Happy Camp, California, is a small town of about 1200 people, deep in the center of the Klamath National Forest. Happy Camp is about twenty miles from the Oregon border. During the summer months there’s a road that goes north to Oregon over Grayback Mountain, but during winter that route is closed.
The only other routes in and out of the Happy Camp area are much longer. From Happy Camp you can go east for two hours on Highway 96 to reach Interstate 5 just north of Yreka, or you can go west for three and a half hours on Highway 96 to Willow Creek, and then down the hill to the Eureka area.
Though Happy Camp is isolated it is a full-service community, meaning it has everything the people here need. There’s a cardlock gas station, a good sized market, another smaller market in the liquor store, and several restaurants. There’s also a health care and dental clinic run by the Karuk Tribe. The Karuks were the original residents of this area, prior to the coming of gold seekers in the 1850s.
Also see Happy Camp News – a news website I created in 2001 and sold to my good friend Judy Bushy a few years back. She and her husband, Dan, helped fund the publication of River Girl. Thank you, Dan and Judy! Judy also writes columns for the Siskiyou Daily News in Yreka about small town life in Happy Camp.
One more link! The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce – a great community service organization I’ve been a member of.