Resident guide to Odessa Oregon

If a person enjoys places that are very rural, beautiful and with a very small population, Odessa, Oregon, might be ideal. This is a small town that almost defines what a true small town is. It is also a location where a resident can get peace and quiet while being surrounded by the splendors of nature.

Located on highway 140 west, Odessa is about 25 miles north by north west of Klamath Falls. The town has a single store, which also sells gasoline and propane, as well as fishing supplies for residents and travelers. The store has a distinct old fashioned and friendly atmosphere that is so charming that it is worthwhile to stop in just to say hello. There is also a motel that sells alcohol, for those who wish it.

Most of the residents live within a few miles of town, and are made up of retirees, timber men, U.S. Forest Service personnel, a few ranchers and seasonal residents who thrive on getting away from the bustle of city life. Odessa is just a few miles from Rocky Point, which is also a small town, though a bit larger than Odessa. 

Local law enforcement is primarily handled by the Oregon State Patrol out of Klamath Falls, and since the town is contained within Klamath County, by the Klamath County Sheriff’s department. Though Odessa has no police or fire department of its own, help is readily available from the rather close-knit community, and from people in Rocky Point. 

The town has a history dating back to the late 1800s, when it was a trading post. It even had a post office at one time, though the post office closed in 1919. With the large Klamath Lake and marshland on one side, and healthy Ponderosa Pine forests on the other, the area continues to attract people, though. Several of the residents were once people who just passed through, but who remembered the beauty and quiet. A retired actor even lives in the area, though he wishes to remain anonymous.

This is a town that is ideal for outdoor sportsmen. It is only a few miles from Odessa Creek and not much more distant to Odessa Campground, from which fishermen can launch boats to access Klamath Lake and the resident population of redband trout for spectacular fish. These trout routinely tip the scales at over 10 pounds.

Odessa Store is also about 12 miles from Lake of the Woods, which is a popular fishing, camping and swimming lake. Fish Lake is an additional half dozen miles, give or take, from Lake of the Woods. Both lakes have resorts, and Lake of the Woods has cabins that can be rented. 

The Odessa Gravel Pits are also about eight miles northwest of Odessa. When highway 140 was built, a rock quarry was created at what is affectionately referred to as the ‘Gravel Pits’. Officially called “Four Mile Flats Rock Quarry”, the shallow pit forms an irregularly-shaped shallow lake each year, and trout are usually planted prior to the Oregon free fishing weekend. The gravel pits also have a number of unimproved campsites for people who wish to camp out. The area is U.S. Forest Service maintained and it is requested that residents and other people pick up after themselves.

This small town is also great for the hunter. The marshes give duck and geese hunters plenty to do. Grouse and other upland game birds are also present in large numbers. For big game hunters, the deer and elk populations in the area are quite healthy, and large specimens are taken yearly. 

For those who live in this place year around, the winter even offers the opportunity for skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice fishing or snowmobiling for the residents or people who visit them. If they prefer, they can also go watch the dogsled races at Lake of the Woods, yearly.

All of this, with the lovely view of Mount McLaughlin to the north, the wildlife, friendly people, the multitude of large trees and abundant wildlife, makes Odessa a wonderful place to live. A half hour or so away from a much larger population center, supplies aren’t hard to come by. On the main route between Klamath Falls and Medford, people pass through it daily. Yet, the wonder of this place is only fully grasped by those who have actually been here.