As a name, Klamath Falls has a rich history deeply connected to the falls on the Link River. These falls, originally a series of rapids and cascades, played a pivotal role in the city's early development. Despite changes over time due to human intervention, the spirit of the falls continues to be a significant part of Klamath Falls' identity.
The name 'Klamath Falls' traces back to the falls on the Link River, which were characterized more by the significant elevation drop of water between Upper Klamath Lake and Lake Ewauna than by their cascading nature. The early 20th century saw transformative irrigation and hydroelectric projects that reshaped the falls' landscape. See the falls yourself: embark on a 1.5 mile journey down the Link River trail, directly from Downtown Klamath Falls, to learn more about Klamath Falls’ heritage and to enjoy a respite of nature and birdwatching along the way.
Exploring the Link River Trail
The Link River Trail, easily accessible from downtown Klamath Falls, is a 1.5-mile path that offers a journey through the area's natural and historical landscapes. This trail provides views of the river's whitewater rapids and, during certain seasons, showcases waterfalls that hint at the city's namesake. It's an excellent spot for wildlife observation and bird watching, with paths leading to Moore Mountain trails and Putnam Point on Klamath Lake, where the area's natural beauty is on full display.
Viewing the Falls
Your exploration begins in Downtown Klamath Falls, with parking available near the Favell Museum or the Discover Klamath Welcome Center. The trail along the Link River is a gentle, mostly flat walk where visitors can spot various bird species and observe the hydroelectric infrastructure remnants that altered the falls' prominence. For those seeking a closer view, a path leading down to the river reveals the rapids and the cascading falls depending on the water flow. This spot is a reminder of the dynamic relationship between the city and its natural environment.
At the end of the Link River Trail, explore Putnam Point: a a prime location for bird enthusiasts, especially in the spring when Western and Clark's Grebes perform their mesmerizing mating dance on the water. This area is also great for viewing other waterfowl and appreciating the natural beauty of Klamath Lake. The dance of the grebes is a unique spectacle, showcasing the region's rich biodiversity.
Want to learn more about the heritage of Klamath Falls? The Klamath County Museum and the Baldwin Hotel Museum offer insights into the origins and evolution of Klamath Falls, and its days as a booming timber and railroad town.
Don’t miss a stop at the world-class Favell Museum, located at the entrance to the Link River Trail. The Favell Museum houses a world-class collection of Native American artifacts and Western art, providing a deeper understanding of the region's heritage and the cultural influences that have shaped it.
More Trails to Explore
Connecting to the Link River Trail, the Moore Mountain trail system offers additional opportunities for outdoor activities. These trails are perfect for spotting woodland bird species like eagles or white-headed woodpeckers and for enjoying the scenic beauty of the area, whether on foot, bike, or run.
Also nearby, make a stop at the The Discover Klamath Welcome Center: an invaluable resource for visitors seeking information on wildlife sightings, trail recommendations, and insider tips on exploring the national parks and other adventures in the area. The center provides a wealth of knowledge to enhance your experience in Klamath Falls and the greater Klamath region.
Extend your exploration with our "Best Crater Lake Views Adventure Guide." This guide is perfect for those who want to continue their journey through America's fifth national park and experience its beauty year-round. From breathtaking vistas to serene nature trails, the guide offers a comprehensive look at the best spots to enjoy the stunning scenery of Crater Lake. Whether you're a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, this guide will enhance your adventure in Klamath and beyond, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience in one of the nation's most iconic natural landscapes.