Your Guide to Post-Crater Lake Adventure Around Klamath County
Every year, more than a half-million people visit Crater Lake National Park—the only national park in Oregon—for hiking, sightseeing, boat tours, camping trips, and more.
If you’re one of those lucky visitors, we’re excited for you to see what makes Crater Lake so special—and hope you decide to enjoy some of Klamath County’s countless other charms after you’ve visited the crown jewel of the south Cascades. Across the county, for instance, travelers of all interests can savor farm-fresh fare, enjoy an exciting arts and culture scene, and get outdoors for easygoing activities and heart-pumping thrills alike.
So whatever your travel style, you’ll find plenty of post-Crater Lake adventures around Klamath County. Here are a few ideas to inspire your next trip.
For Foodies: Fresh, Farm-to-Table Fare Across Klamath County
Klamath Falls sits in the shadow of the Cascade Range, a perk that means sunny weather throughout the year and a nice growing season that enables dozens of family farmers to grow mint, potatoes, wheat, barley, and horseradish. As such, Klamath County has become a bountiful destination for enjoying a taste of the region.
For starters, it’s even possible to enjoy a taste of Klamath County while at Crater Lake. The Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room dishes Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine with locally sourced meats and seasonal produce; a selection of regional beer, wine, and cider rounds out the menu.
Away from Crater Lake, you can enjoy upscale American fare at the Running Y Resort’s Ruddy Duck Restaurant, which grows its vegetables and herbs on-site; enjoy locally sourced coffee, breads, honey, cheeses, and more in your breakfast and lunch dishes at A Leap of Taste; and nosh on some classic comfort food—crafted with locally grown produce and locally raised meats—at Mike and Wanda’s Restaurant and Bar in Tulelake.
Hungry yet? Plan your next food-and-drink tour of Klamath County, and see where else to experience farm-to-table dining in Klamath Falls and beyond.
For Adrenaline Junkies: Thrilling Rides With Crater Lake ZipLine
Take a trip among the treetops with an outing through Crater Lake ZipLine, which sits in the Fremont-Winema National Forest—just a half-hour south of Crater Lake National Park and 30 minutes east of Klamath Falls.
Your options for high-flying fun include a guided canopy tour that traverses the forest via nine ziplines and two suspended skybridges, a kids-oriented ride that includes four ziplines and other fun activities, and a “skyak” adventure that blends ziplining with a paddling tour of nearby Upper Klamath Lake. Back on solid ground, unwind with a round of axe throwing, sip a cold beer, and grab lunch from an on-site food cart. Learn more about the thrills with this insider’s look at Crater Lake ZipLine and its fun offerings.
For History Buffs: Natural and Cultural History at Lava Beds National Monument
You don’t have to be a hardcore hiker or dedicated caver to appreciate the historic charms at Lava Beds National Monument, which covers a half-million years of history—natural and otherwise.
Start your adventure with a stop at the Lava Beds Visitor Center, which hosts exhibits and displays on the region’s climate, the massive volcano at the heart of the monument, and the Native American tribes that have lived around the lava beds since time immemorial. Paved paths departing from the visitor center offer additional interpretive panels that explain the unique geology that makes the Lava Beds National Monument possible. (Pro tip: While at the visitor center, be sure to check out a flashlight for your upcoming caving adventures.)
Away from the visitor center, you’ll find several ways to connect with the area’s history. Check out ancient rock art at Petroglyph Point, and enjoy a hike on the Captain Jack’s Stronghold Trail—where the local Modoc people hunkered down while battling the U.S. Army during the Modoc War of 1872-73. Learn more about other unique adventures at Lava Beds National Monument.
For Arts and Culture Fans: Museums and Public Arts
If you’ve enjoyed the outdoors but want something a bit more refined, treat yourself to a tour of the thriving arts and culture scene around Klamath Falls and surrounding towns.
Spend your day perusing some of the fascinating museums across the Klamath Basin (including the Klamath County Museum, showcasing a wide swath of regional history), viewing works from local artists at regional art galleries, or admiring the variety of murals in downtown Klamath Falls, Chiloquin, Merrill, and Tulelake. End your evening with a concert, second-run film screening, comedy show, or performing arts event at the historic Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center—housed in an Art Deco-styled theater dating back to 1940.
For Enthusiastic Paddlers: Upper Klamath Canoe Trail
You couldn’t paddle the crystal-clear waters of Crater Lake—so if you’re still trying to scratch that itch before heading home, consider a laid-back tour of the Upper Klamath Canoe Trail.
The 9.5-mile water trail traverses the marshlands, riparian forests, and open water of Upper Klamath Lake, mostly concentrated around its northwesternmost reaches. A pair of boat launches offer easy access, and you might spot a variety of wildlife on your outing—such as raccoons, beavers, river otters, muskrats, and several species of waterfowl. Back on shore, start planning your next experience with our adventurer’s guide to Upper Klamath Lake.
For Avid Hikers: Sky Lakes Wilderness
Almost directly south of Crater Lake sits the Sky Lakes Wilderness—a summertime playground that boasts plenty of hikes to subalpine lakes for when you’re not quite ready to leave the outdoors behind.
The Sky Lakes Wilderness comprises a trio of lake basins in the Cascade Range and was designated as an official wilderness area in 1984, owing to the chemical purity of its mountain waters. Today, numerous hiking trails head past meadows, springs, and the region’s namesake lakes while traversing forests of fir and pine; popular foot paths include the Nannie Creek Trail to Puck Lake and the Sky Lakes Basin trail (the latter of which passes more than a dozen named and unnamed lakes). Naturally, taking a summertime dip is a popular pastime in the Sky Lakes Wilderness—but stick around in early autumn for colorful fall foliage displays, and keep an eye out for elk, pikas, osprey (which love fishing in the wilderness’s waters each fall), and even the occasional black bear.
If you’re ready to hit the trail, get started with our guide to hiking the wilderness areas around Klamath County.
For Enthusiastic Mountain Bikers: Spence Mountain
Designed by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, the fast-growing trail network on Spence Mountain is quickly earning acclaim as a top riding destination in southern Oregon.
It’s easy to see why: Beginners can ride fast, flowy trails through open meadows and forests of pine—while more advanced riders can tackle a variety of technical challenges that include berms, drops, jumps, and other fun features. Along the way, epic views encompass Upper Klamath Lake, the wider Klamath Basin, and numerous peaks in the Cascade Range—most notably, Mount McLoughlin and Mount Shasta.
If you’re curious to learn more about Spence Mountain and other riding destinations in the region, we’ve put together a list of five amazing mountain bike trails around Klamath County.
For Visitors Seeking Out Additional Lakes: Crescent Lake, Odell Lake, and Lake of the Woods
If Crater Lake has you itching to spend time at other bodies of water in the area, linger a little longer around some of the many lakes across Klamath County.
Near the northern edge of Klamath County, you’ll find two beloved outdoor destinations: Crescent Lake and Odell Lake. In summer, Crescent Lake attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes with opportunities for sailing, swimming, water skiing, camping, and fishing; kokanee and several species of trout can be found in the lake’s vibrant blue-green waters, as well, drawing anglers in droves. Nearby Odell Lake measures a whopping six miles long and sits surrounded by quiet campgrounds in the shadow of the iconic Diamond Peak; fishing is a key draw at Odell Lake, where anglers fish for rainbow trout, lake trout, bull trout, and kokanee salmon. Near the lake’s southeastern shore, Odell Lake Lodge & Resort offers four seasons of fun—including snowmobiling, sleigh rides, and other winter activities.
Further south, Lake of the Woods Resort surrounds its namesake lake, affording a wide range of outdoor opportunities and epic views of nearby Mount McLoughlin. Popular activities at Lake of the Woods include boating and paddling, easy hiking, and overnight stays that range from idyllic tent sites to dozens of well-kept cabins. (And if your travels bring you through Klamath County the rest of the year, see why an off-season visit to Lake of the Woods is worth considering.)