8 of the Most Picturesque Places in Klamath County
You know what they say: “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, in Klamath County, depending on where you are (and what time of day) you may just find a picture worth a million words or more. In other words, this region is home to some truly jaw-dropping, stunning, and—yep, you guessed it—downright picturesque destinations. From the cobalt blues of Crater Lake to the swirling, swooping avian life of Upper Klamath Lake, there’s no shortage of places (and focal subjects) in Klamath County when it comes to photo-worthy moments.
Here, we’re diving deep into 8 of the most picturesque places in all of Klamath County.
Crater Lake National Park
Welp, where else could we realistically start than with the most obvious showstopper of all? Crater Lake National Park is without any exaggeration one of the most picturesque places in the entire world. The first time you lay eyes on this world wonder, your perceptions of what beauty can be are totally altered. The water here is a shade of blue unlike anything you’ve ever seen. (In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if the next Pantone Color of the Year were “Crater Lake Blue.”) Aside from just the water color, there are so many more picturesque things to find: the cinder cone volcano of Wizard Island, multiple pull-off points along the 33-mile Rim Drive, even a handful of cascading waterfalls. In short, Crater Lake National Park gives a whole new meaning to the word “picturesque.”
Wood River at Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site
There’s “beautiful”, and then there’s the Wood River in Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site. This place is like a little slice of the Caribbean wedged in a sea of Southern Oregon spruce and pine. Paddling the Wood River is a fantastic way to experience the crystal clear, spring-fed waters on show here, and there are a number of fantastic local outfitters that offer guided trips.
Upper Klamath Lake
Upper Klamath Lake is a historical, geological, downright mystical destination that offers vast outdoor recreation opportunities across its 60,000 acres. The Upper Klamath Canoe Trail is a 9.5-mile ribbon of natural splendor. And the Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, on the northwestern shores of the lake, offers up one of the best birding destinations in North America.
Lava Beds National Monument
Who said picturesque places needed to be above ground? At Lava Beds National Monument, the picturesque beauty may be subterranean, but it’s anything but subpar. Crystal Ice Cave offers the chance to see two frozen waterfalls and stalagmites made of—yep, you guessed it—ice! And that’s just one of the nearly 800 labyrinthine caves that pockmark this tectonic tapestry. Above ground, the golden grasses and high desert environs of Lava Beds National Monument offer a subtle yet stunning beauty.
Lake of the Woods
For scenery-chasers who also love water-based recreation, Lake of the Woods offers the best of all worlds. Nestled in the Southern Cascades in a sea of spruce and pine, with the towering summit of Mount McLoughlin rising in the background, Lake of the Woods is like a poster child for postcards. Though postcard format only tells half the story! The other half is a tale of world-class water-based recreation, including kayaking, canoeing, SUPing, boating, and fishing. In other words, come for the scenery, stay for the fun activities.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
Don’t want just one picturesque spot? Try 140 miles of scenery along the legendary Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway! This vista-bedazzled byway offers a masterclass in must-see natural landmarks, including a plethora of shield volcanoes, cinder cones, stratovolcanoes, lava fields, and countless other landmarks. If you can’t find a picturesque place along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, you might want to get your eyes checked.
Downtown Klamath Falls
For any urban photography lovers out there, downtown Klamath Falls offers a glorious chance to find some underrated, up-close-and-picture-perfect places. From bigger-than-life murals depicting Klamath’s unique history to plenty of ornate old buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there’s a subtle and seriously captivating charm about downtown Klamath Falls. Our advice? Discover the arts and culture scene of Klamath Falls firsthand.
For a fantastic view from above downtown Klamath Falls—not to mention of the sweeping surrounding area—Moore Mountain serves up all the goods. This humble yet hugely trail-laced mountain is much more than just a local’s favorite. It’s a must-visit spot for visitors as well. Especially those seeking out scenic spots!
No matter which picturesque place you find yourself seeing in Klamath County, remember to take only photos, leave only footprints, and appreciate all the unforgettable places you go.
Written by Ry Glover for Matcha in partnership with Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.