Welcome to Klamath

You will find Klamath County situated squarely at the intersection of extremes. While it is technically classified as high desert, its location in a waterway convergence point ensures that residents of Oregon’s City of Sunshine are surrounded with plenty of opportunities to go play in the water. It is a land of mountains, forests, wetlands, lakes, and rivers. At a total area of 16,400 square miles, the Klamath Basin is larger than nine of the fifty states. Klamath stands as a gateway to the most passable route through the aptly named Cascade Mountains that tower above it, and grants access to the awesome volcanic legacy of the peaks that loom around for the curious adventurer. The Klamath area includes a half-dozen stratovolcanoes to be explored including world-famous Crater Lake, the craggy sky- gouging spire called Mt. Thielsen, and the cloud-capped hiker’s dream, Mt. McLoughlin.
With this striking convergence of water and sky, it is fitting that Klamath is also positioned in the center of the Pacific Flyway, the largest migratory bird highway in the western hemisphere. This coupled with an abundance of marshlands, waterways, and lakes (including the largest lake in Oregon) makes Klamath a renowned bird observation area. Around 80% of the Pacific Flyway migrants make a pit-stop on their long journey from north to south, a route for some that stretch from the Northern Arctic to South America.
Residents are able to make day trips to see great ecological diversity; ranging from vast twisted lava landscapes to giant redwood forests; from the mighty Pacific Ocean to the looming Mt. Shasta; from sand-dune deserts to old-growth rainforests, and everything in-between
Ecologically, Klamath is located squarely on the intersection line of the northern Great Basin Desert (the largest desert in the United States) and towering peaks that cast their rain shadow across the arid land. This creates the uniquely pleasant condition of being able to see at a distance the lushly watered forests (or in-person in a 45-minute drive), enjoy the semi-arid climate that blankets the city for much of the year, or enjoy the sweeping desert landscapes that begin on the eastside of Klamath. Residents are able to make day trips to see great ecological diversity; ranging from vast twisted lava landscapes to giant redwood forests; from the mighty Pacific Ocean to the looming Mt. Shasta; from sand-dune deserts to old-growth rainforests, and everything in-between.


 For those who enjoy the refreshing change that comes with seasonal transitions, Klamath delivers. Just when the winter cold is beginning to lose its charm; a wet, green spring comes to transform the hillsides into emerald mountain meadows teaming with wildflowers. Just when April showers are leaving you feeling soggy, the summer sun comes to dry off the landscape; and just when things begin to get too dry, a cool moist fall comes filling the air with fragrance of sage and juniper. Directly in between tropic and arctic, Klamath’s temperate climate is fairly mild no matter what season, and at 4,000 ft. elevation, even the arid high desert summers don’t leave residents feeling scorched.


 Klamath is a city with the heart of a small town. Here you can laugh with the kids competing in the fair’s greased pig contest in the morning, and by evening time enjoy a taste of high culture at one of the multiple theaters for stage or screen. There is a unique blend of roughneck sophistication found here. It is not one marked by cliques and factions as one might first guess, rather it is a tight-knit community that holds together in times of adversity. One can really feel this cohesion of diversity at any of the ongoing community events like Saturday Market, Winter Wings Festival, Third Thursdays, Rodeos, County Fair, Kinetic Sculpture Races, Triathlons, Yacht Regatta’s – the list goes on-and-on; and through it all, a spirit of unity prevails.


Klamath is a vital supply depot to much of the rural and wild stretches of south-central Oregon and northern California, and still maintains much of that pioneer spirit that “won the west.” Klamath’s economy is invigorated by agricultural and forest product industries, and is a hub for a variety of outlying farming communities that are a breath of fresh air for those looking for a taste of the wild west for the day, or perhaps a more permanent residence; including Bonanza, Malin, Chiloquin, and a half-dozen others within a 30-45 minute drive. In addition to legacy citizens, descended from the agricultural, industrial, and timber workers who settled the area, Klamath attracts a vibrant combination of people from rural stretches of the western wilderness looking for the amenities that city life can provide, retirees who enjoy the mild-yet-varied climate, and those migrating out of the population centers to the south. Prospective residents are typically surprised at how much leverage their urban dollars have in this smaller scale community, frequently being able to triple or quadruple their equivalent value residences, for example. 

Quick Commutes

More people than ever are leaving the large cities of California to escape a life of freeways and traffic, pollution, and burdensome living expenses and taxes to enjoy a more relaxed pace that the rural essence of Klamath provides. It is a place where one local lamented his worst experience of traffic was, “that time I had to wait through a red light twice.” Even though many such sojourners have found their home in Klamath, it has still managed to avoid the urban sprawl that has affected similar communities to the north and west. Yet situated directly in between San Francisco and Portland, Klamath grants feasibility for a day trip to two major metropolitan areas; but the five-hour commute ensures that metro-challenges are far removed from Klamath residents. Being Oregon’s “City of Sunshine” means that Klamath County residents enjoy nearly 300 days of sunshine annually with seemingly endless options of outdoor recreation and civic activities this means that residents spend far more time experiencing life and far less time commuting there. 

Enjoy your Golden Years

 An increasing number of retirees are turning to the Klamath Basin, either for summer residences to escape more restrictive summer climates found in the southern regions of the country; or as permanent, year-round solutions. Klamath’s temperate climate, pleasantly defined seasons, lack of traffic, clean air and water, and the vital community spirit are becoming more and more attractive to those looking for a change as they approach their golden years.

Beautiful Klamath County Oregon

Freedom to Conduct Your Business 

Business owners who relocate to Klamath County are finding it an entrepreneur’s dream with lower costs, greater incentives, lower operating costs, and a well-educated workforce. The small-town spirit of Klamath also comes with the advantages of fewer government red-tape and permitting roadblocks. 

The Academy Without Academia

 Four noteworthy systems of higher education also hold a presence in Klamath – most notably Oregon Institute of Technology, whose main campus is located near the Sky Lakes Medical Center complex, and Klamath Community College, as well as extensions of Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University. Klamath is a college town, however, there is a rural tempering that prevents the party atmosphere that so dominates many college towns’ from prevailing. 

A Brewer’s Lineage 

The pioneer spirit that invigorates the community has found an outlet here in the microbrewing industry. Klamath Falls’ brewing roots began to form nearly 25 years ago, when much of what is now microbrew-dominated west was still sipping domestics. In 1995 locally owned and operated Mia & Pia’s Pizzeria began creating hand-crafted beer, and the local brew industry has flourished since, offering residents and travelers a wide range of brews and breweries from which to choose.