Klamath River rafting is ideal for all levels of expertise. Flowing through both the forests of the Cascades and high desert country, the Klamath River consists of two parts: the Upper in Oregon and the Lower in California. Along any chosen route, paddlers are guaranteed to see verdant foliage, rock formations, and abundant wildlife that line the shores. While adventurers can visit the waterway any time and often go Klamath white water rafting throughout the year, there are times when rafting is unadvisable because the water levels in the river have dropped.
Lower Klamath River rafting is a popular option for California whitewater rafting, and it has the potential for adventure for just about every level of expertise, with Class I, Class II, and Class III options, and even on stretch of rapids designated as Class IV. Many rafters begin their trips at or just downstream from Happy Camp, a charming and friendly town with a unique community that skirts the river, and then continue down the river as far as their expertise level will take them, making stops along the shoreline for a picnic lunch or just to snap a few pictures of the scenery.
The last take-out point for Klamath rafting California is at Green Riffle, which is just before Ishi Pishi Falls, an impossibly steep drop of a waterfall ranking a Class VI on the rapids chart. Dragon’s Tooth, which is a Class IV stretch, has a serious set of rapids that can easily become dangerous for the inexperienced, so rafters planning on taking this one should consider taking a guide who knows the terrain and the many boulders strewn about in the water. Researching the location of rapids, class levels along the river, and the various starting and finishing points for rafting trips will help paddlers ensure themselves of an enjoyable and safe Klamath River rafting experience.
A Klamath white water rafting trip can last up to six days, depending on how far along the river you choose to travel. While the most abundantly used run of the river begins at Happy Camp and ends at Green Riffle, rafters can choose from any number of sites up or down river from Happy Camp. Paddlers are encouraged to stop along the river for hiking expeditions and camping; there is, however, one area which is sacred to the local Karok Indians, just beyond Clear Creek, a beautiful dash through a scenic ravine, and it is requested that visitors refrain from exploring this area. Beyond Dragon’s Tooth, Ukonom Creek presents a pleasant hike up to the Ukonom Falls, where rafters can splash about in the water and cool down during the warmer months; during the autumn and winter, while viewing the waterfall is breathtaking, taking a dip in the icy waters can take the breath away.
Generally, Klamath rafting California can be done all year, but inconsistencies in weather patterns can disrupt the flow of water, rendering it unadvisable to navigate the rapids during certain periods, which is usually from October to May. However and whenever paddlers choose to take on Klamath River rafting, an enjoyable and exciting encounter with the river and surrounding natural setting is sure to leave everyone with fond memories for years to come.
Image: crmgucd (flickr)