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Watchable Wildlife

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Welcome to Klamath, Lake, Modoc, Siskiyou Country, one of America's richest havens for wildlife, where seven national wildlife refuges, three state wildlife areas and thousands of acres of private farmlands provide habitat for a rich variety of waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, big game, small mammals and aquatic life.

Take an early morning drive on an auto tour route through Lower Klamath or Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges, and listen to the raucous sounds of millions of birds feeding, building nests, or perhaps gaining strength during a rest on their migration.  An estimated 80 percent of the waterfowl in the Pacific flyway pay a visit to the Klamath Basin sometime during the year.  The Klamath Basin Refuges are a fee demo program.  100% of the fees go back into the refuges.

Bald eagles gather by the hundreds in the Klamath Basin each winter.  Klamath Falls hosts an annual Bald Eagle Conference in February, providing a forum for professional wildlife managers and serious bird enthusiasts.  Forested lands north and west of Klamath Falls produce one of Oregon's most productive eagle nesting areas.

Pronghorn, mule deer and elk are all present in Klamath, Lake and Modoc Country, though elk and pronghorn are usually harder to find than birds.  Inside this brochure are some hints on where to look for antelope, pronghorn, elk and deer, as well as many other forms of wildlife.

Places to Go

Location Map: Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center.

1. Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges - visitor center

From Tulelake, CA, W 5 mi. on East-West Road, south 1/2 mi. on Hill Road.
Open every day all year. The place to start for getting an overview of wildlife in the Klamath Basin. Wildlife exhibits, films, viewing tips, occasional guided tours. Visitor centers open daily including weekends.
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (530) 667-2231

2. Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuges

Location Map: Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuges.

Auto tour routes begin at refuge visitor center and along Hwy. 161 (Stateline Road).
Refuges open during daylight hours all year. Best bird viewing in the Klamath Basin. Eagles and other raptors abundant, especially in winter. Migratory waterfowl by the millions. Also big game, grebes, shorebirds, cranes, swans, pelicans.
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (530) 667-2231.
Fee demo program, all fees invested back into refuges.

Location Map: Lava Beds National Monument.

3. Lava Beds National Monument

From Tulelake, CA, W 5 mi. on East-West Road, S 9.5 mi. on Hill Road to Monument, S 9.5 mi. to Visitor Center.
Deer and pronghorn antelope wintering area. Songbirds typical of sagebrush habitat, including mountain bluebird, plain titmouse, towhees and Townsend's solitaire.
Visitor Center open daily including weekends.
Information: Lava Beds National Monument - (530) 667-8101

Location Map: Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

4. Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge

From Tulelake,CA, 15 mi. S on Hwy. 139 to Forest Service Rd. 136, then 10 mi. E along south boundary of refuge.
Sage and juniper rangeland provides best place to see pronghorn and some deer. Use binoculars to spot white pelicans on remote nesting island in this refuge that is closed to access by general public.
Information: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (530) 667-2231.

Location Map: Butte Valley Wildlife Area.

5. Butte Valley Wildlife Area

On Hwy. 97 just S of Macdoel, California. Look for MeissLake Road W.
Stopping point for migratory waterfowl, summering area for shorebirds,hunting grounds for dozens of raptors. Look for uncommon Swainson'shawk, pronghorn throughout Butte Valley.
Information: Butte Valley Wildlife Area, (530) 398-4627

Location Map: Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Township Road.

6. Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Township Road

From Klamath Falls, Oregon, S 13 mi. to Worden. Take first right pastWorden, left immediately past railroad tracks on gravel road for 1 mi. to eagle viewing area. Township Road runs east from just south of Worden.
Daily eagle flyout from roost sites in Bear Valley during winter months. Eagles, in winter, and other raptors perch along Township road through-out year.
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (530) 667-2231

Location Map: Klamath Wildlife Area.

7. Klamath Wildlife Area

From Klamath Falls, OR, S 6 mi. to Miller Island Road, W 1 mi. to state wildlife area headquarters.
Shortest drive from Klamath Falls to see abundant waterfowl, including Ross' geese in March and April. Also herons, egrets,cranes, gulls, terns. Vegetation planted by game officials attract songbirds. Self-guided tours.
Information: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife(541) 882-5732.

Location Map: Moore Park, Link River Trail, and Lake Ewauna.

8. Moore Park, Link River Trail, and Lake Ewauna

Take Oregon Ave. exit from Hwy. 97, follow signs to Moore Park. Look for trail on west side of Link River.
Excellent birding opportunities in heart of Klamath Falls. One-mile, easy trail along river provides views of grebes, diving ducks, cormorants. Songbirds thrive on berries and fruit trees along trail. Deer spotted here often.
Information: Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, (541) 884-5193.

Location Map: Upper Klamath Wildlife Refuge.

9. Upper Klamath Wildlife Refuge

From Klamath Falls, OR, 28 mi. W on Hwy.140 to Rocky Point Rd. At boat launch continue north on Westside Rd.
One of Klamath County's most scenic roads provides an overview of refuge. Prime eagle nesting area. Canoe trails. Follow hiking trails west of road into elk habitat.This route is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, an "All American Road."
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,(530) 667-2231 and Winema National Forest (541) 883-6714

Location Map: Lake of the Woods.

10. Lake of the Woods

Hwy. 140 at milepost 36, or 35 mi.W of Klamath Falls, OR.
Beautiful old-growth timber surrounding the lake supports mountain species such as gray jays, nuthatches and crossbills. Ospreys and eagles often seen at lake. Trails into Mountain Lakes Wilderness provide opportunities to see elk.
Information: Klamath Ranger District, (541) 885-3400.

Location Map: Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

11. Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

From Klamath Falls, OR, 48 mi. N on Hwy. 97, E 7 mi. on Silver Lake Road to refuge boundary. Continue on to headquarters.
Forest Service Rd. 690 on refuge's east side leads to observation points above Wocus Bay. A new recreational trail traces refuge's east boundary, and is a great cross-country ski trail.
Visitor Center open daylight hours year round.
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (541) 783-3380.

Location Map: Modoc National Wildlife Refuge.

12. Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

From Alturas, CA, E 1 mi. on County Rd. 56.
This refuge, established in 1960, supports sandhill cranes, waterfowl and raptors, including eagles. Auto tour route leads past lakes. Visit Modoc County Museum in Alturas for local history. Refuge Headquarters for further tour information.
Information: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (530) 233-3572.

Location Map: Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

13. Summer Lake Wildlife Area

1 mi. S of the town of Summer Lake, OR on Hwy. 31.
An auto tour through wetland areas provides opportunities to view waterfowl including trumpeter swans, raptors, shore-birds, and sandhill cranes. Other marsh species are also present.
Information: Summer Lake Wildlife Area, (541) 943-3152.

Location Map: Warner Wetlands.

14. Warner Wetlands

From Lakeview, OR travel 5 mi. N on Hwy. 395, 15.5 mi. E on Hwy.140 E, County Rd. 3-13 travels to Plush, OR, from Plush travel 8 mi. on County Rd. 3-12 to wetlands.
The cyclic flooding and drying of the lakes creates a complex and constantly changing habitat for plants and wildlife. Spring and fall migrations bring hundreds of thousands of birds through Warner Valley, such as cranes, herons,egrets, ducks, and swans.
Information: Bureau of Land Management, Lakeview District,(541) 947-2177.

Bonus Points

Here are some suggestions for those who want to get a closer look at the Klamath, Lake and Modoc country's wildlife.  These activities may require extra effort or patience, but the reward is usually a wildlife viewing experience that few people will ever know.

More Opportunities