Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge

Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge

The Klamath Basin is in Tulelake, California but sits right under Oregon. It should be mentioned though that the lower basin is in both Oregon and California while the main Klamath Basin is only in California. The area of the entire refuge itself is 39, 116 acres, though 17,000 of those acres is crop land and open water. The rest of it however, is a beautiful scenery that hosts a variety of birds and mammals.

The drive leading to the basin wasn’t anything too spectacular, but as I got closer, I was put on a small, two-way lane that drove right through the start of the lower basin. During this short drive, I was accompanied by large marshes on both sides of the road that I was leveled with! The waters were occupied by your typical geese and ducks, but what made it worth writing about was the fact that there were hundreds of them scattered about. As spectacular as it was to see, it wasn’t my main point of focus and so I continued on with my journey.
When I finally reached the Klamath Basin, I had to ask the kind lady at the visitor center if I was in the right area. Indeed I was. Just across the road from where I parked was the refuge itself and at first it didn’t look like much. There was a small lake that sat towards the front and that fed into a stream that went around a man-made island which was covered with trees and tall grass. In fact, the entire basin in which I walked around was 98% tall grass and served almost as a disappointment. As the saying goes, there’s more than meets the eye and that was very true in this case. It wasn’t until I opened my ears and looked carefully around me that I noticed the wildlife that makes up the refuge. The scenic gravel path that visitors can walk on takes you around the island and even leads to the much larger lake right behind it.

One thing that I should throw out there is that the height of the season is either in the winter or summer as hawks, eagles, owls, deer and various other animals are seen more frequently. In my case, I went in April and so one would think that a lot of animals would be seen but that was quite the opposite.


Mourning Dove
Black Bird
Canadian Geese
Black Bird With A Hint Of Red

When I crossed over to the massive lake on the other side of the gravel path, I saw smoke in the distance. To this day, I’m not entirely sure what it was and if it was done on purpose. My guess is that it was a bush fire or something that was done on purpose due to how well it was kept under control. 

Smoke On Tule Lake

My final thoughts on the refuge is something that I definitely recommend people going to if they live close to the area. While it isn’t something as spectacular as other refugees, it is worth noting that during the winter it can become very beautiful.

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