Location - Medford is located approximately 27 miles (43 km) north of the northern California border at 42.3°N. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.7 square miles (56.2 km²), all of it land. The Pacific Ocean is about 75 miles (121 km) west of the city, and is the nearest coast. The nearest river is the Rogue River (8 mi, 13 km), and the nearest lake is Agate Lake (13 mi, 21 km).
Nearby cities include Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Roseburg, Redding (California), and Crescent City (California). Medford is 229 miles (369 km) from Salem, the capital of Oregon.
The nearest interstate highway is I-5, which runs northwest-southeast through the center of the city. The nearest junctions with other interstate highways are with I-84 in Portland (273 mi, 439 km) and I-80 in Sacramento (309 mi, 497 km). Medford also serves as a junction for Oregon Routes 99, 238, 62, and nearby 140 (6 mi/10 km).
Medford is also situated in the remains of ancient volcanic flow areas as demonstrated by the Upper and Lower Table Rock lava formations and nearby Mount McLoughlin and Crater Lake, which is the remains of Mount Mazama. In the late spring/early summer the snow on the slopes of Mount McLoughlin melt away into a formation called the "angel wings," which Native American tribes interpreted as an Osprey, an indicator of the beginning of salmon run.
Climate - Medford sits in a weather shadow between the Cascade Range and Siskiyou Mountains called the Rogue Valley. As such, most of the rain associated with the Pacific Northwest and Oregon in particular skips Medford, making it drier and sunnier than the Willamette Valley. Medford's climate is considerably warmer, both in summer and winter, than its latitude would suggest. Summers are reminiscent of Eastern Oregon, and winters resemble the coast. In Medford, summer often includes as many as ninety days over 90°F (32°C), with temperatures over 100°F (38°C) common in July and August. In August 1980, the temperature stayed over 110°F (43°C) for over a week, with two days reaching 117°F (47°C). Medford also experiences temperature inversions in the winter which during its lumber mill days produced fog so thick that visibility could be reduced to less than five feet. These inversions could last four to six weeks, in part, because the metro area has the lowest average wind speed of all the North American metro areas. Medford residents experience snowfall (not necessarily accumulation) during winter months, though it usually only amounts to a few inches (5-7 centimeters). In the past, Medford has seen snowfall measurements reach 31 inches/78 centimeters (1955-1956), and in 2007, 9 inches/23 centimeters of snowfall were recorded.