9 Top Things to Do in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities define this area

Fall in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Mmphotos / Getty Images

In the high desert just east of the Southern Cascade Mountains you'll find the small city of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The region is also home to major wildlife preserves and national forests, making it a hotspot for nature lovers. Visitors to Klamath Falls will find the beauty and diversity of the local landscape to be its most popular attraction; the best way to experience it is during outdoor recreational activities or while on a scenic drive. You'll also find many interesting museums, wildlife refuges, and fun family friendly events, from classic car shows to a whimsical snowflake festival.

01 of 09

Hike, Bike, and Picnic Alongside the Locals in Moore Park

Beautiful views of the water in Moore Park, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Kamrin Nielsen / Getty Images

Address
740 Lakeshore Dr, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, USA
Phone +1 541-883-5351

No trip to Klamath Falls is complete without a trip to Moore Park, a stunning 458-acre green space situated at the southern end of Upper Klamath Lake. You'll find everything from a disc golf course, playgrounds, and pickleball courts to camping and picnic areas, as well as a vast number of trails to help you check out the park by bicycle or on foot. A favorite among locals and visitors to the area, it's a great spot to get your bearings, stay active, and enjoy the view.

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02 of 09

Get to Know the Local Wildlife

Tundra swan at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge

David Hoffmann Photography / Design Pics / Getty Images

Address
Chiloquin, OR 97624, USA

The Klamath River Basin, which includes land in both Oregon and California, is home to diverse ecosystems rich in fauna. You'll find major several wildlife refuges within a short drive of Klamath Falls, where you can enjoy birding, hiking, canoeing, photography, and general wildlife viewing.

Just 55 minutes north of Klamath Falls, Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge features both wet meadows and open water wetlands. See if you can spot sandhill cranes, ducks, Canada geese, yellow rails, or Oregon spotted frogs as you explore the area by canoe, kayak, or walking trail.

The Klamath Wildlife Area includes several tracts of land scattered around Klamath Falls. American white pelicans, California quail, western pond turtles, and other animals may be found here. The Miller Island Unit, located just south of Klamath Falls, is home to birds of all kinds depending on the time of year; take the loop trail for a better look at the animals and scenery.

The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge visitor center, about a 50-minute drive from Klamath Falls across the border in California, is a good stop for the latest information on species sightings, special programs, and weather. Bald eagles are seen in numbers there as well as around the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, also in California about 40 minutes from Klamath Falls.

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03 of 09

Hit the Trails Around Town

Wingwatchers Nature Trail

yunckette / Flickr / CC

Address
Link River Trail, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, USA

Many opportunities for outdoor activities exist within Klamath Falls. From hiking and biking to less-sweaty strolling and bench warming, your outdoor experience will often include local lakes and rivers, as well as the many birds and wildlife that call these waters home.

Within walking distance of downtown Klamath Falls, the 1.5-mile Link River Trail is a good choice for walkers and runners who wish to follow it along the Link River to Upper Klamath Lake.

Birders adore the 2.5-mile Wingwatchers Nature Trail, which offers plenty of picnic tables and trees along the lively shores of Lake Ewauna.

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04 of 09

Delve Into the Outdoors Near Klamath Falls

Collier Memorial State Park

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Address
46000 US-97, Chiloquin, OR 97624, USA
Phone +1 541-783-2471

East of Klamath Falls you'll find dry desert terrain; if you go west, you'll encounter mountains, forests, and Crater Lake National Park. Rivers and lakes are in every direction, as are the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Umpqua National Forest. There are many opportunities to try hiking, biking, and boating in the summer, or skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

About 35 minutes from Klamath Falls, Collier Memorial State Park displays a vast outdoor collection of early logging equipment and a riverfront pioneer village. Camping facilities are available for tent and RV campers. Enjoy hiking and horseback riding on nearby trails, trout fishing in the Williamson River or Spring Creek, or a picnic in these beautiful surroundings.

The continuous, partially graveled OC&E Woods Line State Trail runs for more than 100 miles and has four distinct sections, passing through farmland, rivers, train trestles, and historic sites. It goes from Klamath Falls at the south end, through Beatty and national forest lands to the north, while an east-west spur connects the small towns of Beatty and Bly. Popular with hikers, bikers, and horse riders, the trail can be accessed at many points along its length.

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05 of 09

Take Some Scenic Drives

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway - Crater Lake National Park

Wanderlust1907 / Flickr / CC

Address
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Klamath Falls, OR, USA

A driving tour is an ideal way to experience the area's beautiful scenery with occasional stops at viewpoints, trails, museums, and restaurants. The Klamath Falls area is blessed with two wonderful options, each taking a full day.

The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Southern Oregon Section covers about 140 miles on Rt. 97, from the Diamond Lake Junction on the north to the border with California on the south. You'll pass beautiful Crater Lake National Park and can check out its famous Rim Drive. Potential stops along the way include birding along the shores of Upper Klamath Lake and hiking at Vidae Falls.

The scenic, 90-mile Upper Klamath Loop drive runs northwest along Highway 140, featuring great views of Upper Klamath Lake. Stop at Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site, where you can watch as the Wood River flows from the pine forest into open meadows. Once you're on the east side of Klamath Lake, you'll be able to catch some lovely views of Mt. Scott, Mt. McLoughlin, and Mt. Shasta.

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06 of 09

Learn About Local History at a Museum

Klamath County Museum

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Address
125 W Main St, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, USA
Phone +1 541-882-9996

Visit one of Klamath Fall's local museums to get a feel for the area's history and culture.

The Favell Museum features Native American artifacts, with its massive collection including local items as well as over 100,000 arrowheads, baskets, and ancient stone tools representing various North and South American Indigenous nations. You'll also find works by Western artists like Charles M. Russell and John Clymer, as well as more contemporary artists.

Learn all about local and regional history, including the Modoc Indian War, at the Klamath County Museum. Additional exhibits can be found at the Klamath County Museum's sister facilities, the Baldwin Hotel Museum and the Fort Klamath Museum.

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07 of 09

Enjoy Annual Events

Klamath Falls Show'n Shine

Heidi Maly / Flickr/ CC

Address
Klamath Falls, OR, USA

No matter what season, there's always a good reason to gather and celebrate in Klamath Falls, with annual events geared toward all interests.

Birders and wildlife fans can enjoy programs, field trips, and other activities around the Klamath Basin at the Winter Wings Festival, held each year in February. 

In June, the Kruise of Klamath Car Show celebrates all things classic cars, music, and food.

The Klamath County Fair, typically held in early August, features a carnival, entertainment, crafts, and an expansive food court, among other activities.

For two weeks in December, you can enjoy a parade and other entertaining holiday themed festivities like Bowling with Santa at the Snowflake Festival.

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08 of 09

Give Whitewater Rafting and Fishing A Try

Whitewater rafting in Oregon

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / Flickr

Address
Lake of the Woods, Oregon 97601, USA

Enjoying the water is easy to do in Klamath Falls, and a number of outfitters offer wild whitewater rafting trips on the Upper Klamath River from May through September.

If you'd rather take it easy and go fishing, Klamath Basin's abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams provide great opportunities, with trout and bass being the predominant species. In addition to Klamath Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Oregon, the Lake of the Woods and Gerber Reservoir are also popular fishing destinations. Several companies are available to supply you with rental gear or guide services should you need them during your trip.

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09 of 09

Engage in Sports All Year Long

Mount Ashland Ski Area

Courtesy of TripAdvisor 

Address
2819 Dahlia StreetSuite A, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, USA
Phone +1 541-883-6714

The nearby mountain and forests provide plenty of terrain that's perfect for skiing and other snow-related sports and recreation near Klamath Falls. For truly epic downhill skiing, the Mount Ashland Ski Area, Mount Shasta Ski Park, Mount Bailey, and Willamette Pass Resort are all within a few hours' drive of Klamath Falls.

For cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, check out Crater Lake National Park and nearby Fremont-Winema National Forest, which both offer great winter trails.

All year long, local sports leagues and tournaments play baseball, softball, soccer, and more at the extensive Steen Sport Park complex in Klamath Falls. Visitors can take in a game or enjoy the park's cross-country jogging trails, or two playgrounds, among additional features.

Golf enthusiasts may want to check out Harbor Links Golf, a public course situated along the southeast shore of Upper Klamath Lake, or Shield Crest Golf Club, located on the east side of Klamath Falls.

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Fun Things to Do in Klamath Falls, Oregon