What’s in a name? Well, that depends.
The name of a town two hours south of Central Oregon is Klamath Falls. You are no doubt familiar with it.
But where are the falls?
Klamath Falls was founded in 1867. It sits less than 20 miles from the California border at the southern end of Upper Klamath Lake. This body of water is the largest freshwater lake by surface in Oregon — 25 miles long and eight miles wide.
The population of Klamath Falls, or K-Falls as it is sometimes called, is about 20,000. But that’s misleading. There are about 50,000 residents in and around K-Falls.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails just minutes from town and lots of water activities on Upper Klamath Lake.
The downtown area is seeing an increase in the number of businesses, and tourism is on the rise in the region.
The Running Y Resort is just minutes from town. It hugs the southwest shoreline of Upper Klamath Lake. Full-time and vacation housing is available here as well as a tasty mix of outdoor activities.
Where are the falls in Klamath Falls?
Now, about the name of the town. I have forever wondered, but never thought to ask, “Where are the falls in Klamath Falls?”
And apparently, I’m not alone. The simple explanation is that water from Upper Klamath Lake spills into a little, almost hidden canyon right in town.
So, not waterfalls like you might imagine, but a series of gnarly rapids on the descent to a reservoir called Lake Ewauna, which is nestled against the downtown area. It’s about a half-mile hike to get to this place — it’s called Link River, for obvious reasons.
And even though the “falls” are right in the middle of town, many locals don’t know about it. So, don’t expect Multnomah Falls.
What else is there to see and do in Klamath Falls?
Since it is a short hike, that will give you even more time to experience yet another unique activity in the Klamath Falls are — bird watching.
And a visit to K-Falls should also include some time at the Favell Museum, one of the nation’s premier native American artifact collections.
And maybe you can squeeze in a side trip to Crater Lake National Park.
You’ll have many choices on your trip to this part of the state.