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Klamath Lake (sometimes called Upper Klamath Lake) spans over 30 miles in length and eight miles in width, making it one of the largest lakes west of the Rocky Mountains. The lake is popular with windsurfers and sailors thanks to its strong—though sometimes unpredictable—winds; in the summer months, visitors can watch or partake in regularly scheduled regattas. Boaters will find countless uncrowded bays to explore; in the spring and fall, you’ll find vast legions of waterfowl stopping over as they make their way north and south. 

Canoeists and kayakers will find miles of waterways to explore in the marshlands on the north side of the lake around Pelican Bay, allowing intimate encounters with deer, otter and other wildlife. In a state celebrated for its fine fishing lakes, Klamath Lake may be the most famous. A native strain of rainbow trout calls the lake (and some of the ice cold rivers that feed the lake from the north) home; Klamath rainbows regularly reach double digits; this is one of the few places in the United States where anglers have a real shot at catching a 10+ pound wild rainbow trout! Angling peaks after ice-out (usually early June), and again in late September, as the lake cools down. 

Courtesy of “Boating in Oregon” by Oregon State Marine Board

When to Go: April - Nov

Best Features: Very little if any fishing pressure. Picturesque canyon

Rafting Difficulty Level: V

Fish: wild redband rainbow trout

Good For: Rafting, Fishing. Fly fishing for beginner to expert.

Miles: 23.00

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. Rafting Southern Oregon’s Upper Klamath

    written by Emily Berlant on June 11th, 2014

    The first time I saw the Upper Klamath from atop the ridge, my heart raced. After the hour and a half, gorgeously scenic drive over the Green Springs Mountain from Ashland, I was ready to get on the water. It was my maiden voyage on this stretch of…

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