Klamath National Wild & Scenic River

Klamath National Forest, Near Fort Jones, California

Klamath National Wild & Scenic River does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


The Klamath River was designated a Recreational River within the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System in 1981. The Klamath River enters California from Oregon just north of the Goosenest Ranger District. As it heads west it is impounded by two dams which form Copco Lake and Iron Gate Reservoir. Nine miles further west it turns south and follows Interstate 5 for a few miles before again turning west and entering the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District. The next 85 miles provide many opportunities for recreation and scenic vistas before the river enters the Six Rivers National Forest. This is a high-use recreation zone. Human waste must be packed out.  A scat machine is available in Happy Camp for disposing of collected human waste.

Our interactive river map will help you plan your river trip. It includes information on put-ins and take-puts, rapids, and potential camping sites. You will need to download Google Earth to view the map. You can also book a river trip with one of our permitted outfitters.

Before you start your river trip please complete a trip documentation card. Trip cards are available at river access sites, and may be turned in at the Happy Camp Ranger District office or dropped into one of the trip card boxes available at put-ins.  The trip cards help Forest Service staff estimate river use, help us focus our limited staff resources on busier river sections, and help us know if boaters are on a river section if the need for an emergency evacuation arises.

Sections of the Klamath River downstream from Happy Camp are subject to temporary river use restrictions during the summer in observance of Karuk Tribal ceremonies. Please refer to the current schedule for information on the current year's river access restrictions. 2021 Klamath River Closures for Karuk Tribal Ceremonies