The drive from Tahoe to Crater Lake is a long-ish and kind of barren one. When I say barren, I don’t mean you’re driving though a desert, but that there’s not really a lot between them. Top tip: have a packed lunch or a good amount of snacks with you, there’s pretty much nothing in the route and we were HUNGRY by the time we got to Klamath Falls
Oddly, no falls here 😂. We set up camp at the KOA campgrounds here, this is NOT something I’d recommend. There are bugs everywhere. Seriously! They don’t bite you, but they get into everything. I was pretty close to just leaving, but wanted to see Crater Lake, which Al had picked for us to do while we were here.
On the recommendation of the teenagers working at the KOA, we tested out their burger recommendation down the road, there was no time to wait for camp food! My hunger levels were so high it was getting dangerous for those near me. So I left Al to do everything camping related while I took care of the important stuff: burgers.
The burgers were alright. Made to order and a good size pile of crinkle cuts fries. Nothing I’d rave about, but decent and it did the most important job: it ended my hunger.
Turns out Klamath falls wasn’t as skanky as we thought it was! When you went actually into town (not just on the outskirts) it was quite nice!
As part of our brewery tour, we headed to the Klamath Basin Brewing Company after a day of exploring. It’s a huge brewery with a massive outdoors area too. Oddly, they don’t allow dogs on the patio. The server seem to think it was an old health code rule that they hadn’t changed or a misunderstanding of the rules by the owner. Either way, it’s weird. So we had to sit at an end table and have Kevin clipped on the other side of the patio fence. He was not impressed by this arrangement.
The beer was good here. Lots to choose from. But my favourite was the nachos 😂😂😂 Pulled pork loaded nachos. They have a pretty extensive food menu, and a steady stream of people coming in, so it’s fair to say this place delivers. Clearly, I am not a beer expert so all you get from me on that front is: yup it was nice. Al really liked it, he bought a growler of some to take home. And he got the T-shirt, that’s how I know he likes a beer, he’ll indulge my obsession with buying T-shirt’s from bars.
The reason we were here!!! It’s a national park, so remember that means ‘kind of dog friendly! The lake is about an hour drive up from Klamath falls, and it all uphill. This lake is the deepest in the US and is known for the beautiful blue of the water, fed by rain and snow, no rivers. It was phenomenal!!!
We have an annual national parks card so could go in with no fees. I really recommend these (thanks @anshulraja for getting my first one and getting me hooked), they’re great value even if you only use it a few times in a year.
There are a few paths that are dog friendly that we were able to use, sadly the other couple of hiking trails were closed from damage. We did one of the paved paths along Rim Drive; it’s not long, but nice to get out.
Then over to the village where you can get some great photos and stretch your legs properly. Plus there’s obligatory souvenir shops (essential for holidays collection of Christmas bauble and new obsession with national park mugs).
If you’re not going with dogs there are HEAPS of trails to hike. You can even hike down to the bottom and get a little boat to the island which I think would be kind of cool. But don’t feel sad, we had an alternative Kevin friendly plan.
I found this place on Bring Fido and am so glad we made the effort to go out!! About an hour down from Crater Lake and maybe 30 mins from Klamath Falls this is another lake in a big recreation area that’s dog friendly. We got to do some happy forest feel walking and play in the lake- everything @kevinfromfinance & I love (and Al puts up with).
It was raining a little when we got there, but the trails are in the trees, so don’t let that out you off. This place also has camping sites, it is totally where we should have stayed! So much nicer and no bugs!!! If you’re going to Crater Lake, try and grab a spot here.
So despite having the massive grumps on when we first arrived at this part of our trip, I really liked it 😂😂 turns out the trick is to just not stay at the Klamath Falls KOA (but remember, other ones are good).