Block mountains

Klamath Mountains 2020

The rugged and steep Klamath Mountains of the western United States are located in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. The range, which is named for the Klamath Indians, is largely surrounded by conservation areas and includes Oregon’s Caves National Monument as well as part of the Klamath and many other national forests. The Klamath Mountains are the second largest block of alpine wilderness in California and home to 11 Protected Wilderness Areas in Oregon and California, but are nonetheless less populated, visited and recognized by outdoor enthusiasts despite extensive trail networks hiking.

Geography of the Klamath Mountains

View from top of Castle Crags, Klamath Mountains, California. Editorial credit: Alberto Armas /

The Klamath Mountains are a massive mountain range in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California that lies inland from the Coast Range but west of the Cascades. While 30% of the range is in Oregon, 70% is in California. The mountains have a total area of ​​9,882 m² and are part of the Pacific mountain range of western North America. The Trinity Alps, Marble Mountains, Siskiyou Mountains, Eddy Range, Salmon Mountains and Castle Crags are just a few of the many mountains that make up this diverse range, with the Siskiyou Mountains being the largest sub-range of the Klamath Mountains. The highest peak in the Klamath Mountains is Mount Eddy, with an elevation of 9025 feet. Shasta-Trinity, Siskiyou, and Klamath National Forests, as well as a 211-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail, a famous National Scenic Trail, and the 400-mile Bigfoot Trail, which begins in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness and ends in Redwood National Park in Northern California, all in the Klamath Mountains.

Geology of the Klamath Mountains

Klamath River in Northern California
Klamath River in Northern California.

An excellent example of a mountain belt formed by the tectonic accretion of rock assemblages with oceanic affinity during progressive crustal expansion along an active continental margin is the Klamath Mountain Province in north- western California and southwestern Oregon. The Klamath Terranes are made up of igneous and metamorphic rocks that are hard and complex folded and faulted. High rocky mountains and steep river valleys with difficult access and sparse population have been created due to the mixture of hard rocks and humid coastal climate. Two major west-flowing rivers—the Rogue River in Oregon and the Klamath River near the Oregon-California border—cut the Klamath Mountains into distinct sections. Both of these rivers originate in the Cascade Range and empty into the Pacific through vast canyons that cut through the entire Klamath Mountains. No roads have been built to follow the Rogue River as it cuts through the mountains because the river has carved out such a large and difficult-to-reach canyon. The Wild Rogue Wilderness was created to protect a portion of this wilderness near the Rogue River.

Climate of the Klamath Mountains

With hot summers and cool winters, the Klamath Mountains region has a Mediterranean climate. The annual average temperature is 13°C, with July and December recording the highest (24°C) and lowest (4°C) average temperatures respectively. The region’s lower elevations, especially those in the east, receive as little as 18.5 inches of rain annually, while the mountains, especially those closer to the coast, receive over 118 inches of rain near from their peaks. This climate is sufficiently arid to cause significant changes in vegetation depending on altitude.

Wildlife in the Klamath Mountains

Mixed coniferous forest in the Klamath Mountains
Mixed coniferous forest in the Klamath Mountains

In the deep forests, rivers and valleys, river otters, black bears, mink, bald eagles, osprey and peregrine falcons are commonly seen. Although the area is home to a number of different snake species, only rattlesnakes normally pose a danger. Additionally, several species of trout and salmon use the many mountains, streams, and rivers as their main breeding grounds; however, recently, over the past 50 years, some fish stocks have declined dramatically, particularly salmon stocks. The main causes of the depletion are dams and clearcutting on the steep slopes of the region, which increase the amount of silt in the stream beds and hinder salmon spawning by preventing them from laying their eggs. in exposed gravel beds. King, Kokanee, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout (including Rainbow Trout), Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish, etc. , are some of the famous fish species found in the rivers of the Klamath Mountains.

The unparalleled natural splendor of the Klamath Mountains is free from suffocating human influence. And that’s what makes it unique, its preserved environment. Thus, it must be protected from possible misuse and future human exploitation.

The Ten Highest Peaks of the Klamath Mountains


Peak name

Altitude in feet

Altitude in meters



Mount Eddy



Trinity Mountains


Peak Thompson



mountains of salmon


Mount Hilton



mountains of salmon


Peak Caesar



mountains of salmon


jagged mountain



mountains of salmon


Wedding cake



mountains of salmon


Mount Caribou



mountains of salmon


china mountain



Scott Mountains-Scott Bar


Gibson Peak



mountains of salmon


boulder peak



marble mountains