Klamath River Overview

Rafting: Klamath River, Oregon
The lower sections of the Klamath River promise scenic beach campsites, whitewater rafting, and inflatable kayaking in warm, gentle water. (courtesy, O.A.R.S.)
Klamath River at a Glance
Price: $$
River Rapid Class: Upper: IV-V; Lower: II-III
Trip in Miles: Upper: 17; Lower: 35 or less
Trip Duration: Upper: 1 to 2 Days; Lower: 1 to 5 Days
Season: Upper: May-September; Lower: April-October
Raft Types: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayak
River Sections: Upper: Hell's Corner Gorge; Lower: Happy Camp to Ti Bar
Nearby Towns: Klamath Falls, OR
Gateway City: Klamath Falls, OR
Driving Times: Medford, OR: 1 to 2 hours, depending on section
The Klamath runs free for 187 miles from below Iron Gate Dam in lush northern California near the Oregon border. It's not very far from the Rogue River, but it offers a much wilder ride. More than one thousand rapids rampage along those almost 200 miles. Most boaters bite off a piece of that. Ishi Pishi Falls is a portage-or-die barrier. Most trips either end above the falls or begin below them. Eric Grathwol, a guide who works for OARS, a travel outfitter that runs trips down the river, says, "The upper stretch is very challenging Class IV, recommended for very aggressive first timers or people with prior rafting experience. We're talking heart-stopping rapids. The Lower is mostly Class II and III. It has nice scenery and lots of wildlife. One of our guides lead 12 trips one summer, and saw black bear on all of them except one."

Published: 27 Apr 2011 | Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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