The Running Y Ranch Resort lodge.
By Dan Shryock
Anyone who likes exploring the outdoors should have the Klamath Basin on a destination bucket list. Whether you’re following a canoe trail, a hiking trail or a bike trail or you simply want to stand back and gaze at bald eagles, this is the place to be.
At the end of the day, the Running Y Ranch Resort provides a comfortable retreat where you can put up your feet and relax. This sprawling 3,600-acre resort, located just west of Upper Klamath Lake, is part of the landscape. It belongs here. The resort is situated 10 miles from downtown Klamath Falls and 58 miles to Crater Lake National Park.
Activity centers around the 82-room lodge and championship golf course yet it’s easy to take a short walk and get away from things.
Activities at the Resort
There’s plenty to do at Running Y Ranch Resort without ever leaving the grounds. Many come for golf on the Arnold Palmer signature designed course. Others come for the calming pool, spa and massage facilities. The sports center provides exercise equipment and both indoor and outdoor family games.
A lodge room at Running Y Ranch Resort.
You’ll need a place to sleep, of course, and the Running Y Ranch resort provides hotel-style rooms in its lodge and vacation rentals suited for both large and small groups. Hotel rooms include flat-screen TVs with HBO, complimentary Wi-Fi and, in many cases, decks or patios. Vacation rentals provide fully stocked kitchens, washers and dryers and access the resort sports center. And, the resort is pet friendly. Check the website for more information.
Two stages at Crater Lake Zipline extend a quarter mile.
Explore the Area
“The Klamath Basin has so much outdoor recreation to offer. With our 360 days of sunshine you can enjoy the outdoors all year,” says the resort’s Victoria Haley. So get out and find something to do. It’s not hard.
To start, the resort partners with Roe Outfitters for fishing, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking and rafting throughout the Klamath Basin and Southern Oregon. Roe also leads excursions to Crater Lake. Their adrenaline-filled Crater Lake Zipline operation is a few miles up the road. “Roe Outfitters (headquarters) is located on the property here,” Haley says. “They are our go-to outfitter for guests who are looking for that real Oregon experience.”
Running Y Ranch Resort also is a designated “Bike Friendly Business” by the state tourism office and caters to road cyclists and mountain bikers who want to get out and ride. There’s an extensive network of road and off-road routes throughout the area. You also can rent a bike and ride in the extensive resort property. Bikes are available during warm weather months for both children and adults.
Take time to sit back and enjoy the view at the Crater Lake Lodge.
Discover Crater Lake
Then there’s Crater Lake National Park, a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
“It’s amazing the number of travelers who visit us every year with the sole purpose of visiting beautiful Crater Lake,” Haley says.
It’s easy to understand. The lake, created when the Mt. Mazama volcano erupted about 7,700 years ago, was sacred space to native Americans and a travel destination since it became a national park more than 100 years ago. It’s a winter destination for anyone looking to snowshoe or cross country ski. Summer brings hiking, cycling, camping, bird watching and even very cold swimming. There’s no public boating to guard against invasive species but the National park Service and hospitality partner Xanterra operate scheduled boat tours.
The 5th hole at Running Y is memorable.
The Running Y Ranch course opened for play in 1998 and consistently has been rated among the best courses in the nation ever since. With five tee placements, this course can play anywhere from moderate to extremely challenging. The course is surrounded by large homes and vistas of Upper Klamath Lake and mountain peaks.
The resort’s golf complex also includes an 18-hole mini-golf putting course. This is not miniature golf. It’s a challenging, rolling linear putting course that gives everyone in the family a chance to play.
A welcoming firepit is located right outside the Ruddy Duck Restaurant.
The Ruddy Duck Restaurant in the lodge is popular for all meals and it draws praise as for its Blue Zones Project-approved menu. “We continue our commitment to fresh delicious cuisine by producing many of the ingredients here on property in our garden and greenhouse,” Haley says.