (April through July) booking will be in early March, 2020 and late season (August through November) booking will be in early June, 2020. Check back here for updates on the precise date and time and sign-up for our Booking Notification List above.
4. Refresh your browser frequently. The entire booking window will last less than 10 minutes. Don't worry about sending us a message when you send us your booking request - someone else will grab the dates while you're typing your message! After the calendar appears full, continue to check back every few minutes during the first hour - guests frequently get overly excited when booking and dates that appear to have been booked end up opening up again. We will announce on the site when all dates are filled and booking is completed.
5. Be flexible on your dates. Most of the weekend dates and summer mid-week will already have been booked by our previous guests so most of the dates available will be early season (April/May) or late season (October/November).
6. If you're unable to get a booking, fill out the information above and we'll add you to our Cancellation Notification List. We usually get 5-6 cancellations during the season and the sooner you get on the list, the more chances you will get to book.
7. 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!!
Thanks and we look forward to seeing you someday at the Summit Prairie!
Dabney & Alan
We will welcome you personally, show you how things work and then retreat to our summer home 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 the 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.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER...
As experienced hosts, we want to make sure we describe the experience in as much detail as possible...
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) 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
You're probably better off shopping at a supermarket in an urban area because these grocery stores are expensive and have very limited selections.
Gasoline - 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!
Water - Spring water is pumped upstairs by a solar-powered pump from a collection tank. 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 2017, fire season ran from late July through late September.
Please note that we do not have a television, clock or mirror and we have no WiFi access!
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 $10 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 picnic tables 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 - turkeys, deer, elk, bear, cougar, cows, coyote, bobcats, skunks, mice, lizards, hummingbirds, etc. There are also bees, yellow jackets, wasps, grasshoppers, beetles and other 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
April/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 - We will be closed from late July through late August due to persistent wildfires and smoke in the area.
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/November - 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 gunshots in the area.
OTHER POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Sip cocktails and watch the sunset 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...