STEELHEAD AND FLIESThere's a prominently placed sign in town that proclaims Happy Camp the "Steelhead Capital of the World." Though it's difficult to verify such a claim, there's little doubt fishing opportunities for both fly and bait anglers abound, especially during autumn.The prime fishing months for steelhead begin in October and continue into February.The best area is the Klamath River between China Point and Chambers Flat above Happy Camp.
The best months for fly-fishing are October and November.
For more information talk to local guide Teeter Spence at (530) 493-2836.
RAFTING AND KAYAKINGThe nicest part of rafting and kayaking the Happy Camp area is there are runs suitable for everyone from beginners to experts.
Surrounded by mountains along the Klamath River, this remote outpost offers the chance to explore a stunning landscape in near solitude. See below for places to lodge and eat.o o o o By Zach Urness of the Daily Courier HAPPY CAMP, Calif.
— Bigfoot sightings are common in this remote outpost tucked between the mountains guarding the Oregon-California border.
A 17-foot statue of the legendary ape-like creature towers above downtown, and there's a car wash, towing company and annual Labor Day jamboree and parade all dedicated to Sasquatch.
Those are the unassailable sightings, but for believers in a flesh-and-blood version, "There have been more Bigfoot sightings here than anywhere in the world," said Linda Martin, who operates the blog It's one of the only areas left where they can survive."The town of 1,110 is more than a place to launch a search for Bigfoot, though.
Happy Camp is a place to explore some of the West Coast's most beautiful scenery in near solitude. And the dusty, sun-baked town is rich not only in outdoor adventure but also in history. Just south of town is the Dear Madam Mining Claim, a place where 80-year-old San Francisco socialite Stella Patterson found adventure in the 1940s.
From the Marble Mountain Wilderness to the Wild and Scenic Klamath River, the town is a jumping-off point for fishing, backpacking, rafting and any number of activities in between. The route from Grants Pass requires a winding two-hour drive across the mountain on a road that's closed during winter. The Karuk Tribe calls Happy Camp home, and its museum on Second Avenue features necklaces, baskets and redwood canoes ( a.m. Her book about taming the frontier as an octogenarian, "Dear Mad'm (Women of the West)," is a local classic.
(Find the site where she lived about three miles south of Clear Creek near a takeout on the Klamath River called Ferry Point.)Though the town has struggled through the collapse of logging and mining, as well as being so far off the beaten path, it has a hard-scrabble authenticity. The people are friendly, the accommodations are cheap — and the wilderness is across the street.
Here are a few ideas for exploring Bigfoot's backyard.