Klamath River | California
The Klamath is 1 of only 7 areas of global biological significance on the continent.
The rugged mountain terrain, beautiful cascading waterfalls, many scenic hikes littered with history and abundant with wild life make this biodiverse temperate region the “Gallapagos of North America”.
The Klamath River winds its way from Crater Lake in the southern part of Oregon through Northern California to the Pacific Ocean. Home to the Karok, Modoc, Chinook and Yurak Indian Tribes for over 7,000 years. The Natives rely on the Klamath River for their abundant supply of fish and fresh drinking water. Chinook and coho salmon, steel head and coastal cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, green and white sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey still call the Lower Klamath River home. The numbers dwindled drastically due to river diversions during the Gold Rush from 1850 to 1851 and hundreds of miles of spawning habitat cut off by hydro-powered dams built between 1908 and 1962. However beginning in 2020 four of the dams will be removed making the Klamath River Restoration Project America’s most significant dam removal and river restoration effort to date.
Don’t forget to look up and take in the surroundings. Over 250 species of birds including the Blue Heron and Bald Eagle soar overhead while mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, cougar and black bear roam the rugged mountain ridges. This biodiverse temperate region is also home to over 3,500 plant species.
It may be the 3rd largest river after the Sacramento and Colombia but it will be number 1 in your heart. With year round kayaking and rafting from splashy Class II to thrilling Class V whitewater the Klamath is a remote hidden gem you will never forget.