Adventure Guide

Where to Go Stargazing Around Klamath County

Here’s where to enjoy starry night skies across Klamath.

There’s something special about looking to the dark night sky on a clear summer evening. When the clouds part, you may be treated to a dizzying area of celestial wonders—twinkling stars, meteor showers, far-off planets, and even the broader reaches of the Milky Way.

Fortunately, it’s easy to enjoy these sites across Klamath County. Our region is blissfully devoid of light pollution—such as the glare emitted from cities and street lights—that might otherwise wash out the pristine sky. Not just that, but plenty of public lands make it easy to pitch a tent, park your RV, or book a cabin and enjoy wide-open views in solitude.

You don’t even need a telescope to get started—just your sense of wonder and the ability to stay up late enough for the sun to set and the sky to fully darken. A mobile app that shows constellations and helps you identify the sky’s many features doesn’t hurt, either. So as you plan your next visit, here are the top five places to go stargazing around Klamath County.

ACTIVITIES

Camping
National Parks
Lakes

SEASONS

Fall
Spring
Summer
Winter

Stargazing at Crater Lake National Park

Oregon’s only national park sits under starry skies

Crater Lake National Park is beloved for any number of reasons: The 33-mile Rim Drive offers sweeping views of the deepest lake in the United States, numerous hiking trails head high above the lake’s rim, and boat tours take you onto the lake’s surface for an up-close look at its size and beauty.

But not all the park’s adventures are best enjoyed in the daytime. Crater Lake is one of Klamath County’s best stargazing destinations—with little light pollution, a high elevation (more than 6,000 feet above sea level), and almost no cloud cover all summer long. If you decide to stargaze from a pullout along Rim Drive, you’ll be at the tree line, as well—with no obstructions blocking the views above. 

Ready to plan your summertime visit? Learn more about the 10 best things to do at Crater Lake National Park.

Stargazing at Lake of the Woods

This resort features little light pollution in the heart of the Cascades

Lake of the Woods sits deep in the heart of the Cascade Range—nearly 40 miles from Klamath Falls and almost totally unencumbered by light pollution. That remote location—along with plenty of opportunities for overnight stays—makes the mountain lake an ideal spot to stargaze.

Book your stay at the family-friendly Lake of the Woods Resort, which hosts dozens of charming cabins and manages two forested campgrounds near its namesake reservoir. The resort lies along the lake’s eastern shore, providing easy access for unobstructed views—with Mount McLoughlin in the midst of it all.

Excited to visit? See how to plan a summer vacation at Lake of the Woods—and Klamath’s many other lakes.

Stargazing at Collier Memorial State Park

Enjoy wide-open views from the cozy campground

Collier Memorial State Park sits along Highway 97 and offers plenty of attractions across its forested grounds—including an outdoor logging museum (one of the best family attractions in Klamath), the convergence of two streams, some of Klamath's top fishing holes, and more than 60 spacious campsites.

The park sits more than 30 miles north of Klamath Falls and is surrounded on all sides by a forest of pine, which makes Collier an idyllic spot to watch the starry skies. Your campsite might be a little shady, but a few flat trails head out to (and follow) Spring Creek and the Williamson River—where the skies open up and afford memorable views. Its elevation (roughly 4,200 feet above sea level) puts you above denser air and typically translates to clearer night skies, as well.

Learn more about Collier Memorial and other Oregon State Parks around Klamath County.

Stargazing at Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site

Savor the stars from the banks of the Wood River

Part of what makes Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site so special is its seclusion: The small campground, with just 10 primitive sites, resides at the headwaters of the Wood River and is about 40 miles from Klamath Falls—far from busy highways, cities, street lights, and other common sources of light pollution. That location makes the campground an outstanding place to view the night skies; just follow a short, flat walking trail between your site and the river to get away from the lodgepole pine forest and enjoy a fuller view. 

Get the skinny on Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site, and see why it makes such a great weekend getaway.

Stargazing at Lava Beds National Monument

The national monument’s remote location offers ideal viewing conditions

At the southern edge of the Klamath Basin, roughly 40 miles south of Klamath Falls, Lava Beds National Monument boasts some of the darkest night skies across the region. The expansive national monument is surrounded by countless acres of farmland and two national wildlife refuges, limiting light pollution and opening the skies for far-reaching views. Lava Beds' high elevation, at nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, leads to clearer skies, as well.

Given the national monument's far-flung location, try snagging one of 43 sites at its Indian Well Campground—all available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites run $10 per night and are partially shaded—which means you don't have to leave your site to bask in the glow of the cosmos.

Once you’re there, see why the monument’s visitor center is one of Klamath’s best museums, and make the most of your experience by exploring 10 must-visit caves at the Lava Beds.

Top 10 Must-See Waterfalls Near Crater Lake

Embark on a journey to Crater Lake, not just to witness its iconic caldera lake, but to explore the hidden gems that lie in its vicinity. As the fifth national park in the United States, Crater Lake shares the same grandeur as Yosemite and Rainier, offering awe-inspiring landscapes and a plethora of activities, from ziplining adventures to serene trolley rides. But beyond the lake's rim and the bustling visitor center, there lies a world of cascading beauty waiting to be discovered.

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