Best Things To Do In Klamath Falls

Best Things To Do In Klamath Falls

Enjoy breath-taking mountain scenery, high desert climate, and 300-plus days of annual sunshine in the beautiful area of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Choose from activities such as sports fishing, ziplining, golfing, birding, hiking, biking, dining, and sipping. You can also visit a nationally recognized museum featuring Native American artifacts and early Western Art and enjoy a performance in a state-of-the-art theater. 

Located in southeastern Oregon, Klamath Falls is about 80 miles from the closest major airport at Medford. You could also fly into Portland, Oregon, and enjoy the 294-mile drive through Southern Oregon. 

Here are my nine suggestions on how to spend a perfect weekend in beautiful Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Disclaimer: I was hosted on this trip by Discover Klamath and Travel Southern Oregon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Snow in Crater Lake.
Crater Lake (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

Things To Do In Klamath Falls

1. Marvel At The Beauty Of Crater Lake

Marvel at the jaw-dropping scenery of Crater Lake National Park, the nation’s deepest lake set in the beauty of the Cascade Mountains. From Klamath Falls, head north on Hwy 97 to Hwy 62 and follow to the South Park Entrance. There is also a shuttle from Klamath Falls.

The South Entrance is open year-round. Both the North Entrance and Rim Drive are closed over the winter — usually reopening from July to October. Though we visited in early May, there are still gorgeous views during the rest of the seasons. 

Sit back and enjoy the Crater Lake Trolley, a 2-hour narrated drive around Rim Drive. Learn about the history, animals, plants, and topography of the area.

You can check the Crater Lake Webcam for up-to-date weather conditions. 

Pro Tips: The best time of the year to view Crater Lake is summer into fall. Beginning of May, there is still lots of snow along Crater Lake. The road is limited to about 1 mile in the distance, but one can still capture the site’s beauty. The best and least crowded viewing site in May is behind the Rim Village Visitor Center. Roads can be snow-packed and icy, so be prepared. The cost to enter the National Park is $30 per car or $20 for seniors.

2. Fly Like An Eagle At Crater Lake Zipline

Crater Lake Zipline features nine zip lines over a 1.5-mile course. The guided tour lasts 2 to 3 hours and includes two suspension bridges and two tree rappels. Participants must be 10 years of age and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds. You will marvel at the views of Mt. Mclaughlin and the Cascade Mountains.

Sasquatch Hollow is a 1.5-hour program for children aged 5 to 12. 

The site is located just south of Crater Lake National Park on Oregon Highway 140.

Reservations are required.

Eagle nest in a wildlife refuge.
An eagle nest (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

3. Explore Six National Wildlife Refuges In The Klamath Basin

All six National Wildlife Refuges are within an easy drive of Klamath Falls. The Klamath Basin Birding Trail is located on the Pacific Flyway. Over 350 species of birds have been sighted in the area, including one of the largest concentrations of Bald Eagles in the continental United States. Sunset Magazine honored Klamath Basin as one of the five best birding destinations in the West. 

Stop by the Visitor Centers for brochures, exhibits, and auto tour maps. Every season has particular breeding and resting wildlife. Check the seasonal highlights here. Photographers: Contact the refuge headquarters for information on photography blinds.

Klamath Wingwatchers is an organization whose mission is to educate the public about the wonders of the Klamath Basin. They have established a 2.5-mile trail near downtown Klamath Falls. Here are links to the interpretive guide and native plants brochures.

Look for the February Annual Event called Winter Wing Festival, a 3-day festival with the Klamath Audubon Society celebrating the Pacific Flyway and the Klamath Basin. 

Meet Steve, the Lower Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Ranger, at the visitor center. Learn about the wetlands of the Klamath Basin, the best times to visit the refuge, and the challenges facing the refuge.

A mural in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
A mural in downtown Klamath Falls (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

4. Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Learn about the history of Klamath Falls on a self-guided tour of the downtown. Along with information about historic buildings, learn about the past through public art. Six murals depict historical logging, Kingsley Field, Crater Lake, the impact of train transportation, early Native American Fishing Villages, and Klamath Basin Farming.

Look also for the Bird Boxes, a project that beautifies utility boxes with paintings of the birds found in the Klamath Basin. This project was recently honored by Oregon Main Street as the “Best Downtown Beautification Project.” 

Favell Museum in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
The exterior of Favell Museum (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

5. Explore Native American Artifacts And Western Art At The Favell Museum

Continue your stroll through historic downtown and cross the bridge to Favell Museum, known for Western Art and Native American Artifacts, located at 125 W. Main Street. Named one of the top Western Museums in the Nation by Frommers, this is a must-visit while in Klamath Falls. View the massive collection of arrowheads, prehistoric hunting kits, Indigenous artifacts, and early Western Art, all collected by Gene and Winnifred Havell.

Pro Tips: No photos are allowed in the museum. I recommend you purchase the book: A Treasury of Our Western Heritage: Favell Museum, Inc. featuring Western Art and Native American Artifacts by Barry L. Syler. It is available in the gift store. Plan to spend at least 3 hours here. There is so much to see.

Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course.
Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

6. Tee Off At The Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course

Located at the Running Y Ranch, the 18-hole golf course is the only Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course in Oregon. It also features a full-service golf shop offering world-class instruction and a challenging 18-hole miniature golf course; Hole #9 is the fan-favorite because of the majestic views of the mountains and ranch. 

Pro Tip: Golfers, because of the elevation in the Klamath Falls area, the air is thinner, so your ball travels 7 percent farther! 

Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Ragland Theater (Photo Credit: Jo-Anne Bowen)

7. Enjoy A Performance At The Ross Ragland Theater And Cultural Center: An Art Deco Theater

A landmark of the downtown, The Ross Ragland Theater And Cultural Center features performances by nationally recognized artists and local productions. The state-of-the-art center, with fabulous acoustics and sightlines, seats over 700 and is wheelchair accessible. The neon lighting was dark for a number of years, but it is now back to its brilliance.

8. Spend A Day Fishing 

Anglers love fishing in the Upper Klamath Lake Region. You can explore the spring creeks, rushing rivers, and mountain lakes to land trout (rainbow, brook, and brown), bass, crappie, kokanee, and mackinaw. 

Pro Tip: Anglers aged 18 and over need an Oregon Fishing License. Check this link for further information and to purchase.

9. Stop For A Sip At A Craft Brewery

Locals have three favorite stops for a brew. The first to enter the brewing scene in Klamath Falls was Mia & Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse. They feature a number of brews on tap and release a new brew each season.

Look for the iconic Blue Cow Sign downtown for the Klamath Basin Brewing Company. The Skyline Brewing Company is located on a family farm just south of Klamath Falls. The farm prides itself on sustainable practices such as using spent grains for cow feed and repurposing used hops and yeast for fertilizer.

Klamath Falls Restaurants

Ruddy Duck Restaurant

Enjoy dinner at the Ruddy Duck Restaurant located in the Lodge at Running Y Ranch Resort. Dine either inside, with floor-ceiling views, or outside on the expansive patio overlooking #10 hole of the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. Start your meal with the Bison Meatballs, smothered in delicious mushroom brandy cream sauce. We followed with a classic Caesar Salad and bread. There are various entrees, including plates of pasta, braised short ribs, pan-roasted cod, bison burger, and fish and chips. I enjoyed the Shrimp Linguine, tasty shrimp with a shallot cream sauce. Enjoy the warm personalities of the wait staff and the chef.

A Leap Of Taste

While strolling the historic downtown, stop in for lunch or coffee at A Leap of Taste. They carry a delightful selection of coffees, espressos, pastries, and sandwiches, as well as local items such as chocolates, cheeses, and hand-made gifts. 

Real Taste Of India

For authentic Indian Cuisine, dine at Real Taste of India, located at the Running Y Ranch Resort. The extensive menu offers popular East Indian Dishes like Shrimp Masala, Lamb Curry and great chicken dishes like Chicken Malai Kabob, Chicken Tandoori, and Chicken Tikka. Be sure to order the Garlic Naan. Vegetarian dishes are also available. We enjoyed the outside seating with ranch views and crisp mountain air.

Klamath Falls Hotels

The Running Y Ranch Resort is a resort hotel and a great place to stay while visiting Klamath Falls. The luxurious reception area welcomes you and friendly staff will greet you. Our spacious room with a balcony overlooking the golf course was the perfect setting for a glass of wine after a busy day traveling. There are a number of amenities available at The Running Y Ranch including the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course and Ruddy Duck Restaurant, both previously described; unique fine dining at Running Y’s Greenhouse; the Sandhill Spa, a Sports and Fitness Center, and horseback riding along Klamath Lake; plus 8 miles of paved walking trails and miles of unpaved hiking trails on Skillet Handle. There is also a Grab and Go Coffee Bar in the reception area.

Klamath Falls is indeed a hidden gem. Now that you are aware of all the jewels of the area, start planning your trip now! You will be glad that you did. For more information on Klamath Falls, visit DiscoverKlamath.com.

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