Simply Amazing Road Trip

Road Trip to Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon

Don’t overthink it, just go! Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin is a hidden gem just 15 miles north of the California border. There’s no sales tax (bonus!) and the entire area is home to some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, plus plenty of options for food + drinks and lodging.

🌲 Lake of the Woods

Cabins, camping, and onsite food are just the start at Lake of the Woods Resort. Nearby hiking and biking trails, such as Brown Mountain Trail, offer stunning views that will leave you in wonder. Just five minutes down the road is the insanely popular Crater Lake Zipline and Canopy Tour, fun for the whole family. Ten minutes further is Rocky Point, where you can visit Rocky Point Resort or Harriman’s Lodge, both offering recreational activities on Upper Klamath Lake.

Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

💙 How Do You Blue?

Oregon’s only national park is home to the deepest lake in the country and seventh deepest in the world. It’s also the clearest lake on the planet. Crater Lake’s sapphire blue water can be seen from all 36 pullouts along Rim Drive, but for a blockbuster view, hike the 3.2-mile (round-trip) trail to Watchman Peak, the second-highest point in the park.

Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

🛶 You, In a Canoe

The Upper Klamath Canoe Trail is a 9.5-mile water trail that you can do all of, or small sections of, during an afternoon paddle. The terrain varies depending on the section but includes freshwater marshes, open water, and forest—all offering eye-popping viewscapes. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for river otters and bald eagles.

Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

🚵🏽‍♂️ Time Well Spence

Southern Oregon’s newest mountain bike trail system was designed and built by those who know best: mountain bikers! Head to Spence Mountain, just 15 miles outside downtown Klamath Falls, and take full advantage of outstanding terrain and lakeside views. Head back towards Klamath Falls about ten minutes and visit the Running Y Ranch Resort, where a variety of cold beverages, eateries, and lodging options await.

Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

⛰ Mount McLoughlin

Bag the highest peak in Southern Oregon! Mount McLoughlin rises 9,495 feet, and the peak is reachable via the challenging 10-mile (round-trip) Mount McLoughlin Summit Trail. This is a popular hike and requires commonsense skills. Summer and early fall are typically good times to do it; be aware that sections of trail can be hard to follow, so due diligence in planning is wise. The reward: wowing views of Southern Oregon and Northern California, from Mount Thielsen to Mount Shasta, and Crater Lake.

Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

Know Before You Go

Please be sure to learn about and follow local Klamath County health guidelines. Plan ahead: Have and wear masks where required, and maintain social distance as a courtesy to others while protecting yourself and your loved ones. Enjoy your trip! A little planning, a little patience, and you’re going to have a lot of fun! Here's info on Southern Oregon's health guidelines and updates.

Directions and Lodging: To get to the Klamath Basin, exit I-5 in Northern California at the Weed exit, heading north on Highway 97 into Klamath Falls, Oregon, which is about 15 miles north of the California/Oregon border.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

  2. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

  3. Kirby Your Enthusiasm

    Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most-accessible secluded beaches. Kirby Cove is accessed by hiking or biking a 1-mile fire road down to the beach, where the reward is an all-time classic Golden Gate view.

  4. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Adventure for your earbuds. What's new in the world of the outdoors? Listen to Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss local hikes, beaches, bike rides, camping spots and all kinds of travel and adventure in California and beyond!

  2. Secret Trail at Torrey Pines

    Find cliff climbs, sandy strolls, and secret hikes throughout “America’s finest sandy stretch" at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego County.

  3. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

  4. Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park is the southernmost point in California as well as one of the last beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the state. Visit this natural refuge for a 4.5-mile hike featuring important history and wildlife habitats, plus stunning SoCal beach scenery.