Native Americans settled throughout the Klamath region, including the land called Crystalwood for many hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans.
The marshes and forests provided all the necessary raw materials for food, clothing and shelter, and the ancient ways of working with the tule are being revived today by Ivan Jackson and others who are learning the old ways from the elders.

Crystalwood property was first homesteaded by the Brown family in the late 1800s, and the building which is now the Cascade Oregon lodge was built in 1892.
It formed the center of the small community of souls known as Crystal, Oregon, which boasted an aid station and post office (both located in today’s lodge) as well as a one room schoolhouse which is memorialized by the immediately adjacent Crystal Springs Rest Area. The area was actively logged and farmed, with both a mill and ranch sitting on the property. Several original homestead buildings remain, and a keen eye will find the artifacts of several generations.

Steamer boats would come up from Klamath Falls to Crystal Spring with supplies for Fort Klamath soldiers, which would be transferred to wagon and driven the 15 miles to the Fort. One boat remains on the bank of Crystal Spring, as well as pilings in evidence of where the paddle wheelers made their northernmost stop as they plied the waters of Upper Klamath Lake carrying tourists and passengers.

The original homestead serves as the foundation for today’s lodge. It remained in the Brown family until 1975, who sold it to a local trapper. He and his wife lived in the residence and had the first electricity brought in from the road in 1976. They also put in plumbing and running water. This was also the era when the current Westside Road was built and paved, replacing the original wagon path road. Change was slow to reach our Klamath Falls lodging.

A corporation bought the building in 1979, put in the baths on the second and third floors and it functioned as a hunting and fishing lodge. It operated under the name Crystal Creek Lodge in the 1980’s, and the saloon and spaghetti dinners were a favorite with locals. From 1994 – 2001, the Lodge was renamed Crystalwood and was operated seasonally as a members-only fly-fishing club. It was during this era that extensive rehabilitation of the front meadow area was undertaken, and the current pond system was developed. Crystalwood was purchased by Peggy and Liz as the current owners in October 2001. It is our vision to continue the tradition of stewardship and land use while opening up the lodge on a year-round basis and making available to the public the wonderful place known as Crystalwood. We want to ensure Crystalwood Lodge is a welcoming base from which to explore the truly magnificent sights and activities in the Klamath Basin and Southern Oregon Cascades.

Crystalwood is blessed with mountains and marsh, so the wildlife is varied and extensive. We have a resident herd of Roosevelt elk, now numbering almost 100 animals. Visitors in July get to see the calves right behind the lodge. Otters, deer, marmots, bobcats, porcupines, and waterfowl by the tens of thousands are common. Bears are occasional autumn visitors, as are mountain lions and badgers. Sandhill cranes nest on the ranch, as do Bald eagles, herons, myriad species of woodpecker, owls, and raptors. The native redband trout of the Upper Klamath Basin are among the largest in the world. We see fish each year in the fifteen to twenty pound class. These fish have steelhead genetics, and look it; many of the basin streams were storied anadromous waters prior to the buildings of the dams on the Klamath River at the turn of the century.

The result was that the winter and summer runs of steelhead and salmon combined with the native redbands to create at least fifteen individual races of redband trout. A fish from the Williamson looks quite different from a fish on the Wood, as do the fish in Crystal Creek, adjacent to the lodge. It is a rich and varied resource, with the fertile waters of Upper Klamath Lake promoting fast growth. A five year old fish may weigh twelve pounds.

“A great place! We were mesmerized by the wetlands and a peaceful canoe ride.The dogs, Capi and Tempe were about as close to terrier heaven as they will ever be!Thank you for your personal touch and wonderful meals. Five stars from Capitola!”
Sandi Pensinger and Ed Mabie