Tell me about Klamath Falls, Oregon

My wife and I live comfortably in the SF Bay Area and have been looking at places to retire in a few years and have narrowed it down to Southern Oregon, New Mexico or Arizona. I have always like the Ashland/Medford area, but my wife is looking for more mountain/lake country (we own a ski boat). We recently made a trip to both Ashland/Medford and Klamath Falls/Lake of the Woods. Given how pricey Ashland has become and how metropolitan Medford is starting to look, we focused out attention on the KF area. We had never been to KF before and really didn’t know what to expect.

Klamath Falls was a real disappointment… it’s a depressed area without a lot going for it. We did like the mountain area due west of KF and bordering Klamath Lake. There are some developments out there that look promising. Of couse we will be driving the 30 minutes into KF regularly for entertainment, supplies and what not. Apparently the nearest mall is a few hours away in Bend.

So tell me something about Klamath Falls. Besides cheap real estate what else has it got going for it? What will it look like in 5 years time? Will it look the same or will money start to flow into it?


I live in Bend. I’ve not been down to Klamath Falls, but I’ve never really heard anything good or bad about it.

You might want to check out Sun River. I almost bought a house there, but I didn’t want to deal with a thirty minute commute every day. A brand new 3 bedroom house on a half-acre in SR runs about $280k… boy, was that a tempting house.

La Pine is MUCH cheaper… but I’ve heard it’s like Meth Central there.

The place that’s really starting to take off is the Terrebonne/Redmond area. Close to the airport, not as much snow as Bend, incredible views of Smith Rock, and cheaper houses than Bend.

Reconsider Nashville.

I have nothing good to say about Klamath Falls.
If you have to drive by the lake in the summer to get to the town expect your car to be completely covered in bugs. They have a midge problem in Klamath.
The economy in town is very depressed.
And yes, to go to a mall you either have to drive to Bend (about 2 hours to the north) or to Medford (about 1hr 20 min across the mountains).

The only entertainment is a couple of movie theatres, a lot of bars and a playhouse that shows 2-3 good shows a year.

The weather is hot and windy in the summer and cold and windy in the winter.

Before moving there I really suggest going at a few different times of the year.

There are some good points. Some of the best fly-fishing rivers in the northwest are within 2 hours. The mountains are beautiful. Crater lake is a must see.

There are nice things to visit there. I would not suggest living there.

I did for 4 years.
I have never gone back.

dolphinboy, the area my mom lives in in Arizona might be worth taking another look at - she’s up in Prescott - and they have the stuff you’re looking for. Maybe not in Prescott itself, but that area…she’s up in the mountains, tons of lakes, tons of stuff to do, etc. etc.

Have you looked in areas just outside Ashland/Medford? I’m a student in Ashland, and many retired couples who go to my church live outside the city proper, because housing is much more affordable. Talent, Jacksonville, and Phoenix are all relatively cheap, no more than a 10-15 minute drive from Ashland, and strikingly beautiful. Of course the Siskiyou Mountains and the Rogue River are within half an hour from nearly everywhere in the valley, too.