There is probably no more important waterfowl area in the country than these refuges in the Upper Klamath Basin… (the refuges “act like a waist in the hourglass’ (so) “all the birds inn the Pacific Flyway funnel their way through this area in their annual migrations.” Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, 1962
Overview and quick history of the landscape, wildlife and people that make the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges what it is, a natural wonder of diversity.
The Klamath Basin National Wildlife Complex is made of six refuges: Lower Klamath, Tule Lake, Clear Lake, Upper Klamath, Klamath Marsh and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges. These are wonderful places for all. Over 490 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish have been found in the Upper Klamath Basin.
Managing natural resources in the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Complex.
A Year in the LIfe of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges. The six refuges span the Upper Klamath Basin from Klamath Marsh, east of Crater Lake National Park, to Tule Lake and Lower Klamath, north of the Lava Beds National Monument.
Man and wildlife coexist in a controlled natural environment.
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is located some 24 miles north of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Crater Lake National Park lies approximately 20 miles north of the refuge. The refuge is on the northwestern side of Upper Klamath Lake. Point Comfort Lodge looks across Pelican Bay at refuge marshlands.
Between mountain forest, creeks and lake.
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, now comprising 14,966 acres of swamp and open water, was established in 1928. At an elevation of slightly above 4,000 feet, it lies in the shadow of the forested east base of of the Cascade Mountains and is watered by mountain streams and deep, clear springs.
There is much to do and much to see.
Popular recreation activities on Upper Klamath national Wildlife Refuge include fishing, wildlife obsevation, canoeing, photography, birding, boating and waterfowl hunting.
The Pacific Flyway stops off at Point Comfort Lodge
In summer, mallards, pintails, cinnamon teal, Virginia rails, American bitterns, wood ducks, grebes, and many other birds congregate here. On the marsh is a rookery with double-crested cormorants, blue herons, black-crowned night herons, white pelicans, grebes and common egrets.
Canoe trail through paradise found
The Refuge cooperates with the Forest Service to sign and maintain a two loop canoe trail through the Klamath Marsh. About two-thirds of the 8.5 mile canoe trail route is on Refuge waters, with the balanceon Forest Service property.
Forest & Flowers in a majestic landscape
Aspen, white fir, red fir, Douglas fir, and Ponderosa dominate steep slopes
that come down to the spring waters. On open slopes pentstemons, asters,
paintbrushes, blue lupines, and other flowering plants add dramatic color
to the landscape.
A Bald Eagle nest along Recreation Creek
Several bald eagles live year-round in trees near the refuge. Bald eagles rest in trees at Point Comfort as they go from their nests to hunting and back. At times adolescent bald eagles who have been kicked out of their nests take comfort at Point Comfort Lodge.
Step Back In Time
In the early 1900’s Rocky Point Resort along with Harriman Springs and Point Comfort, was the gateway for travelers going to Crater Lake. Eating a fine meal on the resort’s outdoor dining area, overlooking the marsh, is time well spent.
Abundant diversity, textures, sounds and light
The season roll on through the marshes and open waters of Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. The star filled skies are celestial poetry in motion, here the Milky Way shimmers in volume and brightness. On the ground the rhythms of survival and regeneration run their course. Listen to the marsh songs and a bald eagle diving at a fish.
Water, Marsh & Land
This view from Pelican Butte looks down on Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, Upper Klamath Lake and Pelican Bay’s mouth. Pelican Butte is a snow mobile destination in the winter. In the summer it is the big view of a remarkable land – north, east, south and west.
It is easy to see why here was called America’s Switzerland
Mt. McLoughlin, 9,495 ft., provides an enchanting backdrop for resting sea gulls. Not that long ago steamboats came up this bay with passengers and cargo.
We can all be one with an amazing world
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is unique among the six Basin refuges for its vast tule marsh, drowned stream channels outlined with willow-lined banks rising above impounded waters, and coniferous forests on steep mountain slopes along it’s western boundary.
©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.