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Klamath Falls Oregon | Oregon Adventures

Klamath Falls is a city in and the county seat of Klamath County, Oregon, United States. The city was originally called Linkville when George Nurse founded the town in 1867. It was named after the Link River, on whose falls the city was sited. The name was changed to Klamath Falls in 1893. The population was 20,840 at the 2010 census. The city is on the southeastern shore of the Upper Klamath Lake and is approximately 25 miles north of the California–Oregon border, 45 miles south of Crater Lake National Park, and 81 miles east of Medford Airport.

What is Klamath Falls known for? Where are the waterfalls?

Klamath Falls is well known as the gateway to Crater Lake National Park but the history of Klamath Falls started during the 1800s with the westward migration on the Oregon Trail which led to a settlement in the Klamath Basin. The remote area was eventually well known for its forests and rangeland and after the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in the early 1900s, the City began to grow at a rapid rate. Nowadays, the Klamath Basin is still fairly remote but there are many top cities near Klamath Falls and with nearby Crater Lake National Park and the plentiful forests of the Pacific Northwest, Klamath Falls offers an array of outdoor recreation.

Are there waterfalls in Klamath Falls?

There are no traditional waterfalls in the City of Klamath Falls. While there are the Klamath Falls rapids, the City's name comes mostly from a rich history of the first inhabitants of the area. Klamath Falls was originally named Linkville after the nearby Link River. About 25 years after its founding, the name was changed to Klamath Falls with the 'Klamath' portion of the name that may come from the first known inhabitants in the area, the Klamath and Modoc people. The Klamath name for the Link River translated to "where the falling waters rush" which eventually led to the "Falls" portion of the City's name.

Popular waterfalls near Klamath Falls:

The Klamath Falls rapids are definitely worth visiting but with the City's remote location, there are also many nearby and beautiful waterfalls near Klamath Falls. The top waterfalls to visit in the area include Clearwater Falls, Watson Falls, Duwee Falls, and the unique Toketee Falls. While Klamath Falls is the closest City to Oregon's only national park, you can even make a trip to see multiple stunning waterfalls within Crater Lake National Park. Waterfalls are just one of the many things to see near Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Top things to do in Klamath Falls, Oregon

The Klamath falls rapids and nearby waterfalls are just a few of the many things to do in Klamath Falls. With 300 days of sunshine, the forests offer an abundance of outdoor activities all year round. From hiking and water sports in the summer to winter sports like snowmobiling or skiing and snowboarding in the Cascade mountains.

History of Klamath Falls

By 1843 the westward migration on the Oregon Trail was picking up steam and it would be only a few more years or so before a settlement in the Klamath Basin would begin. The Town of Linkville was formed at the mouth of the Link River by George Nurse in 1867. In 1893 the name was changed to the town of Klamath Falls and would eventually be incorporated as the City of Klamath Falls by the state legislature in 1905. Also in 1905, the federal government announced it would fund construction of the Klamath Reclamation Project which became operational by 1906.

Klamath Falls was known for its forests and rangeland but the region was far too remote from major markets to make money. In 1909 the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in Klamath Falls and the money came rolling in. In the 1920s Klamath Falls was the fastest growing City in Oregon until the Great Depression of 1929 brought the lumber boom to an end.

For a more detailed history of the Klamath Basin, please view information via the Klamath County Museum.

City Profile

Located in the south-central region of Oregon and bordering northern California, Klamath Falls sits on the southern shore of the Upper Klamath Lake, nestled in the Klamath Basin on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Klamath Falls enjoys nearly 300 days of sunshine each year. The City of Klamath Falls has an urban population of approximately 42,000.

Nature & Culture

Steeped in history, the area offers an outstanding array of natural and cultural wonders. Just sixty miles south of Crater Lake, and seventy miles north of Mt. Shasta, south-central Oregon is unsurpassed for beauty and diversity of activities. Klamath Falls offers a variety of outdoor recreation such as cross country skiing, golfing, fishing, hunting, and canoeing. It is known for its splendid bird watching and is the home of the highest concentrations of bald eagles in the Pacific Northwest.

It also offers a plethora of arts and culture with numerous antique shops and museums along with plays and musicals. Visitors can ride the downtown Trolley or follow the Old Town Historic Walking Tour.

Economic Boom

Klamath Falls has experienced a new boom in the past few years with several large housing developments being built and many new businesses locating in the area. Major local employers include:

  • Air National Guard
  • Collins Products
  • Jeld Wen
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Sky Lakes Medical Center
  • Adventure Oregon

Scroll down to see a list of tours & activities happening near Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Activities & Adventures Happening Near By