Happy Camp, California - "The Heart of the Klamath"
Welcome to the official website of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce in Happy Camp, California. Please stop by our "Visitor Information Center" and Chamber of Commerce Office at 35 Davis Road in Happy Camp. This is located on the North side of the Post Office building next door to Parry's Market and near the "World's Largest Dream Catcher."
Our Mission Statement: To promote and encourage business, commerce, and quality of life for the citizens of Happy Camp and the Highway 96, Klamath River Corridor.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN HAPPY CAMP
Please visit our Facebook page for daily updates from the Chamber and other local groups/events
Do you need more information about Happy Camp?
Visit our office at 35 Davis Road - next to the Post Office in Happy Camp
Office Hours: Mon to Sat 10am to 5pm
Mailing Address: PO Box 1188, Happy Camp, CA 96039-1188
Our chamber office is 100% funded by our members dues, money raised at the many small events throughout the year; profit from selling donated and consignment items such as books, artwork; and small donations by locals and visitors alike. Any amount that you can spare to help us keep this valuable community resource open encouraged and appreciated. If you are in town feel free to stop by and make a donation into our collection pickle jar on the counter. If you are somewhere out there reading on the WWW a check mailed to the chamber PO Box is also welcome and appreciated.
The staffing is also 100% volunteers.
Visit our YouTube page to view many local videos of Happy Camp and the local Klamath River area. Click the video below for several wonderful interviews of local Happy Camp characters.
Happy Camp History
Happy Camp is located at the top of California in Siskiyou County deep in the heart of the Klamath National Forest and on the banks of the Klamath River at the confluence of Indian and Elk Creeks.
The people of the Karuk Tribe, meaning “upriver” people, have lived here since before history. In July 1851 a group of prospectors arrived from downriver, prospecting as they came and made camp here. They named the camp “Happy Camp” and that became the name of the town that grew up here. Many other sites of gold discovery became ghost towns, but Happy Camp endured.
Miners at Thompson Creek area saw a large, ape-like creature which scared the Chinese miners, so that they wouldn’t go back to work for days. Today modern “Bigfoot” teams camp out and look for the legendary creature with modern technology. If no large apes are found, they’ve at least had a great time camping in the forest.
When mining declined, the lumber industry became the chief occupation. The Klamath National Forest, Happy Camp District, was founded here in 1905. Happy Camp was well known as the "Steelhead Capital of the World!" Fishing and hunting as well as the natural beauty brought visitors, and when the road was completed in 1928 travel became easier
The State of Jefferson Scenic Byway is a memorial to a movement to carve a new state from Oregon and California. Due to the lack of state maintenance of roads and services, a movement to secede from California and Oregon and become the” State of Jefferson” was begun in the 1940’s.This “revolt” was every Thursday but ceased December 7, 1941 with Pearl Harbor when we rejoined our “united” country to help win a war. Mines from the area provided needed resources and the roads were improved to bring them out for the war effort.
When the last large lumber mill, Stone Forest Mill, closed in 1995, the community diversified in small business and recreation opportunities. Visitors and new residents come to escape the congestion of the city for the natural peace of the country life. The government of the Karuk Tribe remains here and provides a great deal of help to all the people of the area. Panning for gold, rafting or kayaking down the Klamath, hiking, biking, backpacking or camping draw many visitors each summer. Viewing wildlife, rock hounding, especially for Happy Camp jade, and a vast array of outdoor family recreation are available. The community is surrounded by wilderness areas: Red Buttes to the east, Siskiyou to the west, Marble Mountains to the south, and Kalmiopsis wilderness by the Oregon Caves to the North in Oregon.
Volunteers from many service and social organizations have a big impact on the community. Hometown festivals, like the Bigfoot Jamboree each Labor Day weekend, provide parades, fun, food and celebrate community values. It’s a friendly little town!
Come and visit, we’d be glad to have you!
Pictured above is Huell Howser (1945-2013 RIP) of PBS California travel series fame who has visited Happy Camp twice filming our neat little town and the outdoor family recreation opportunities we offer.