5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
The Klamath River rises in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon, and flows about 263 miles (423 km) southwest through northern California, cutting through the southern Cascade Range to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The river drains an extensive watershed of over 15,000 square miles that stretches from the high desert country of the Great Basin to the temperate rainforest of the Pacific coast. It is known for its basin's peculiar geography—most of its upper basin is developed, but the lower remains wild—and has been called "a river upside down" by the National Geographic Society.
Upper Klamath Lake, filling a broad valley at the foot of the eastern slope of the southern High Cascades, is considered the birthplace of the Klamath River. Its headstreams, however, begin over 100 miles (160 km) away—as far as Crater Lake and the Oregon-Nevada border. The first 1-mile (1.6 km) stretch of the Klamath River is known as the Link River. Not long after, however, the river is impounded in a 18-mile (29 km)-long reservoir near Klamath Falls, Lake Ewauna, where it receives the Lost River and passes the nearly-dry bed of Lower Klamath Lake. Even after it flows out of this reservoir, it drops through a series of three more artificial lakes before it crosses the Oregon-California state border and turns south near the town of Hornbrook towards the direction of Mount Shasta. However, the river soon swings west to receive the Shasta River and Scott River, cutting deep into the head of its canyon through the Klamath Mountains.
The route through the High and Western Cascades and the Klamath Mountains constitutes the majority of the river's course and takes it from the arid high desert climate of its upper watershed into a temperate rainforest nourished by Pacific rains. From the Scott River confluence, the river generally runs west along the south side of the Siskiyou Mountains until it takes a sharp southward turn near the town of Happy Camp. There, it flows southwest over whitewater rapids into the Klamath National Forest, receiving the Salmon River, and passing the unincorporated community of Orleans. At Weitchpec the river reaches the southernmost point in its entire course and veers sharply northwards as it receives the Trinity River. The Trinity River confluence also marks the point where the current of the Klamath slows down dramatically. For the remainder of its course, it flows generally northwest through the Hoopa Valley and Yurok Indian Reservations, passing the town of Klamath and flowing out to sea 16 miles (26 km) south of Crescent City.
The river is considered a prime habitat for Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, steelhead trout, and rainbow trout.