Oregon : Safety by City
- Baker City
- Coos Bay
- Hood River
- Klamath Falls
- La Grande
- Lincoln City
Bathed in golden sunlight for 300 days a year, Klamath Falls, nestled in the heart of Oregon’s high desert, includes tales of ancient volcanoes and resilient pioneers.
Long before Europeans arrived, the Klamath tribes called it Yulalona, “land of plentiful water.”
If you think Oregon is always gloomy and rainy, allow me to introduce you to Klamath Falls.
The city’s nickname, “Oregon’s City of Sunshine,” isn’t just hyperbole, as it sees 300 sunny days a year on average.
Of course, you’ll also get the Link River Falls, which lends its name to the city.
This creates a great dynamic for visitors who want to explore the waterways, nearby mountains, or downtown’s historic vibe.
Beyond the city boundaries, you can hike ancient lava flows or visit the deepest lake in America.
Crater Lake National Park is one of the most common reasons for people to pass through Klamath Falls.
You’re also close enough to California’s volcanic parks and massive redwood forests to explore beyond the falls.
And we’re just scratching the surface of what to expect in Klamath Falls.
Let’s dive in!
Warnings & Dangers in Klamath Falls
OVERALL RISK: LOW
It's a low risk when you look at the big picture of crime in America, but Klamath Falls does teeter on the brink of medium compared to other Oregon cities of similar size. However, a lot of awesome attractions and amenities here make it worth a trip.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Basin Transit Service offers routes throughout the "basin" where Medford is located. Some of the routes do go through sketchy parts of town, but it's more of something to be cautious about and not worried about. Taxis, rideshares and rental cars are easy to find.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The city averages eight pickpockets or purse snatchings a year, looking back at five years of crime data, but in 2022, there were 14. Use all the proper precautions to protect your stuff to keep the risk low.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Wildfires top the list in Klamath Falls, with year-round moderate risk and rising summer temperatures. Floods pose a threat near rivers. Earthquakes are possible and could be intense. While it's unlikely, it's inevitable in this region. High winds can vary from annoying to dangerous. Treat it as a medium risk and stay informed of weather conditions.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is a low risk, with just four reported in 2022. You should always use precaution when visiting a new city, and don't let a low crime rate cause you to let your guard down.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This remote town is at a low risk of a terrorist incident. However, mass shootings and domestic terrorism can happen anywhere in America. You can read the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security to get an overview of threats against the country.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Klamath Falls has seen a surge of gift card-related scams. You can read the advisories on the police department's website. Essentially, anytime someone is pressuring you or threatening you while demanding you purchase gift cards to pay for a "debt," it's likely a scam.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should use basic safety precautions as you would in a big city. It's important to know outdoor and recreational safety as well. The risk is as low as it is for everyone else, but this guide will help you know some of the pressure points.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The city tests throughout the year for 125 potential contaminants. The latest water quality report shows full compliance and no violations. A new report is issued each July for the previous calendar year.
Safest Places to Visit in Klamath Falls
Discover Klamath is the name of the tourism website for this region.
You can order a tourist guide, but you have to give personal information for that.
They don’t have an option to download the guide online.
They do offer a “Trip Ideas” section with collections of seasonal events and activities.
This is very helpful since the things to do in summer and winter are vastly different.
Start at Link River Falls, where you can walk the three-mile out-and-back path that takes you past the “falls” of Klamath Falls.
Look for the “fish bridge” that helps fish move past the dam.
Downtown Klamath Falls has a gathering of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and performance venues.
This is also where many local events are held.
You can learn a lot at the museums of Klamath Falls.
Explore the dozens of rooms at Baldwin Hotel Museum, once a fancy hotel that opened in 1905.
The Favell Museum hosts an impressive collection of Indigenous artifacts from across the continent.
There are permanent exhibits but also rotating shows that help keep each experience unique.
The Klamath County Museum offers everything you’d expect of a county museum.
From more Indigenous artifacts through the early pioneers into the modern age, you’ll learn a lot about this beautiful region.
Fort Klamath Museum is a separate location, about 30 miles north of the city.
Reenactments are held here throughout the year, but even just walking through the historic buildings offers a view of a bygone era.
That museum is best served on a trip to Crater Lake National Park, ranked as one of the most beautiful in the country.
It’s the result of a massive volcanic eruption going back almost 8,000 years.
On the way back, you might consider a stop at the Collier Logging Museum.
This region is known for its logging history (for better and worse), and you’ll be amazed at the stories behind the industry and the impact it has on today’s ecosystem.
An American vacation wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the “World’s Largest Something.”
In this part of Oregon, it’s the World’s Largest Collection of Cabooses at the Train Mountain Museum.
Crossing into California opens the door to Lava Beds National Monument, Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Places to Avoid in Klamath Falls
Some of the areas with the highest crime rates might be near attractions or places you want to visit.
I’m offering this information to help you when it comes to booking a hotel room.
Most hotels are on the major north/south routes through town.
Try to find a place that is east of Summer Avenue or as north as possible – ideally by the bay.
Downtown, Mills, and Stewart Lennox are some of the tougher parts of town.
While no neighborhood is imminently dangerous, using extra caution in those areas is just good basic safety practice.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Klamath Falls
- Klamath Falls does have its own police department. You can find them on Facebook under the Klamath Falls Police Department. They do not use X or Instagram. The phone number is (541) 883-5336 if you want to call and ask specific questions.
- The city and county use Everbridge for emergency alerts. It’s important you sign up for these so you can be aware of public safety hazards or incoming storms.
- If you get information about a crime or have information about a suspect, you can call the Anonymous Tip Hot Line (541)883-5334.
- Check the emergency management website for the county, and you’ll find easy links to check the air quality and wildfire risks. In this part of the country, you have to be informed of both daily, as each can greatly impact your activities.
- Klamath Falls is within driving distance of some amazing public lands, like Crater Lake National Park, Klamath National Forest, and Redwood National and State Parks. If you purchase an interagency pass, you’ll get access to all public federal lands for just $80. That’s good for a year. It does not include state or local lands.
- If you plan to go fishing while you’re here, you’ll need a license. Outfitters in town sell them, but you can also use the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife website to read the rules and make the purchase.
- This is a bear country, so don’t be surprised if you see a bear. You should know basic bear safety skills, like using bear-proof containers and trash cans, while also knowing you should never approach or feed a bear. You also don’t want to run from a bear. Back away slowly while speaking in a low voice.
- I almost fell out of my chair when I saw a headline on the Klamath Falls city website that reads, “Klamath Falls Meth Problem is a Thing of the Past.” This is not true for Klamath Falls or any American city. This issue is getting worse. You should read beyond the headline for the actual information provided showing how the city is dealing with the drug problems.
- On the same note, the city addresses the crime rate in “Safety and Understanding the Murder Rate.” One of the sources it used states that Klamath Falls was #35 on the list of safest cities in Oregon. Here’s the thing – the list they cited only ranked 46 cities. That means Klamath Falls is actually in the Top 11 least safe cities using the criteria provided. Context always helps. Keep reading to learn more.
- To stay on top of road conditions, use Trip Check in Oregon and CalTrans in California. Each one provides live cameras, real-time traffic, weather conditions, and construction updates. You can create an account and set alerts for your preferred routes.
So... How Safe Is Klamath Falls Really?
Klamath Falls is a head-scratcher, both in 2022 and historically.
Over the past decade, violent crime has increased by 50% while thefts have gone down by 50%.
Yet both are still above the national and state averages.
Violent crime is 58% higher than the state average and 37% higher than the national average.
The more positive side of the violent crime rate, at least for visitors, is that 41% of all crimes happen in private homes, and just 16% happen against strangers.
Oregon has an issue with car thefts and other theft rates, with theft averaging a whopping 40% higher than the national average.
Klamath Falls has about 10 stolen cars a month.
While the theft rate is 23% higher than the national average, 47% of all thefts are related to shoplifting.
One in five thefts is related to car break-ins or accessory thefts, like pricey catalytic converters.
Paying attention to your surroundings and using common sense goes a long way in Klamath Falls.
With so many cool things to see, don’t let the crime rates scare you off.
Local and county law enforcement are working on plans to offer better systems for the community, and unless you’re from a very small, safe town, you probably won’t even think twice about crime concerns here.
How Does Klamath Falls Compare?
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To gain entry into the country, international visitors need a visa or a visa waiver. The U.S. State Department website provides information on eligibility for a visa waiver. Be sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the return date of your trip.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and don't plan on finding a lot of places to exchange currency in this small town. Opt to get cash before you arrive or check your bank's policy on using ATMs in America to get cash.
You'll get a dose of each season here, so plan accordingly. Dress casually and comfortably. If you're spending time outdoors, pack layers with a waterproof outer layer. Bring bug spray! A jacket or sweatshirt will be needed throughout the year, as even July nights get into the low 50s F.
This is a rather remote area when trying to reach a commercial airport. The best option is in Medford, about 90 minutes west. A drive to Portland would take about five hours.
When weather could disrupt the travel experience, purchasing protection is prudent. Seek coverage for medical expenses if uninsured in America, even if it's just for emergencies. You can't get free healthcare here. Ensure rental car insurance safeguards you in the event of any accidents or roadside assistance needs.
Klamath Falls Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oregon - Safety by City