How Safe Is Roseburg for Travel?

Updated On December 30, 2023
Roseburg, United States
Safety Index:
75
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Surrounded by mountains and towering pines in the emerald Umpqua Valley, Roseburg, Oregon, blends frontier grit and modern charm.

Founded in 1853 during the California gold rush, Roseburg boomed as a logging and mining hub.

Today, this resilient city paints a different picture, its historic buildings adorned with vibrant murals and art galleries.

Logging and tourism still dominate the economic landscape.

When you step outside, inhale the crisp air, tinged with the scent of fir trees and wildflowers.

Beyond the city limits, ancient forests, dazzling waterfalls, a robust river, and even a volcanic crater ranked as one of the most scenic places in America.

Roseburg is the perfect blend of historical intrigue and outdoor allure.

Explore the Winchester District, its brick-paved alleys lined with storefronts that once outfitted gold-hungry adventurers.

Whether you’re an amateur hiker or want to rock climb one of the longest rappels in the state, Roseburg is a basecamp for adventure.

It’s okay if that’s not your vibe because the food and wine in the valley are a destination of their own.

Antique shopping and scenic drives round out the abundance of activities in the Umpqua Valley.

Plus, you’re just 90 minutes from the famed Oregon coastline.

Warnings & Dangers in Roseburg

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Roseburg but a theft problem that should make you use extra caution. The scenic beauty and bounty of things to do outdoors make this trip well worth safety precautions.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Umpqua Public Transportation District is the local fixed-route service here. Taxis, rideshares, and rental cars are easy to find. You'll want your own vehicle if you plan on visiting places like Crater Lake or the National Forest.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

While just three pickpockets happen on average each year, it's worth bumping this up to a medium risk simply because of all the other thefts that happen. It does no good to be practical with what you carry but leave valuables in the car, only to be stolen.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Wildfires are by far the biggest concern here, but flash flooding, occasional severe storms, and earthquakes call for a medium risk. Roseburg might not get a lot of snow, but the nearby mountains sure do. It's imperative to stay aware of changing weather conditions here.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Robbery rates are 25% lower than the national average, and just 28% of those are against individuals on the street. People here are more likely to seize an opportunity of convenience rather than take things by force.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Roseburg has the unfortunate distinction of being the location of the largest mass shooting in Oregon's history. While it was an isolated incident, it's important to report suspicious activity. There's no looming reason to be concerned, but always stay vigilant.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Roseburg has seen some common scams, like scammers posing as law enforcement over the phone or unscrupulous door-to-door salespeople. Simply knowing the warning signs keeps the risk low. Don't fall for a deal that is too good to be true or be pressured to pay for something. Police will never call you to demand money.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women should use the same amount of caution here as they would in a large city. It's not as safe of a small town as you might assume. Also, there's a large homeless population here. Steer clear of those areas.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The water quality here is excellent, and most treated water comes from the nearby pristine forests. That lowers the risk of accidental contamination. You can read the latest water quality report on the city's website.

Safest Places to Visit in Roseburg

Experience Roseburg is the name of the tourism website for the city.

A free Visitor Guide is available online.

You can also sign up for emails with updates on events, activities, and seasonal offerings.

Step back in time to the Douglas County Museum of Natural & Cultural History.

Immerse yourself in dioramas teeming with local wildlife, from majestic elk to soaring eagles.

Trace the footsteps of settlers through interactive exhibits, and lose yourself in the captivating story of Roseburg’s transformation from a frontier outpost to a thriving modern city.

Venture beyond the museum walls and let history come alive in Roseburg’s historic districts.

Stroll down oak-lined streets in the elegant Eastside Historic District, where Victorian-era mansions still stand in grandeur.

In the heart of downtown, the Winchester District invites you to explore brick-paved lanes and admire the architectural flourishes of the gold rush era.

Peek into quaint shops housed in restored buildings, each one a treasure trove of local finds.

Antique lovers will adore this part of town.

Speaking of treasures, Roseburg’s artistic spirit shines through in the vibrant Umpqua Valley Arts Association gallery.

Wander through sun-drenched rooms adorned with paintings that capture the valley’s rugged beauty and sculptures that breathe life into bronze and clay.

But Roseburg isn’t just about the past and the present; it’s a launchpad for exploring the breathtaking natural wonders of the Umpqua Valley.

Lace up your hiking boots and conquer the challenging paths that lead to the thundering cascade of Clearwater Falls, its mist painting rainbows in the air.

Or, cruise down the scenic North Umpqua Trail, a cyclist’s dream adorned with wildflowers and whispering forests.

Outdoor options nearby include: 

  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Diamond Lake
  • Umpqua National Forest
  • Mount Bailey

NOTE:

Current or past wildfires could limit access to the outdoor areas.

Please check with the management of each location before you go. 

The Umpqua River is sensational for summer rafting or kayaking.

Choose to explore the daring waters solo or hire a tour guide to navigate through the rapids.

Rock climbers can’t get enough of the options throughout this mountainous region, with Acker Rock being a bucket list item for the most experienced adventurers.

Head to Wildlife Safari to cruise through sprawling natural habitats and come face-to-face with majestic lions, playful chimpanzees, and graceful giraffes from the comfort of your car.

And when the day’s adventures have painted your cheeks with fatigue, seek solace in Umpqua Hot Springs.

Bathe in the geothermal embrace of mineral-rich pools.

The Umpqua Valley is known for its food trail and wineries, with 40 restaurants and nearly 30 wineries along the way.

While you’re on the road, find one of the half-dozen covered bridges.

As you can see, there’s a lot to know specific to this region.

You can listen to the Between Two Rivers podcast to get expert tips from local chefs, shoppers, and outdoor lovers.

Places to Avoid in Roseburg

Roseburg has its fair share of challenges, but nothing that would make you avoid a certain neighborhood or part of town – especially if you’re from a big city.

The city is politically conservative, which is a splinter in a rather liberal state.

It’s best not to get into political arguments.

You might see protesters downtown from time to time but don’t engage with them.

If you see there’s a wildfire burning near Roseburg, you might want to alter your travel plans.

Every year it seems there’s a fire a little too close for comfort in the city.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Roseburg

  1. Roseburg has its own police department, and they post on Facebook @roseburgpolice regularly. If you have specific safety questions, call (541) 492-6760 or email rpdpio@cityofroseburg.org.
  2. You’ll sign up for emergency notifications through the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. They use the Everbridge system, which is fairly common throughout Oregon. That means you can sign up for every region you’ll be visiting without missing important alerts.
  3. Check the police department’s “Police Flash Alerts” on its website daily to see if there are any new crime or safety concerns in the community. These will also alert you to crackdowns on speeding, texting, or drunk driving. You can also opt in to text messages for alerts.
  4. If you really want to know more about crime in the community, you can sign up to get an email of the daily police logs. This will include every call for service for the previous day. It’s a great way to see current crime trends, but it will require you to read through the full list.
  5. The wilderness around Roseburg has wolves and bears. You should know proper safety guidance for confronting each one. While wolves usually avoid people, a handful have become a little too comfortable around humans. Bears will be attracted to the scent of any food, even an apple core or candy wrapper. Use bear-proof containers when in the wild.
  6. Before you head into the mountains on the road, use Trip Check’s website to see road conditions, weather alerts along the way, and construction zones. The weather can change quickly at different elevations.
  7. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife can offer all the information you need about fishing, hunting, and boating licenses. Please review this before you consider doing any activity outdoors.
  8. Oregon is dealing with a homelessness issue statewide, and Roseburg has worked out a plan for a designated area where these people can live. You should check the current location of homeless camps before you visit, so you can avoid that area.
  9. You need to stay on top of wildfire risks and activity, plus the air quality, when visiting Roseburg. I was there one day when the smoke was so thick they were asking people to stay inside.
  10. Respect the Umpqua River and waterfalls along the way. I’ve seen so many people fall down a waterfall, not realizing how slippery the rocks can be. Spring runoff will provide dynamic waterfalls but also bring a bigger risk due to the currents.

So... How Safe Is Roseburg Really?

You’re going to read online that Roseburg is the most dangerous city in Oregon.

I’ve crunched the data myself, and I can tell you that it’s not a dangerous place to visit.

However, even the police acknowledged the crime data shows rates that might concern some and fired back a response to the report of Roseburg being the “most dangerous city.”

“The Roseburg Police Department takes pride in the fact that we respond to every call for service – thus, taking reports for crimes that many other agencies do not.

For example, there are many agencies around the state that do not respond to calls for minor thefts, car break-ins, or vandalism. 

Ultimately, not responding to or not taking reports on minor crimes can lead to an inaccurate picture of crime for a particular jurisdiction, especially if it is based on crime data.

We at the Roseburg Police Department knew that accurate record keeping could potentially lead to something like this, but we feel responding to all of our communities’ requests for service and accurately documenting crimes is the appropriate way to conduct our business.

We will continue to operate in this manner, despite the possibility of this making it appear our crime statistics are higher.”

Here’s what I’ve gathered about violent crime in Roseburg, based on 2022 FBI Crime Data.

  • Violent crime rates are 10% lower than the national average but 5% higher than the state average. Keep in mind – Oregon’s violent crime rate is 13% lower than the national average. 
  • In 2022, 38% of violent crimes were against strangers, and 37% happened in private homes.
  • In context, that means that strangers were the victims of violent crime about three times a month.
  • Another 37% of those violent crimes happened in private homes.

Now, Oregon also faces a theft problem.

I’ve researched enough of these cities to say that if it isn’t nailed down, it’s likely to get stolen in Oregon.

Roseburg’s theft rate is 178% higher than the national average.

27% of those are related to shoplifting.

Another 29% are car break-ins or accessory thefts.

About two cars and five bicycles are stolen each month.

However, theft in Roseburg has dropped 16% since 2018, so that’s trending in the right direction.

How Does Roseburg Compare?

CitySafety Index
Roseburg75
San Diego67
Miami55
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

You'll go through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport, where you'll need to provide a visa or visa waiver (depending on your eligibility). A passport that isn't within six months of expiring is also required.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here, but it's smart to use a credit card for transactions since it provides the best fraud protection. You can exchange currency at Portland's airport, but your home bank offers the lowest fees.

Weather

Weather

Nail Roseburg's unpredictable weather with layers: quick-drying base layers, cozy fleece, and a waterproof jacket. Pack sturdy shoes for exploring trails or towns, a sun hat for summer, a warm beanie for winter, and casual clothes like jeans, t-shirts, and flannels. You'll want bug spray in this humid climate.

Airports

Airports

Roseburg is halfway between Eugene (82 miles north) and Medford (94 miles south), and each of those cities offers a commercial airport. If you're flying out of Portland International Airport (PDX), plan for a three-hour drive.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Find insurance that covers any emergency medical care, delays/cancelations, and your rental car. Be sure to get roadside assistance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Roseburg Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 6° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 12° C
May 15° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 9° C
Dec 6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
10121518222530302720139
Low
°C
2345811131310742
High
°F
505459647277868681685548
Low
°F
363739414652555550453936

Oregon - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Astoria85
Baker City77
Bayshore78
Beaverton84
Bend87
Coos Bay52
Corvallis73
Eugene52
Gresham70
Hermiston79
Hillsboro73
Hood River82
Klamath Falls67
La Grande84
Lincoln City78
Medford67
Portland69
Roseburg75
Salem81
Seaside74

Where to Next?

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