About JW

Hello my fellow campers!
Welcome to The Happy Camper blog!

You know…3 years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was. As a techno-saur I am slowly plugging along, knowing full well that the idea that I will ever catch up with technology is never gonna happen. That being said…I would like to thank my daughter Sunshine for setting up this site for me this past Christmas.

I hope to utilize this site to communicate about all things camping, fishing, hiking, golfing, kayaking, entertainment, and any other general activities that are related to a particular region of the Sierra Nevada.Since 2010, I have had the pleasure of working as a camp host at a very small, but very popular campground located in the El Dorado National Forest at the 8000′ elevation, known as Lake Kirkwood.
Lake Kirkwood is a beautiful and peaceful spot located just off Hiway 88, one mile west of the entrance to the Kirkwood Ski Resort. With only 11 sites, this campground is very popular with campers from far and wide. Every site is first come first serve, so acquiring a spot can be somewhat tricky.

However, as much as I enjoy working Lake Kirkwood, I have decided to take advantage of an opportunity with a different company, in a different forest. Having the opportunity to spend more time in the Sierra’s is one reason, but also to learn more about recreation management. It all seems relatively simple, but as you peel the layers back, there is a relatively long laundry list to prepare for a season of campers that are looking for a campsite that fits into their idea of a pleasurable camping experience.

Beginning approximately April 1, 2017, I will be taking on a new position as an Area Manager for the WESTREK Recreation Company. Managing the operations of 6 different campgrounds located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
You wouldn’t think there would be much to managing a campground, and there really isn’t once it is up and running, but getting open is the task at hand. Hiring a camp host, removing dead or downed trees, sanitizing restrooms, turning on water systems and having them tested, removing/repairing damaged fire rings, tables, signs and general housekeeping of grounds.Working with the various governmental agencies is also a big part of the job. Attempting to complete many of these important tasks requires working with approved vendors when it comes to repairs, construction, and wood cutting.

Currently, with more than 10-12 foot of much welcomed snow across the Sierra’s, opening dates for many of the campgrounds this year remains to be seen. Below is a brief description of the campgrounds included under my jurisdiction.

1. MT. ROSE:
Located approximately 15 miles above Lake Tahoe at 9000′ feet is one of the largest campgrounds with 25+ campsites. Very popular with locals from South Lake Tahoe, Reno, Carson City, and surrounding areas. With the amount of snow from the storms of 2017….don’t look for MT ROSE to open any earlier than mid- June 2017.
To make reservations for the 2017 season: go to….reservations.org

2. CRYSTAL SPRINGS:
Located on Hwy 88, approximately 1 mile west of the town of Woodfords, CS offers 18+ campsites directly off of Hwy 88. Perfect for an over-nighter, with the West Carson River only steps away from your campsite and a perfect spot to get your line wet.

3. HOPE VALLEY:
Again, just off Hiway 88 headed west from Woodfords, is the Hope Valley campground.
With more than 30+ sites that accommodate RV’s of all sizes as well as many tent sites, HV is a beautifully re-modeled campground with the Carson River across the street.
With all new bear boxes