Upper Klamath Lake

Upper Klamath Lake is unique in its location and singularly free from pollution.Map of West Cast

The prevailing winds, blowing from west to east are clean, having traversed the Pacific Ocean before climbing over the Cascade Mountains, to the West of the lake, where they deposit most of their precipitation on their way to Upper Klamath Lake, pictured below.

This photo is taken from the south end of Upper Klamath Lake in mid-summer. In the middle is Bare Island, one of two larger islands in the lake, which is almost 30 miles long. The tiny white sails far off in the distance represent virtually the only pleasure craft found on the lake. The algae grows so densely that it is a risk for motorboats and few are used. Because when you swim in the lake and come out green, virtually no people have vacation homes there. Thus no pollution comes from those sources.

Klamath Lake

Agriculture in the watershed of the lake is limited to a very small area of arable land which is irrigated by water from the lake.

On the East side of the lake the land is flat but when not irrigated as in this photo looking out toward the lake, the vegetation is sparse.

West side of the lake.


Horses and some cattle graze peacefully.

horses grazing


A road runs close to the rail line hugging most of the West shore. Mt. McLaughlin is seen to the left, Mt. Shasta to the right.

West shore of Upper Klamath Lake


Mighty Mount Shasta guards the South of the lake,and spectacular Crater Lake, pictured below, guards the North.

Crater Lake from the rim

Standing on the rim of the crater, looking down 2000 feet to the surface of the lake, you feel overwhelmed thinking that below the lake surface is another 2000 feet deep, unexplored, ice cold body of water.

Crater Lake from the rim in August

Driving up the winding road on the way to the summit of the crater, even in August, snow is commonly found in drifts several feet deep. The road up to Crater Lake is often closed until June, waiting for the snow to melt. The average snowfall is about sixty feet.

Almost all of the streams feeding into the lake flow into the North end. It is thought that the water from Crater Lake finds its way into the springs which feed the rivers flowing into Upper Klamath Lake.

This water is very cold, rarely getting over about 45° Fahrenheit even in the middle of the summer. It out of gushes crystal clear out of springs which are at the base of mountains, thousands of gallons a second. The water is rich in minerals, having been filtered through miles of volcanic mineral-rich earth.

The quiet river pictured below is flowing from the tumble of boulders you see at the top of the photo. This river, the Williamson, is only one of many flowing into the North end of this remarkable lake.

Williamson River head

In the higher reaches of the river, the Wilkinson flows rapidly through rapids and pools which are an angler's paradise. Trout are found in abundance.

Williamson River

In their lower reaches, the streams and rivers meander into the lake.

Lower reaches of rivers.

Thus Upper Klamath Lake is a unique place for AFA to thrive. It is a treasure for the world.