How to Spend 3 Days in Klamath County
So, you’re planning a trip to Klamath County? First off, congratulations! This will be a trip to remember. Situated in a beautiful section of south-central Oregon, surrounded by mountains, lakes, rivers, and wildlife refuges, Klamath County is truly a special place to behold.
Secondly, you’ll likely need some help figuring out what to do. Because the truth is, you could spend a lifetime in Klamath County and still not experience all that there is to offer. So, it helps to have a little inside guidance from your friends.
Without further ado, here’s how—well, one way of many—to spend 3 days in Klamath County.
Day 1 – Crater Lake Day Trip
Put simply, no trip to Klamath County is complete without a day trip to Crater Lake. Here’s how to do it.
Wake up, and grab a steaming cup of Joe from Gathering Grounds Roastery in downtown Klamath Falls. With a cute, cozy atmosphere (replete with exposed brick and hardwood floors) and a fantastic lineup of all your coffee favorites (including a very good cold brew), Gathering Grounds will send you on your way in caffeinated style.
From here, drive 1 hour and fifteen minutes north to Oregon’s one and only national park. On your way, enjoy the stunning scenery of Klamath County, replete with beautiful views of Upper Klamath Lake, the largest freshwater body west of the Rockies.
At Crater Lake, have your pick from a sweeping mix of activities. A cruise around the 33-mile Scenic Rim Drive is a must, filled with dozens of panoramic points and vistas. But you can also do so much more at Crater Lake. From a boat tour to exploring a few beautiful waterfalls to traversing one of the many hikes available, how you spend your afternoon at Crater Lake is ultimately up to you. But one can’t-miss experience is unwinding after your adventure of choice on the scenic balcony of Crater Lake Lodge.
The sunsets (as well as the stargazing!) at Crater Lake are not to be missed. One of the best places to experience this is Watchman Peak. With low light pollution, limited haze, and no obstructions, this is the ultimate spot to take in Crater Lake’s otherworldly blue waters and scenic backdrop. A 1.7-mile round trip hike will take you to Watchman and back.
Day 2 – Explore the History & Culture of Klamath Falls
Downtown Klamath Falls is a fantastic place to spend a day. With dozens of great food and drink experiences, an impressive array of cultural offerings, and fascinating history around every corner, spending some time in town is totally worthwhile!
Wake up with a bagel from The Daily Bagel or an artisanal pastry from the family-run Green Blade Bakery. Or, if you’re feeling like more of a traditional sit-down breakfast joint, Nibbley’s Cafe is an award-winning restaurant with some seriously fanfared fare.
Start your exploration of downtown with a stroll. Klamath Falls is a very walkable town. There are plenty of interesting sites to see, including more than a dozen beautiful buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For an interesting way to get up close and personal with these historic places, consider downloading a self-guided walking tour.
There are also numerous public art displays worth checking out, including the famous mural trail, the bird boxes (colorfully painted utility boxes sprinkled around town), and the beautifully painted pianos of the Klamath Piano Project.
Once you’ve toured on two feet for a while, why not pop into a museum?
There are a few notable ones worth checking out. Klamath County Museum is a must for any history lovers, with exhibits that paint the pioneer history of the Klamath region in wonderfully colorful light. The Favell Museum is a place to get some perspective on the original peoples of the Upper Klamath Basin. It houses 100,000-plus artifacts from both North and South America. The Baldwin Hotel Museum is another super interesting spot that offers a time-capsule glimpse into Old Oregon.
If you’re in the mood for being entertained, you’re in luck. Klamath Falls has a long history of supporting the arts. Catch a show at the Ross Ragland Theater. Housed in a 1940’s era art deco-style building, this 800-seat performance venue offers a robust lineup of music, dance, and symphony performances. A few blocks away, the Linkville Playhouse has been hosting local theatrical productions for more than 50 years.
If, however, you’re craving a little more laidback form of entertainment with some great grub and downright delicious craft beer, then checkout Klamath’s brewery scene.
Day 3 – Take a Day Trip
Put simply, Klamath Falls is a launchpad for any number of adventures. Centrally located and within easy driving distance of some seriously legendary spots, make your third day in Klamath County one to remember with an adventurous day trip. Here are a few spots worth checking out.
Lava Beds National Monument
Located about an hour south of Klamath Falls, in northern California, Lava Beds National Monument is home to a volcano-scarred landscape and more than 700 caves. Above ground, dozens of beautiful hikes await. Below ground, spelunkers (both amateur and serious) can find some stunning subterranean playgrounds.
Spence Mountain Trail System
For mountain bikers, Spence Mountain is arguably the crown jewel of Klamath County mountain biking. This 7,400-acre parcel of pristine wilderness offers a network of more than 35 miles of trails (with 30 more planned). If you’re a MTB junkie, do NOT miss Spence Mountain.
Running Y Resort
Prefer to leisurely unwind on your last day of Klamath County vacation? You’re in luck. The Running Y Resort offers the only Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course in Oregon. It’s not only beautiful; it’s a bucket list worthy course with just the right amount of challenge and fun.
If, at the end of your 3 days in Klamath County, you’re still looking for things to do, not to worry! There are plenty of things to do in Klamath County. And return visits might even be better than first-time ones!
Written by Ry Glover for Matcha in partnership with Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.