Our Fav Five at Running Y Ranch
by Kyla Merwin Cheney
The breeze blows up from the sprawling valley floor as the sun sets over Klamath Lake. Surrounded by muted hills of green and a broad blue sky, Running Y Ranch provides a fantastic base camp for running amuck from dawn ‘til dusk. Some of our favorites include birding, golfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting and fishing. Here are the highlights:
1. Birding: Birds are to the Klamath Basin what cheese is to pizza: integral, part of the natural plan, not the same without. A full 80% of all the migratory birds traveling the Pacific Flyway make a stop in these rich, compelling wetlands and marshes. The Klamath National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of six separate regions managed for wildlife protection by the federal government. Which means you have about 185,000 acres of shallow lakes and freshwater marshes to explore for waterfowl and other water birds including American white pelican, double crested cormorant, and several heron species.
Link to blog “Addicted to Birds” for an up-close peek at the birding experience in the Klamath Basin.
2. Golfing: The ninth hole at Running Y is a speeding sled hill in the winter, if that tells you anything. The blind drive some 350 yards downhill to the green is one of many interesting geographical features of this sweet Arnold Palmer signature course. The greens are tricky, though – fast, sloped and surrounded by wicked sand. Presenting unique challenges and jaw-dropping scenery, the Running Y Golf Course was named by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses and it is consistently recognized as one of the best golf courses in Oregon. Take a course tour.
3. Canoeing/Kayaking: Nestled into the wild, unruly wetlands of Klamath Lake flow narrow canals bordered by thick trees, grasses, and undergrowth teaming with wildlife. Beaver, coyote, birds, and reptiles, inhabit these places. Roe Outfitters offers guided excursions through freshwater marshes, mountain lakes and slow moving spring creeks, daily, from April through October. These are great family adventures, no experience necessary through the calm waters. For a romantic twist, try a moonlight canoe or kayak trip under a blanket of dazzling stars.
Link to “Kayaking by Moonlight” for highlights of a tranquil gander in the dark.
4. Fly Fishing: There are many reasons folks come from all parts of the planet to experience Oregon fishing at Running Y Ranch: the area’s natural beauty and seclusion; professional guides that know every twist and turn of the Klamath Basin rivers and lakes; the fish. Out on the secluded stretches of the Klamath River the rainbows average 17 to 19 inches and push the 24-inch mark. And out on the Williamson River, the rainbows are 30 inches plus. (Source: Running Y Ranch.)
5. Whitewater Rafting: Big water, little water, pure adrenaline or splash-and-giggles, you have two rivers to choose from and Class I, II, III, and IV rapids to ride. The Klamath River runs through gorgeous canyons and the biggest rapids. The Rogue River offers thrilling runs – Nugget Falls and Powerhouse – as well as a mellow ride on Rattlesnake Run, with gentle wave trains, calm sun-soaking stretches, and some white water segments with a bit of a bite. Arrange your whitewater adventure through Running Y Ranch or Roe Outfitters.
Upcoming Birding Events: Caledonia Oaks at Running Y offers a leisurely birding walk in a predominately oak-conifer habitat; Mark your birding calendar for the Winter Wings Festival on Presidents Weekend 2013. In addition, the Running Y Ranch offers free bi-weekly presentations and birding walks throughout the summer.