A Guide to Local Wildlife Around Klamath Falls, Oregon

A Guide to Local Wildlife Around Klamath Falls, Oregon

Wildlife enthusiasts love to visit Klamath Falls, Oregon, for its abundance of local wildlife. The Klamath Basin straddles the Oregon-California border near the Cascade Mountain Range, making the area a crossroads for several diverse habitats. Wetlands, lakes and rainforests converge to create one of the most biodiverse regions in North America. 

If you are hiking, fishing or camping near Klamath Falls, you are bound to run into wildlife native to Oregon. Discover some of the most prevalent species in Klamath Falls.


Over 350 bird species call Klamath County home, making the area one of the best bird-watching locales in the U.S. Klamath County is also one of the largest bird migration stopovers in the western half of the U.S. thanks to the region's many biodiverse habitats. During the fall and winter, bird watchers flock from far and wide to watch one of the nation's largest American bald eagle congregations nest in the Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge. 

Apart from spotting breathtaking views of roosting American bald eagles, bird watchers might also see:

  • Mountain quail: The mountain quail is a petite, ground-dwelling bird from the New World quail family. As the largest native North American quail, you can easily spot it for its white flanking and vertical head plumes.
  • Black-backed woodpecker: The black-backed woodpecker is a rare, medium-sized woodpecker with a distinct white cheek stripe and black-barred flanks. 
  • Dancing grebes: Grebes are diving, freshwater aquatic birds with wide-lobed toes. These beautiful birds perform ritualized dances to court their mates, which is why they are often referred to as “dancing” grebes.


Klamath County sits within the wooded Cascade Range Mountains, so hikers, bikers or fishers might spot any number of native mammals, including:

  • Mule deer: The mule deer is an indigenous western North American deer, and its large, mule-like ears make it easy to spot.
  • Rocky Mountain elk: The Rocky Mountain elk is a native subspecies of elk. Herds of these stunning creatures migrate through Klamath Falls each fall, providing ample opportunity for captivating wildlife snapshots.
  • Wolves: Oregon wolves are part of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population, often averaging an impressive 100 pounds.
  • Black bear: The American black bear is native to North America. These medium-sized bears prefer forested areas, though they might occasionally forage for food in non-forested areas. 


Klamath County is home to a small portion of the Deschutes River and the Klamath Falls River. The area boasts several freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. Naturally, this region offers the best fishing spots in Oregon, especially during the fall. Freshwater anglers might wrangle trophy-worthy sizes of any of the following fish in Klamath County:

  • Rainbow trout: Anglers often catch freshwater rainbow trout larger than steelheads within the Klamath Falls River, particularly between Keno Dam and J.C. Boyle Reservoir. 
  • Largemouth bass: Schools of largemouth bass tend to congregate in the Sprague River Valley and Willow Valley Reservoirs and bite best during the summertime.
  • Crappie: Lost River, located southeast of Klamath Falls, is often fished for its schools of warm water fish, including crappie, bass, bullhead catfish and yellow perch.

Book a Stay at Klamath Falls KOA Journey Today

Whether you are keeping your eyes peeled for a breathtaking convocation of eagles or hope to spy a herd of mule deer, Oregon's local wildlife won't disappoint. Enjoy easy access to Klamath County's local wildlife-watching spots by camping nearby at Klamath Falls KOA Journey! The whole family can explore the region's biodiverse landscape during the day and rest at this pet and family-friendly campground at night. Klamath Falls KOA Journey boasts several amenities that will make your trip fun and comfortable, including a KampK9® dog park, pool, Wi-Fi and laundry facilities.

Reserve your campsite at Klamath Falls KOA Journey today!

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