The Klamath Region


The Klamath Region

 The Klamath Region is a remote corner of Northern Calfornia and Southern Oregon and a little-known vacation spot. Officially designated a Wild and Scenic River, the Klamath River encompasses two nationally recognized scenic byways. Miles of rivers and creeks offer world-class white water river rafting and kayaking vacation opportunities, as well as crystal clear pools for swimming and fishing. Situated in one of the largest tracts of remaining wilderness in the lower 48, the region's four Wilderness areas (SiskiyouMarble Mountain,  Russian  and Trinity Alps) offer exceptional hiking. The Klamath Mountains are the cross roads of the West, where north meets south, the coastal range meets the interior Great Basin, and the Sierra Nevada meet the Cascades, creating a rich and unique region of endemic plants found nowhere else in the world.

“The Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of Northwest California is one of the most diverse temperate forest regions on earth.  To the locals, the ecoregion goes by many names: the Klamath Knot for it's rugged mountain ranges:  State of Jefferson, for a local secession movement popularized in 1941; and Bigfoot Country, for the reputed sightings and mythical connection this creature inspires in indigenous communities.  To biogeographers and conservationists, however, this area has many accolades, including designation as a World Conservation Union global center of plant diversity, a World Wildlife Fund Global 2000 ecoregion and proposed United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO) designation as a biosphere reserve”

-Dominick A. Dellasala, Ph.D

Listen to this 2 minute podcast by author Michael Kauffman that sums up why the Klamath Region is an ecological gem, produced by Sound Ecology of Arcata, CA.

The Redwood Coast

The North Coast of California has hidden coves, majestic Redwoods and miles of secluded beaches.  Voted number one in Lonely Planet's 2018 "Best in the U.S." destinations, the Redwood Coast offers hiking, beachcombing,  quirky culture and unparalleled scenery, with only one drawback: it's foggy and cold for most of the summer.  We're located just inland from the Redwood Coast, without the fog and crowds of the summer tourist season.  Our favorite and most direct route to the coast is over Bald Hills Rd., which connects to Redwood National Park, and one of our favorite stretches of the north coast, including Ladybird Johnson Grove, Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods and Gold Bluffs Beach.  The drive takes about 1 hour and forty five minutes, and winds through the beautiful grasslands of upper Redwood National Park, a seldom-visited corner where you're likely to spot elk, deer, bear and hawks.  The route includes an eight mile unpaved section which may be bumpy certain times of the year, but is kept in good condition, even for 2-wheel drive low clearance vehicles. 


Books to Read

The Klamath is a truly unique region and you can get a lot more from your trip if you do a bit of reading ahead of time. The Salmon River Outpost also has these titles for sale or else you can borrow them from our lending library at the Ranch. Here are a few of our favorite books:

The Klamath Knot The Klamath Knot, by David Raines Wallace. Named one of the twentieth century's best nonfiction books by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Klamath Knot is a personal vision of wilderness in the Klamath Mountains of northwest California and southwest Oregon, seen through the lens of "evolutionary mythology." Wallace uses his explorations of the diverse ecosystems in this region to ponder the role of evolution and myth in our culture.

Conifer Country - The Klamath Mountains have more conifer diversity than anywhere else in the world' hosting 35 different species.  Michael Kauffman tells the story of how this came to be in this wonderful combination field/ hiking guide.  The book starts with an explanation of what makes this part of the world so unique, it's peculiar mix of geology, topography, climate and history.  It then goes on to profile each of the 35 Klamath conifer species, and best of all, guides you to specific trails where you can see them.  Even better, you can access his website to download more detailed notes on each hike.  Highly recommended for the curious naturalist. 

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song , This story is told by Mary Ellicot Arnold and Mabel Reed of their visit to this region in 1908 has become a classic. Read this and you'll be impressed by how much this area has retained its wildness and unique character in the 100 years that have passed.

River of Renewal by Stephen Most Tells the story of the Klamath Basin, the history of farming in the upper basin as well as the Indian struggles for water and fishing rights and the tangled history of water allocation in the Klamath River.

Low Carbon Vacationing...

Here are a few things we're doing to help make your vacation more green and our business more ecologically friendly:

Recycling - We recycle everything possible, cans, bottles, paper, plastic etc.

Composting - Kitchen scraps and organic waste go to our compost pile to feed our organic gardens rather than going to the landfill.

Solar Power - We have a 4.5 KW solar photovoltaic array that generates virtually all electricity used by the cabins during the summer months. (Our electricity is regular 120V AC, same as any typical home).

Water Conservation - We conserve water by irrigating with drip irrigation systems on timers. By increasing efficiency and minimizing our use we help to conserve the water in our rivers that is so essential to our salmon and steelhead runs.

Evaporative Coolers - The evaporative coolers ("swamp coolers") that we use in our cabins consume about one third the electricity of air conditioners and use no Freon or other harmful greenhouse gases.

Natural Building - On the ranch you'll find examples of cordwood construction, cob, light straw clay and natural earth plasters, portraying non-toxic natural building techniques that use less energy, utilize local resources and are completely biodegradable.

Watershed Restoration - Owners Blythe Reis and Mark DuPont are founding members of the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council. As board members we take an active role in local watershed restoration and community development.

We just returned from our 2nd annual trip and we are already looking forward to next year, but we plan on staying for two weeks next time.  The setting is very relaxing and is a great escape from living in San Francisco.  –Ely, Tripadvisor


The Klamath Knot

refers to the complex melange of rock that underlies the Klamath Mountains, a result of the collision of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, which gives rise to the steep terrain of the region.   An ecological crossroads, the Klamath Mountain lie at the intersection of the Sierra Mountains to the south, the Cascades to the north, the Interior Great Basin to the east, and the coastal pacific to the west.   One of the most biologically diverse and complex temperate bioregions on the planet, it includes the coastal fog belt, hot interior canyons, and the most diverse conifer forests in the world.

Mid Klamath Watershed Council

The Klamath River and its tributaries, including the Salmon and Trinity Rivers, have some of the largest remaining wild salmon runs in the lower 48 States and hold the promise of significant ecological improvement through restoration programs.

We are proud to serve on both the staff and board of directors of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council.  Since 2001, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC) has been working to restore the threatened Klamath River in Northern California and the upslope habitats upon which the river depends.

MKWC is  part of the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership, a regional effort to protect communities and resources and restore fire to its ecological role in the Klamath Mountains. After years hard work, the effort starting to pay off, and the project is gaining recognition across the country as a model for fire adapted communities. For more info check out this excellent article by MKWC Director Will Harling..