Kayakers, canoeists, & SUPers could spend a lifetime exploring 15,000 acres of waterways, but we need your help. Summer 2020 has seen a crisis on our waterways just south of Crater Lake, with alarming increases in careless resource damage, trash and human waste, and lack of respect for private lands. PLEASE recreate responsibly, so these special places stay open for public use.
Wow…mountain and marsh views, wildlife, and enforced speed limits that protect wildlife and those using non- motorized crafts! Nearly 350 species of birds nest here or migrate through. Otter, mink, and beaver emerge along the sheltered marsh channels that follow ancient Indian travel routes.
On and near the Upper Klamath Lake Canoe Trail
The Canoe Trail
Put in and take out: Malone Springs and/or Rocky Point boat launch.
9.5 miles one way, 3+ hours OW or 5+ hours RT. Afternoon winds will dictate the best direction for a OW paddle and make round trip very difficult.
Features: Miles of easy trails through tules and wocus, with water and shore birds, and mountain views. Maps are posted at the 2 main entry points, Malone Springs and the Rocky Point Launch, or pick up the Canoe Trail map/brochure at Rocky Point Resort, Harriman Springs Resort, or CrystalWood Lodge.
North from Malone Springs
Put in, take out & paddle time: Malone Springs
Continue north from the Canoe Trail toward Crystal Springs/Crystal Creek Mountain Lodge and back. 3 miles, 2-3 hours round trip.
Features: Peaceful and more remote, with fewer visitors and only the occasional shoreline home.
South of Rocky Point Boat Launch
Put in, take out, & paddle time: Rocky Point Boat Launch. Follow the shoreline 1/2 mile and take Harriman Creek where it enters from the right. Continue almost 1/2 mile to springs bubbling out of the rocky shoreline in front of Harriman Springs Resort. 1 mile, 1-2 hours round trip.
Features: Dark brown colonial algae grow in the crystal clear water and big trout glide by.
Put in, take out & paddle time: Head south on Rocky Point Road toward Hwy 140, continue straight on gravel when the paved road takes a sharp right to the Hwy. In a few yards, take the only left and go less than 1/4 mile to public parking and easy launch. 1-2 hrs.
Features: An old mile-long channel to the lake for floating logs. Very shady and peaceful with spectacular views of Mt. McLoughlin and lots of bird life.
Put in, take out & paddle time: Odessa Campground, Hwy 140 West, onto USFS Rd 3639. 0.5 hrs – 2 hours.
Features: Abundant water and shore birds with few other paddlers along the shady creek which exits into Upper Klamath Lake. Large steamboats made Sunday excursions from Klamath Falls to Odessa in the early 1900s, tying up nearby.
North and East Sides of Upper Klamath Lake
Lower Wood River to Agency Lake
Put in: Petric Park Take out: Wood River Wetlands, Agency Lake Resort or Henzel Park, 2-3 hours total OW.
Features: It’s 1/4 gentle mile to Wood River Wetlands boat launch with 2 more miles along the lake’s shoreline to Agency Lake Resort (launch fee) and 2 more miles to Henzel Park. The lake section is best done when there’s minimal wind. Nearby fields support a large variety of water and shore birds at the mouth of the Wood River. Panoramic views of the peaks surrounding Crater Lake, Pelican Butte, two wilderness areas, and even the glimmering peak of Mt. Shasta. Be aware of the Wood River’s strong current which makes any upstream paddling challenging.
Put in: Collier State Park Day Use Area. Carry your kayak and gear from parking area to unimproved launch area. NOTE: Sept 2020, wildfire damaged some of the upper route, so check with Collier State Park on what is open and what is not.
Take out: Sportsman’s River Retreat (launch fee)
Paddle time: 3.5 – 4.5 hrs for 9 mile down-stream drift.
Features: The river flows through pine forests with willow-covered shorelines, and abundant wildlife. Route can be divided into smaller segments, stopping at Waterwheel RV Park & Campground (launch fee), and then onto Sportsman’s River Retreat (launch fee).
Hwy 140 toward Klamath Falls
Put in, take out & paddle time: Eagle Ridge County Park, Hwy 140. 0.5 – 2 hrs.
Features: Open lake views and marshy shoreline with birds and wildlife.
Tips and Advice for Paddlers
There’s less wind in the morning when wildlife and birds are the most active. Windy afternoons are common and make paddling difficult.
Many of these routes are through and/or next to private land. NEVER land, launch, or park on private land without prior permission.
PLEASE be a steward and protect the water and land. NEVER leave anything (human waste, litter, sun screen, etc.) in or next to a waterway. ALWAYS inspect your watercraft before launching, and remove and take with you any algae, etc. ALWAYS park in designated areas and launch from designated launches, carry your watercraft and gear, and don’t drag anything to the launch site. ALWAYS use a litter bag on board, so individual items can’t blow out of your watercraft. ALWAYS clean and dry your watercraft after take-out.
Canoes are included with room rent at Dearing Cabin, Crater Lake Resort, and Lonesome Duck while Rocky Point Resort, Agency Lake Resort, Fish Lake Resort, and Lake of the Woods Resort rent canoes, kayaks, and/or boats to day visitors and guests. ROE! Real Oregon Experience near Rocky Point offers kayak tours and rents kayaks and SUPs and will deliver. Sky Lakes Wilderness Adventures in Chiloquin rents single and double kayaks, SUPs, mountain bikes, and offers guided paddles.
Shuttle service can be pre-arranged at Agency Lake Resort, Sportsman’s River Retreat, Waterwheel RV Park & Campground and Sky Lakes Wilderness Adventures. Some resorts charge for launch & take-out.
Click here for maps of 3 of the above featured routes. Check our Be Prepared page for some safety tips.