Pros and Cons of Living in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls is a rural and scenic mid-sized city in Southern Oregon. While it is a rural city with fresh air and open spaces, Klamath Falls has many downtown amenities and a lower-than-average cost of living with a strong community. Urban life can bring more opportunities, but Klamath Falls has deep roots in education and many new businesses now located in the area. Learn more about the benefits and how they outweigh the disadvantages of living in a smaller, rural community like Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Advantages of Living in Klamath Falls

Saturday Farmer's Market in Klamath Falls, Oregon, showing a booth with bright orange, yellow, and green pumpkins, hay bales, and a sign for Sweet Union Farm.

Klamath Falls is a charming place to live with various amenities that one might not associate to a small rural city in southern Oregon. The historic downtown area has specialty shopping, farmers markets, restaurants, cafes, and local businesses. The local culture of the area shines through fascinating historic museums, a vintage restored theater, art galleries and community events throughout the year. All of that coupled with the benefits of living in a rural area make living in Klamath Falls a great choice.

Healthy Initiatives

Ceasar salad in a wooden bowl at Rodeos Pizzeria and Saladeria in Klamath Falls, Oregon.Because the Klamath Falls community is small compared to the big city, this makes it extremely strong with continual initiatives working toward the betterment of its residents. This includes being a part of the Blue Zones Project and regular health assessments and improvement plans.  In 2015 Klamath Falls was chosen as a Blue Zones Project (the first BZP community in the PNW), which means the city and residents are working with Healthways and Cambia Health Foundation to improve the community’s well-being by making healthy choices easier to make in everyday lives.

Low Cost of Living

An advantage to living in Klamath Falls is the low cost of living. The median home price in Klamath Falls is approximately $210,000. Those that have moved to Klamath Falls from larger cities find that their money can go further in the City of Sunshine.

Sunny Climate

Many people associate the rainy Portland climate with Oregon, but Klamath Falls weather is quite the opposite being in a high desert area with over 300 days of sunshine a year – which is how it coined the name City of Sunshine. With dry sunny weather most of the year, average temperatures in the summer are 83 degrees, and 42 degrees in the winter.

Outdoor Recreator’s Paradise

Mountain bike trail on Moore Mountain Trail Systems located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Two men riding mountain bikes on a lush, bright green mountainside in a pine forest.Klamath Falls is an outdoor recreator’s paradise all year-round surrounded by wilderness for endless opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. The Klamath Falls parks and trails contribute to the vibrancy of the city.  There are 26 parks totaling over 600 acres in the city of Klamath Falls.  Klamath County also delivers some of Oregon’s deepest blues, longest zips, and most sought-after fishing. With its nearby lakes and streams, natural beauty surrounds this rural location. It is not uncommon to see wildlife such as pelicans, bald eagles, deer, among many other species that are majestic to behold.




Snowfall in the Winter

Downtown Klamath Falls, Oregon in a blanket of snow. You can see Hogback Mountain in the distance also covered in snow, and many downtown buildings built from bricks, including the Presbyterian Church steeple high in the forefront.Klamath Falls sits at about 4,100 feet above sea level.  The elevation coupled with the high desert climate means that Klamath Falls sees all four seasons, including snow in the winter. How much does it snow here? Some would say “too much,” and others would argue “not enough!” You can expect snow anytime between October-April. It snows the most during winter months, with an average monthly accumulative snowfall of 3.8 inches in November, 9.1 inches in December, and 12.1 inches in January.

Slower Pace

Some may call it slower pace, but we like to think of it as a peaceful pace of life. Less people means less traffic, so no waiting in traffic jams on your morning or evening commute. Average drive time to anywhere within the city limits of Klamath Falls is around 15 minutes. With a total county population just shy of 68,000 people there’s also a whole lot of quiet. Except when the F-15 jets fly in and out of Kingsley Field, home to the Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing where they train the best air-to-air combat pilots and flight doctors.

Rural Location

Klamath Falls is a five-hour drive northeast of San Francisco and five hours south of Portland. Unlike our metropolitan neighbors, Klamath Falls is surrounded by wilderness, and topped with clear blue sky. A short drive in any direction from Klamath Falls will bring you to a nearby community. Keno, Chiloquin, Merrill, Malin, Bonanza, and Tulelake are all rural communities that offer their own charm and appeal. In order to visit a larger city, a bit of travel is required. Medford is the closest, located 77 miles west, followed by Bend, which is 137 miles North. Redding, CA is 141 miles south, and just over 250 miles southeast is Reno, NV.

Everything is Outside

A man in a bright red jacket and hat with his saint Bernard dog at a scenic vista point on Hagelstein Mountain overlooking the Upper Klamath Lake located just off Hwy 97 just north of Klamath Falls, Oregon.It’s true, most activities are outdoor activities in Klamath Falls. However, with over 300 days of sunshine would you really want to spend your time anywhere else? The mild climate provides ample opportunity to be outdoors enjoying the many parks, hiking trails, rivers and lakes surrounding Klamath Falls.

While the big city brings a different kind of energy than a smaller rural area, now more than ever, living in a rural community is no longer a disadvantage. Thriving cities have been halted due to the recent pandemic whereas rural areas have remained fairly normal. Supporting local businesses is more important than ever and a smaller community feels support much more than a larger population. Couple the fresh air quality in Klamath Falls with the open space and scenic wilderness, a lower cost of living and a tight-knit community; there aren’t many disadvantages to living in a small community than the big city.