Happy Camp, California

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Happy Camp
census-designated place
Happy Camp is located in California
Happy Camp
Happy Camp
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 41°47′26″N 123°23′20″W / 41.79056°N 123.38889°W / 41.79056; -123.38889Coordinates: 41°47′26″N 123°23′20″W / 41.79056°N 123.38889°W / 41.79056; -123.38889
Country  United States
State  California
County Siskiyou
 • Total 12.346 sq mi (31.976 km2)
 • Land 12.107 sq mi (31.357 km2)
 • Water 0.239 sq mi (0.619 km2)  1.94%
Elevation 1,660 ft (505 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,190
 • Density 96/sq mi (37/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 96039
Area code(s) 530

Happy Camp (Karuk: athithúf-vuunupma)[2] is a census-designated place (CDP) in Siskiyou County, California in the United States. The population was 1,190 at the 2010 census.

The town of Happy Camp "The Heart of the Klamath" is located on State Route 96, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Interstate 5 and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Willow Creek. The town of O'Brien, Oregon is accessible from Happy Camp (which is nearly 40 miles (64 km) away). The shortest route to Oregon, over the Grey Back pass, is a seasonal summer road and is not cleared or maintained in snowy conditions. The Forest Service, located in Happy Camp on SR 96,[3] provides road closure information.


Happy Camp was so named by miners in early days of prosperity.[4] It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[5][6]


Happy Camp sits on the Klamath River and a nexus of creeks including: Elk Creek; Little Grider Creek; Indian Creek; Doolittle Creek; Ikes Creek; Deer Lick Creek and Cade Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 12.3 square miles (32 km2), 12.1 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.94%) is water.

The town of Happy Camp is also known as the "Gateway to the Marbles." There are many trail heads for this Wilderness Area within 10 miles (16 km) of the town for which the U.S. Forest Service provides trail information. The Marble Mountains cover thousands of acres, and contain almost a hundred lakes. Among the most interesting lakes are Spirit Lake, which contains a luminescent chemical and has been seen to "glow" in the dark;[citation needed] Ukonom Lake, which is very large and beautiful even though the area is recovering from fire damage; and the Green and Blue Granite Lakes, where trout swim in the cold and clear waters. Deer, bear, elk, and mountain lion are common in the Wilderness Area.


The 2010 United States Census[7] reported that Happy Camp had a population of 1,190. The population density was 96.4 people per square mile (37.2/km²). The racial makeup of Happy Camp was 814 (68.4%) White, 2 (0.2%) African American, 277 (23.3%) Native American, 7 (0.6%) Asian, 1 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 18 (1.5%) from other races, and 71 (6.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 95 persons (8.0%).

The Census reported that 1,190 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 525 households, out of which 129 (24.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 208 (39.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 63 (12.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 26 (5.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 63 (12.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 175 households (33.3%) were made up of individuals and 67 (12.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27. There were 297 families (56.6% of all households); the average family size was 2.84.

The population was spread out with 238 people (20.0%) under the age of 18, 98 people (8.2%) aged 18 to 24, 232 people (19.5%) aged 25 to 44, 428 people (36.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 194 people (16.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.3 years. For every 100 females there were 107.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.2 males.

There were 646 housing units at an average density of 52.3 per square mile (20.2/km²), of which 299 (57.0%) were owner-occupied, and 226 (43.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.0%. 677 people (56.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 513 people (43.1%) lived in rental housing units.


Siskiyou County Climate Station Readings as of December, 1998 (Happy Camp Station)[8]
Average / Period July January Annual
Maximum Temp. (F) 94.8° 46.9° -
Minimum Temp. (F) 51.7° 31.2° -
Precipitation (in.) 0.3 10.4
Snowfall (in.) - 9.4

Karuk Tribe[edit]

The Karuk Tribe is headquartered in Happy Camp.

United States Forest Service[edit]

The U.S. Forest Service maintains an office in town. Happy Camp is the administration site for the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger Districts of the Klamath National Forest.[3]



Klamath Controversy: Gold prospectors, conservation groups, the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Karuk, Hoopa and Yurok tribes are at odds with each other over what constitutes fair and ethical use of the river.{{POV-statement}} Issues range from property rights, to endangered species, to Native American civil rights.[9]

In the state legislature Happy Camp is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Ted Gaines,[10] and the 1st Assembly District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.[11]

Federally, Happy Camp is in California's 1st congressional district, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa.[12]

Notable people[edit]

  • Jetty Rae, musician and independent artist lived in Happy Camp during her childhood.[13]
  • Ricky Ray, pro-football quarterback was born in Happy Camp and went to Shasta High and Shasta College.[14]

See also[edit]

Happy Camp Family Resource Center


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ Bright, William. "Karuk language section. Revised Karuk dictionary section. Karuk "a" (karuk_A_00-7-6.doc)". Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  3. ^ a b National Forest - Contact Us "Klamath National Forest - Contact Us". About the Forest. USDA Forest Service. Jan 21, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010. "Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District 63822 Highway 96 P.O. Box 377 Happy Camp, CA 96039-0377 (530) 493-2243 FAX (530) 493-1796 TDD (530) 493-1777" 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 149. 
  5. ^ Thompson, George E. (2009). You Live Where?: Interesting and Unusual Facts about where We Live. iUniverse. p. 11. 
  6. ^ Gallant, Frank K. (2012). A Place Called Peculiar: Stories about Unusual American Place-Names. Courier Dover Publications. p. 25. 
  7. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Happy Camp CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Siskiyou County Economic and Demographic Profile 2000" —The Center For Economic Development, California State University, Chico: http://www.cedcal.com
  9. ^ Larson, Elizabeth (November 16, 2009). "Rural California: Battle over suction dredge mining headed for court" (PDF). Lake County News. p. 3. Retrieved February 2, 2010. "The ongoing battle over suction dredge mining is headed to federal court, as a group of miners plans to challenge a state-imposed moratorium on the practice which went into effect in August, 2010. The topic of suction dredge mining is a complex one, complete with proponents and opponents with fiercely held views, each bringing to the table science that backs their stances and a deep ideological divide about the use of natural resources." 
  10. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Rae, Jetty (February 12, 2011). Woman to Woman. Interview with Phyllis Wallace. KFUO-AM. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lawrence, Thomas, Ray's success a valuable lesson in heart: Shasta High and Shasta College QB has had incredible Canadian career, The Redding Searchlight, November 30, 2012

External links[edit]