Sunset by the lake in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Editorial credit: KelsWhite /

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Encompassed with natural beauty, the city of Klamath Falls in the US State of Oregon is ingrained with history and culture. A town between two stunning lakes is a hub for excellent fishing and water sports activities. The comfortable climate allows for local street markets, outdoor events, and many parks to be enjoyed year-round. The community strives to be incorporated into the Blue Zone Project to ensure the happiness and longevity of their future population.

Geography And Climate Of Klamath Falls

Downtown Klamath Falls, Oregon
Downtown Klamath Falls, Oregon. Image Credit: Bobjgalindo via Wikimedia Commons

Klamath Falls lies at the foothills of the Coastal Range Mountains in southwestern Oregon. The town rests at 1,248 meters above sea level and covers an area of 54.09 sq. km. About 400 kilometers northwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon's state capital, Salem, lies in the Willamette Valley. Roughly 200 kilometers southwest of the urban center, hikers can follow the Tri-Point Trail and stand in the states of Oregon, California, and Nevada at once. Three hundred five kilometers in the opposite direction, travelers, can dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean while standing on the borderline of Oregon and California.

This Pacific Northwest city has sunny and warm summer weather, while winters are cold and mostly overcast. Temperatures in the summer rarely surpass 30˚C with little rainfall. Annual highs usually stay above freezing, but lows will fall below 0˚C from late October to early November. December has the most rainfall, and El Niño brings over 60 millimeters of rain and over 160 millimeters of snowfall. As the rain and snow taper off, spring arrives with warmer temperatures and less precipitation. Klamath Falls holds the title in Oregon as the City of Sunshine, enjoying over 300 days of sunshine annually.

History Of Klamath Falls

The Oregon Bank Building in Klamath Falls, Oregon
The Oregon Bank Building in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Image Credit: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

The Klamath Tribes, also known as Mukluks and Numu, existed in the Klamath Basin of Oregon for several years. Their first encounter with outsiders was in 1826, when Peter S. Ogden, a fur trapper from the Hudson Bay Company, entered the Klamath Tribes' land. After years of disputes of missionaries, pioneers, and farmers making their way across the Oregon Trail caused the local tribes to leave their habitable land. The Treaty of 1864 pushed the indigenous tribes into the Reservation period. George Nurse of New York went to the west in search of a better future. The settlement was known initially as Linkville and established in 1867 as a sawmill town. In 1893, the name changed to Klamath Falls, but the incorporation of the City of Klamath Falls didn't happen until twelve years later. The Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in the town and increased the economy in 1909. The 1920s lumber industry was an extremely profitable decade, but the Great Depression halted production. 

Population And Economy Of Klamath Falls

According to the latest US Census, the seat of Klamath Falls County has 22,188 residents. The city has a population density of 2,867.9 per sq. km. Klamath Falls has a poverty rate of 23.2%, with an average household income of $55,990. Recent figures show that the median rent in the city is $766 per month, and the median home value is $180,900. Klamath Falls' unemployment rate is, on average, 8.3%, while there is just over 50% employment rate. More than half of the population has a higher education than a high school diploma. Health Care & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Manufacturing industries with the highest employment levels. And the highest-paid industries are Education, Construction, and Transportation services.

Attractions In Klamath Falls

Veterans Park in Klamath Falls, Oregon
Veterans Park in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Image Credit: Bobjgalindo via Wikimedia Commons

Crater Lake Trolley

The Crater Lake Trolley tour company offers annual excursions between June and September. A two-hour, 53-kilometer trolley tour takes tourists around the scenic Crater Lake. Each journey will take five to seven stops, allowing guests to take pictures and enjoy panoramic views. A well-educated guide is onboard that consistently gives out information about what they are passing or witnessing.

Klamath County Museum

Located on Main Street, visitors can enter the Klamath County Museum from Tuesdays to Saturdays. The museum provides dozens of exhibits about the history of the Upper Klamath River Basin and Klamath Falls. The displays reveal the region's biological, natural, and recent history. Sightseers may enjoy the outdoor exhibits and beautiful garden that showcases native plant species.

Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive 2579

The iconic Locomotive 2579 rests on the eastern edge of the lakefront Veterans Memorial Park. The locomotive is one of 350 steam locomotives, also known as Consolidations, operated from the early 1900s until the 1950s by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Over 21 meters long and 181 tonnes, passersby can stop and admire this antique machinery that shaped the history of the United States.

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