Krazy About Klamath County

Maybe Oregon's best kept secret

September 2007 Feature LANE LINDSTROM

A Secret

Those two days convinced us Klamath County might be Oregon's best kept snowmobiling secret-maybe even the Pacific Northwest's.

We managed to use up at bit more than a half-day on Pelican Butte (we could have spent more time)-that after riding on Brown Mountain, west of Lake of the Woods, earlier in the day.

Day two took us farther north, where we rode out of Annie Creek Sno Park, 5.5 miles north of Fort Klamath on Oregon Highway 62. We didn't even touch all the riding areas farther north, above Scott Creek. The Diamond Lake trail is the main path through this area and connects with its namesake, the Diamond Lake system. Much of the riding there hugs the east edge of Crater Lake National Park. There's still more snowmobiling in the Chiloquin area, which is north and east of Upper Klamath Lake along the Chiloquin Ridge.

While we put a full day of riding in when we hit Brown Mountain and Pelican Butte, at the day's end, when we looked over the trail map of the southern part of the Jackson-Klamath Winter Trails Guide, it was obvious we barely scratched the surface. Nevertheless, we were after some of the highlights of the area and we definitely weren't disappointed.

We staged out of Lake of the Woods Resort on our first day, shooting across the lake on our way to Brown Mountain (7,311 feet). The lake sits at 4,963 feet and by the time we reached the summit of Brown Mountain and were gawking at 360 degrees of sheer Cascade Range beauty, we had gained more than 2,300 feet. One of the goals of reaching the peak of Brown Mountain, in addition to the obvious of playing in the snow and boondocking through the trees, was to catch a view of Mt. Shasta. That's some mountain when you can be 70 miles away and it still tower over you. That's what 14,162 feet will do. Unfortunately, after we reached an excellent view point on the south side of Brown Mountain, all we could see was the bottom half of Mt. Shasta as the top was socked in with clouds. Mt. Shasta did poke its lofty head out while we were in Klamath Falls, but it was never while we were on a snowmobile.

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