Welcome to a hotbed of recreation, exploration, and fun! Among must-do activities anywhere in the west, Klamath is a treasure trove of outdoor adventures waiting to be explored. From the rugged mountain trails to the serene waterscapes, Klamath offers a diverse range of activities that cater to adventurers of all kinds. Whether you're a cycling enthusiast, a kayaking aficionado, or someone who simply loves to immerse themselves in nature's beauty, Klamath promises experiences that resonate with the soul. Dive into this guide to discover the myriad of activities that await you in this stunning region, and let Klamath's natural wonders captivate you.
MTB & Cycling
Klamath is a haven for cycling enthusiasts, boasting some of Oregon’s premier MTB networks along with high-altitude road cycling and bicyle trails for all ages and experince levels. Spence Mountain, rising above Upper Klamath Lake, offers trails that traverse oak and pine woodlands, providing panoramic views of the Klamath Basin and Cascade peaks. Seasonally, these trails are typically snow-free from early spring and remain accessible until late fall, making March, April, mid-October, and early November especially ideal for biking. With its evolving trail system, Spence Mountain caters to both beginners and seasoned bikers, making it a must-visit. Moore Mountain is another gem, attracting mountain bikers with its unique terrains and challenges.
For road cyclists, the allure of Klamath extends to its low-traffic country roads, offering a peaceful and scenic ride that you just can’t find in the city! The Crater Lake Rim Drive stands out, encapsulating the beauty of one of America’s classic National Parks. Don’t miss the annual Ride the Rim event, a grand circle tour of Crater Lake that begins at 6,450 feet above sea level and reaches as high as 7,700 feet, presents a unique challenge for seasoned cycling enthusiasts. For those looking for a blend of history and adventure, the OC&E Wood Line State Park stands out. As Oregon's longest state park, it offers a converted rails-to-trails railroad line, taking riders through diverse landscapes, from urban settings to dense forests. The park's four distinct sections ensure there's something for everyone, whether you're a casual rider or an avid cyclist. Be sure to check out our guide to Klamath’s best trails to learn more about some of Oregon’s finest cycling and MTB networks.
Whether you’re hitting the trails on your mountain bike or enjoying the wide open road, Klamath has plenty of outfitters ready and eager to give you a hand. Whether it’s equipment or advice, there’s someone to help. Zach’s Bikes in downtown Klamath Falls is a great place to start, providing bike rentals, delivery services, and trail recommendations.
Kayaking & Floats
Klamath is a paradise for those who love to be on the water. Turn your kayak adventure into a wildlife and bird watching safari on the Upper Klamath Canoe Trail, a 9.5-mile journey in total, can be accessed and explored from several points in the northwestern corner of Klamath Lake. As you paddle through, you'll pass through teeming marshlands, with the vast skies above and distant mountain views adding to the beauty. The trail is home to many bird species, including unique species like American white pelicans, known for their impressive wingspan, and regularly spotted bald eagles. In the summer months, the water trail is adorned with wocus lily, a yellow aquatic plant significant to the Klamath Tribes as a major food staple described as a cross between “oatmeal and farina”, and vital to the Klamath Basin's ecology.
Klamath is also renowned for its pristine lakes, making it a top destination for those seeking a refreshing alternative to Oregon's chilly springs and canoe trails. At Lake of the Woods, adventurers can delve into various kayaking and paddleboarding experiences, with the resort ensuring a safe and controlled environment for all. Nestled within the Deschutes National Forest, Crescent Lake offers a serene backdrop of forested hills and snow-capped peaks, creating a meditative paddling experience. Not to be outdone, Odell Lake's deep azure waters provide a tranquil setting, where the rhythmic motion of paddling offers a therapeutic escape amidst breathtaking landscapes.
Find yourself suspended above crystal-clear waters on Spring Creek, located in the Collier Memorial State Park. The clarity of its waters, ranging from clear to turquoise to jade green, offers a mesmerizing paddling experience. The presence of mare’s eggs, a unique form of blue-green algae, adds to the creek's distinctiveness. The Wood River, with headwaters located in nearby Jackson F Kimball State Park, also offers a serene paddling experience amidst lush surroundings and crystal clear spring waters. The river's headwaters are particularly vibrant, believed to be due to dissolved minerals. Due to consistent (albeit chilly) water temperatures, both Spring Creek and Wood River are available for kayaking year-round. Learn more about Oregon State Parks or contact local outfitters for guided tours and equipment rentals.
Hiking & Trails
Klamath is a hiker's dream, an accumulation of diverse terrains, from sprawling forests and pristine lakes to volcanic landscapes and long-distance trails. Each trail in this region tells a story, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and adventure. Whether you're chasing the horizon on the Pacific Crest Trail, marveling at the azure waters of Crater Lake, or delving deep into the volcanic wonders of Lava Beds, Klamath's trails promise experiences that resonate with the soul. Here's a glimpse into the legendary hikes that await in this hiker's paradise.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a long-distance marvel stretching from Mexico to Canada, graces Klamath with a section that unveils awe-inspiring landscapes and diverse ecosystems, from arid deserts to alpine forests. Located along the way, the Sky Lakes Wilderness offers pristine lakes set amidst dense forests and rugged mountain terrains, while the Mountain Lakes Wilderness in the Fremont-Winema National Forest presents a unique circular basin surrounded by peaks, teeming with biodiversity. Not to be missed, Crater Lake National Park captivates with its deep blue waters, offering many trails ranging from leisurely walks to challenging ascents, each providing a distinct vantage point of this natural wonder. Whether you're drawn to the vast expanse of the PCT or the tranquil beauty of the region's lakes and peaks, Klamath promises an unforgettable hiking experience.So, lace up your hiking boots and set out to explore the natural wonders of Klamath! Want to find your perfect path? Learn more in our guide to Klamath’s best trails.
Boating and Watersports
Looking for a little more speed on the water? The Klamath Basin is one of Oregon’s best playgrounds for those who thrive on the thrill of water activities. From the adrenaline rush of wakeboarding and water skiing to the serene pleasure of tubing and fishing, there's something for everyone; you’ll just need to decide which lake to enjoy first
Dive into Lake of the Woods; this picture-perfect Pacific Northwest lake is a favorite among many, offering the full range of watersports activities. Need to rent a boat or equipment? Lake of the Woods Resort has what you need to get out on the water. Odell Lake and Crescent Lake are also amongst some of Klamath’s favorite recreation lakes, each with its own resort offering rentals and full-service marinas. Not to be overlooked, Lake Ewauna in Downtown Klamath Falls is emerging as a hotspot for water recreation, with plans to introduce a broader range of activities. Traditionally a hub of catch and release fishing, hiking, and biking, Lake Ewauna is fast becoming a favorite watersports location for locals and visitors alike.
Whether you're towing your boat, renting equipment, or exploring new water adventures at Lake Ewauna, Klamath’s lakes promise an experience you'll cherish. Dive deeper with our guide to Klamath’s best lakes and find your perfect vacation oasis.
The Running Y Ranch Golf Course, the only Arnold Palmer designed course in Oregon and one of Palmer’s “Sweet Sixteen” favorite courses ever, is a testament to the beauty and challenge of golf in Southern Oregon. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, this course offers golfers a unique opportunity to play on a course that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. The course stretches over 7,138 yards from the Palmer tees and offers a variety of challenges with a rating of 73.3 and a slope of 137. For those who prefer a slightly shorter game, Green, White, Yellow, and Umbrella tees offer a different level of difficulty and yardage. The course's layout is meticulously designed to challenge seasoned golfers while still being accessible to beginners.
Apart from the golfing experience, the Running Y Ranch Resort provides a holistic experience with its lodge, restaurant, and other amenities. The resort ensures that every golfer, whether they're there for a casual round or an intense training session, has everything they need. The course's scorecard is detailed, providing golfers with all the information they need about each hole's par, yardage, rating, and slope. And for those looking to perfect their swing, the resort also boasts a driving range.
In essence, the Running Y Ranch Golf Course isn't just about golf; it's about experiencing the beauty of Oregon, the challenge of a professionally designed course, and the luxury of top-tier amenities. Add Running Y to your destination bucket-list, it's a must-visit for every golf enthusiast.
The Klamath region is home to numerous experienced fishing guides, ready to help you net a trophy catch on either rivers or lakes. Whether you're a novice angler or a seasoned pro, these guides can enhance your fishing experience, offering insights into the best spots, techniques, and times to fish.
The Williamson River, renowned for its trophy-sized Redband trout, offers anglers a unique and challenging fishing experience. Due to the river’s proximity to the shallow waters of Upper Klamath Lake, trout here are some of the biggest and most aggressive in Oregon. Driftboats or canoes are popular choices for navigating the river, especially south of the Chiloquin bridge. However, many prefer the simplicity of shoreline fishing or wading into the shallows. It's essential to note that the Williamson mandates the use of artificial flies and lures only and is closed from October to May. Moreover, all Redband trout caught here must be released unharmed, ensuring the river's rich legacy continues for future generations.
Odell Lake, set against the backdrop of the Cascade Range, is an angler's delight, celebrated for its abundant kokanee population. While varying in size, these spirited landlocked sockeye salmon promise both a thrilling catch and a delectable meal. Beyond Kokanee, Odell Lake is also home to the state record mackinaw (lake trout), adding an element of surprise and excitement to every fishing trip. For those seeking guidance, the lake's vast depths are best navigated with a fish finder, especially in kokanee hotspots like the West Bay and the area stretching to the Princess Creek Campground. The Railroad Slide on the southern shore also beckons, especially during calm winds. Looking for the locals’ tips for finding the best hotspots? The Odell Lake Lodge offers guided fishing to get you geared-up and reeling in a catch.
For a comprehensive list of fishing guide providers and to find the perfect fit for your adventure, click here to see our Experience Providers page. With its fish, be they red band trout, abundant kokanee, or record-breaking mackinaw, Klamath is a destination that every angler should have on their bucket list.
Ziplining & Adventure Sports
For those seeking an adrenaline rush amidst nature's grandeur, the Crater Lake Zipline is an unmissable experience. As you soar through the tree canopy on 9 exhilarating ziplines, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Mt McLoughlin, Upper Klamath Lake, and the surrounding Cascades. Here only: start and end your adventure without touching the ground. Crater Lake Zipline is uniquely designed to zip you from tree-to-tree without requiring you to climb up or down between lines (and getting you up close and personal to giant Oregon trees). The heights can reach up to a thrilling 100 feet, ensuring that every moment is filled with excitement.
The ziplining adventure in the region is comprehensive, starting with a ground school training session where participants learn essential techniques and safety protocols. As they soar through the skies, they'll also traverse two sky bridges, master controlled rappels, and be accompanied by two trained guides for safety and insights into the area's natural beauty. Younger adventurers aren't left out, with the "Sasquatch Hollow" tailored for them. After the thrill, participants can test their skill with axe throwing and then relax with some local food and brews, making the entire experience both exhilarating and rewarding.
Caving & Spelunking
Delve deep into the earth and discover the subterranean wonders of Lava Beds National Monument. With over 800 caves created by volcanic activity, this region offers a unique spelunking experience for both beginners and seasoned explorers. Each cave tells a story of ancient lava flows, geological formations, and the relentless forces of nature, and best of all, nearly all of these caves can be explored on your own; no tours nor guides are required.
Mushpot Cave provides an accessible introduction to caving, being the only illuminated cave in the park with interpretive panels detailing its history. For those seeking more thrill, Skull Cave offers an enormous lava tube experience, notable for its vast entrance, icy floor, and skeletal remains of humans and animals once found here. Meanwhile, the truly adventurous can navigate the Catacombs Cave, one of the park's longest, characterized by its tight spaces, extended passages, and maze-like structure, demanding preparation and proper equipment.
Before embarking on your caving adventure, remember to wear sturdy shoes, bring a reliable flashlight, and always let someone know where you're going. The caves maintain a constant cool temperature, so dressing in layers is advisable. Whether you're marveling at the unique formations in Mushpot, feeling the chill in Skull, or navigating the labyrinth of Catacombs, the caves of Lava Beds promise an adventure like no other.
Discover Bird Watching
Klamath is a haven for bird enthusiasts, offering a diverse array of avian species set against the backdrop of its stunning landscapes. As you embark on your outdoor adventures, we encourage you to remain attentive to the skies,treetops and surfaces of the water. Doing so ensures that you don't miss out on the unique bird-watching opportunities the region presents. But keep in mind nature is always in flux, and sightings are never guaranteed - so keep a keen eye out for the chance to discover a new species in every season.
What should you watch for in Klamath? The region proudly boasts the highest concentration of wintering Bald Eagles outside of Alaska, their impressive wingspan and regal demeanor making every sighting a breathtaking moment. Alongside them, the graceful White Pelicans glide effortlessly over Klamath's waters, their long beaks and elegant flight a testament to nature's beauty. Yet, it's the enchanting Grebes that often capture the heart. Known for their mesmerizing courtship dance, these waterbirds "dance" on the water's surface in perfect harmony, their synchronized movements creating captivating ripples and splashes that are a sheer delight to witness.
For those keen to delve deeper into the world of birding in Klamath, we recommend checking out our Intro to Birds article. This comprehensive guide provides insights into the various species found in the region, their habitats, and the best times and places to spot them. Whether you're a seasoned birder or a curious novice, Klamath promises a bird-watching experience that will leave you in awe of nature's wonders.
With its pristine landscapes and snowy terrains, Klamath transforms into a winter wonderland, offering many recreational activities for snow enthusiasts. One of the region's highlights is Crater Lake National Park, which recieves more than 40 ft of snowfall on average, every year! This national treasure provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in extreme winter environments, with its snow-clad landscapes and icy terrains offering a mesmerizing backdrop. But it's not just about Crater Lake; many of Klamath's unique spots take on a magical aura during the winter months, making them a must-visit to experience their transformed beauty.
Klamath is a winter wonderland for those who love to immerse themselves in snowy adventures. The Willamette Pass Ski Resort is a must-visit for skiing aficionados, boasting a significant 1,563-foot vertical drop and 29 diverse trails spread across 550 acres (not to mention, one of the world’s steepest runs). Snowmobilers can revel in the vast landscapes of the Klamath Basin, with notable trails like those at Deer Mountain and Four Corners, which provide 135 miles of groomed trails together. For a more tranquil experience, Klamath's snow parks, such as Summit Sno-Park, Quartz Mountain, and Annie Creek Sno-Park, offer perfect settings for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or simply playing in the snow. Prefer the ice? Be sure to enjoy a skate at Bill Collier Community Ice Arena, Klamath’s outdoor rink is perfect for skaters of any experience. Whether you're carving down slopes, zooming across snow-covered trails, enjoying a peaceful snowshoe trek, or just having a snowball fight with the family, Klamath ensures every winter is unforgettable. Be sure you check out our guide to Winter Adventure in Klamath to learn more.
Elevate your Klamath outdoor experience by exploring our detailed guide on three nearby national treasures. Dive into the majestic beauty of Crater Lake National Park, marvel at the underground wonders of Lava Beds National Monument, and uncover the historical significance of Tule Lake National Monument. Our comprehensive guide offers insights, tips, and must-see highlights, ensuring you make the most of your visit to these iconic destinations. Don't miss this opportunity to expand your adventure and create unforgettable memories.