48 Hours of Adventure in Klamath: A Hiker’s Guide
A trip to the Klamath Basin is a great way to see what makes the Pacific Northwest so special. It’s filled with the best of what Oregon has to offer: incredible mountain landscapes, pastoral farmland, scenic rivers, and alpine lakes. You’ll find hiking and biking trails crisscrossing the region, and there’s an abundance of outdoor activities to fit any personality. You could explore the area for weeks without experiencing all of its charms. So while 48 hours isn’t enough to see it all, it’s a great start for exploring Klamath’s rich wilderness, noshing on meals crafted from locally sourced ingredients, and washing it down with a local beer or a glass of wine. Here’s a quick itinerary for making the most of a weekend in and around Klamath Falls.
Where to Stay: Settle into the Cerulean Hotel, which sits in the heart of downtown Klamath Falls, for the weekend. The chic hotel offers 82 guestrooms, and bicycle rentals are available for exploring Klamath Falls on two wheels. You’ll be close to Veterans Memorial Park, Lake Ewauna, and other popular attractions.
Where to Eat: See how you’re feeling before deciding on dinner. If you’re tuckered out after a long drive and want to unwind, kick back at Ruddy Duck Restaurant at Running Y Ranch Resort. The quiet restaurant overlooks the resort’s golf course and offers fireside dining, and its menu leans heavily on locally grown produce. For more of a community-driven brewpub vibe, stop by Klamath Basin Brewing Company; the brewery offers several ales and lagers named for regional history, and it hosts live music on the patio on Friday nights in the summer months.
Breakfast: Fuel up for a day on the trail at Green Blade Bakery. The family-run, artisan bakery serves a variety of bread and pastries—all made from scratch and with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. And if you’d like to grab some food for the trail, Green Blade offers grab-and-go sandwiches on its homemade rolls.
Hike: There may be no finer introduction to the Southern Cascades than the Sky Lakes Wilderness hike via the Cold Springs Trail. You’ll start out hiking through a wildfire-scorched forest and into the Sky Lakes Wilderness, gaining roughly 500 feet along the way, before arriving at the foot of numerous mountain lakes. Wildflowers line the banks every summer, and colorful fall foliage lights up the trail in early autumn.
Lunch: Your lunch stop depends on how you’re feeling after the hike. If you’d like to unwind while enjoying scenic views, stop by the Lakehouse Restaurant at the Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge and Resort. Sitting on the banks of the 1,250-acre Lake of the Woods, the restaurant’s menu includes pizza, soups and salads, burgers, and comfort-food entrees (including chicken pot pie, fish and chips, and pasta dishes). Closer to town, The Daily Bagel offers a grab-and-go menu of bagels, sandwiches, and pastries in downtown Klamath Falls—perfect for when you’re eating en route to the next adventure.
Dinner: If the weather cooperates, there are few better patios in Klamath Falls than the outdoor area at Rodeos Pizza & Saladeria. The popular pizzeria serves slices and full pies, each made from slow-rise dough and using red sauce made in-house; its salads, meanwhile, all come with dressing made from scratch. Wash it all down with a glass of wine or beer from the curated tap list.
Relax: Klamath Falls boasts a thriving arts scene, so see what’s happening at a local theater. The Linkville Playhouse hosts the Linkville Players, the oldest community theater group in the Klamath Basin; the group puts on a variety of productions, but about half of its program trends toward comedy. The Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center, meanwhile, hosts a variety of performances—including films, concerts, musicals, and theater.
Breakfast: Enjoy a full breakfast menu at The Waffle Hut in downtown Klamath Falls. In addition to omelets and other breakfast classics, the cute café specializes in—you guessed it—Liège waffles. Choose from a menu of breakfast and dinner waffles, each sporting different ingredients to suit your tastes.
Hike: Get acquainted with the Mountain Lakes Wilderness on the Varney Creek Trail. The path follows a gradual ascent to Como and Harriette lakes, passing through a thick pine forest and summertime wildflower meadows along the way.
Lunch: A Leap of Taste is the quintessential downtown café: The cozy eatery carries food items that are local and sustainable (whenever possible), including whole bean coffee (roasted in Eugene), locally sourced honey, cheeses, and more. And its hearty sandwiches won’t weigh you down before or after a hike.
Dinner: You’ve worked hard and played hard this weekend, so treat yourself with fine dining at Mr. B’s Steakhouse. The restaurant sources its beef from a local ranching co-op and serves a menu full of fare made fresh and in-house—often incorporating seasonal vegetables grown nearby.
Written by Matt Wastradowski for Matcha in partnership with Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.