Filed under: Arizona, Arizona Road Trip, camping, Cooking, family, Friends, Grand Canyon, Happy Campers, Life, National Parks, Oregon, Road Trip, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Travel, Utah, West Coast Road Trip, Zion National Park
Has the economy got you down? Are you yearning for a vacation but just can’t afford a plane ticket to paradise? Fear not my friend, PARADISE is in our own backyard, explore the great outdoors! Happy Campers is a unique camping tour service. For those that don’t know “how” to camp, we teach you. For those that do, we show you more! Your trip guides are a chef and an archaeologist. Both of us are experienced campers and will show you the ropes on everything from pitching a tent and building a fire to hiking “smart” and getting the most out of your nature experience.
We take groups of 2-12 people on camping trips lasting from 3 days to 2 weeks. Each trip is custom fit to YOUR NEEDS & DESIRES. We can camp on the beach an hour away or at one of our Nation’s beautiful National Parks 5-6 hours away. We tell you what to bring, show you how to set up camp like a pro and even cook gourmet campsite meals for you! Abigail, our resident archaeologist, will teach you about the geography of the area we camp and hike in as well as show you how to keep an eye open for traces of old civilizations. We will also teach you basic survival skills. Don’t worry, this isn’t boot camp, there is plenty of time for relaxing and just enjoying your surroundings.
Trips start as cheap as $50/person. This fee includes all your meals, snacks, firewood and campsite fees for the trip. You bring your tent & sleeping bag and we’ll show you how to use it. Make your reservations now! We will be guiding trips from April to August anywhere within 8 hours driving distance from Southern California. Camping is fun & affordable and there are many BEAUTIFUL places here in the US worth exploring. Come enjoy Nature with us!
Leave a comment with your email address and we will contact you about planning your trip. Gather your family or a group of friends and lets go camping!
Check out some of out past trips:
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel, Utah, Zion National Park
Since its almost that time of year again, I thought I’d post up a trip from last October. Zion National Park is an amazing place, add the colors of Fall and it really does feel like heaven on Earth. I’m planning another trip to Zion in the middle of this October 09 and would love company, if you want to come along… let me know!
Zion is part of the “Grand Staircase” which includes the Grand Canyon and Brice Canyon. The Grand Staircase refers to an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers that stretch south from Bryce Canyon National Park through Zion National Park and into the Grand Canyon. In the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton first conceptualized this region as a huge stairway ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon northward with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps.
Zion is about a 7 hour drive from Long Beach and is about an hour past St. George, Utah. On this trip we left at midnight. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and grocery shopping so we arrived around 10 am. There are two campsites in the park but South Campground doesn’t require reservations. There are no showers in the campground but take a two mile drive into town and there are pay showers available. We set up camp and thought we would sleep for a couple of hours before exploring our surroundings. After about 3 minutes in the tent, we knew it would be impossible to sleep. We were too excited AND tents are like saunas during the day time. It was in the 80’s and the skies were bright blue. It made a beautiful contrast against the beautiful red rocks that make up Zion’s canyon.
We got ready and went out to hike and explore.
Zion is open year round but April through October, cars are not allowed to drive to the points of interest. There just isn’t enough room to accommodate all the cars during this busy season so the park offers a wonderful tram service that runs very frequently and stops at every point of interest. The tram is air conditioned, free and offers an audio tour during its route.
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Photography, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park
We woke up and made some breakfast. Today we planned to take the tram up to the top of the canyon and get off at the last stop, the Temple of Sinawava. We brought water shoes and planned to hike back down towards our campground IN the Virgin River which carved the canyon over millions of years. The water is knee deep or so and I recommend a hiking stick to help balance yourself while walking over smooth and sometimes slippers round rocks that pave the riverbed.
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park
On this day, we were going to hike The Narrows! We started off with a hearty breakfast to store a little energy for what was to come.
Zion Canyon is wide and deep but it comes to a place where the canyon walls rise up over 1000ft vertically. The opposing walls come within 10 or 20 feet of eachother and the Virgin River flows between them. At this point, there is no dry land to walk on, the river flows from wall to wall so hikers walk IN the river. Many people rent waterproof overalls & hiking poles at places like this but you can just wear old tennis shoes with no socks or water shoes. The water isn’t very warm but you get used to it pretty quickly. Along the river there are a few berms of dry land and if you apply for a permit, you can even camp on them. When hiking the Narrows, ALWAYS check with the ranger station about weather conditions. Even if the sky is blue, rain fall 50 miles away can cause flash flooding in the canyon and you risk drowning or being crushed by boulders or tree trunks pushed along in the flood. All the scary shit aside, this is my favorite hike on the planet so far!
Filed under: camping, Life, National Parks, Photography, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park
We woke up and packed up camp. It was time to head home but we planned to take Zion National Park Scenic Byway.
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona Road Trip, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel
Just outside of Las Vegas lies a fascinating American monument. For the childrenless 20 or 30 somethings reading this, it might bring back torturous flashbacks of ancient school day field trips to boring relics built by really old people. I assure you this trip was both fascinating and entertaining. We were headed to Grand Canyon but decided to stop at the Hoover Dam just to say we had been there. This was to be a 4 night, 5 day adventure ending at Slide Rock near Sedona, AZ. We woke up before the sun on Monday morning and were on the road by 5 am. By doing so we were able to avoid all the rush hour traffic. After driving for 3 hours, hunger set in and we decided to stop in Baker at Bob’s Big Boy for some breakfast.
Another hour & 45 minute drive and we were at Hoover Dam! I haven’t been there since I was a kid and a lot had been done since I was there last. An amazing desert colored visitor center and entrance had been built.
This bridge is an amazing feat and has even been on cable tv’s Extreme Engineering. When complete in 2010, it will be the World’s biggest arch bridge and help to alieveiate traffic on the 2 lane hwy that crosses the dam itself. Its cool to have been able to witness such an amazing structure in its building stage. Check out the tv episode about it of you have a chance, its pretty interesting.
So we were feeling pretty sleepy at this point but our next stop was the Grand Canyon and the anticipation was high! Another 3 hour drive and we were finally at the Grand Canyon. When you get there, the canyon isn’t visible; it just looks like desert for as far as the eye can see. We paid our National park entrance fee of $25; which is good for one car for 7 days. Once inside the park we went to check out campgrounds. Since it was the middle of the week, we didn’t make reservations… luckily we found a spot at Mather Campground. The campground had warm pay showers and we were content. There wasn’t much daylight left so we hurried to set up camp.
By this time were we so tired we could barely keep our eyes open. We went back to camp, scrounged up some dinner and went to bed. In the morning we were going to see the canyon by the light of day, and we could hardly wait!
Filed under: camping, Life, National Parks, Oregon, Travel, West Coast Road Trip
We woke up and started packing. Our next destination on the trip was Crater Lake National Park and it was gonna take about 4 hours to drive there. I was sad the leave the festival but excited for the journey ahead. I snapped a couple more festival pics and we were on our way!
This is where it gets a little crazy. We got to the campground around 5pm and we were dying to take showers. We waited in line to get a campsite and the guy in front of us got THE LAST ONE!!! Well us O’Neill girls weren’t gonna take that for an answer. We drove around the campground looking for people that might wanna take us in. To our suprise, no one looked compatible. We noticed a lot of empty reserved spaces though and couldn’t imagine that so many people would come so late. We found a large site to squat on and no sooner did we set up our tent, than the real tenants of the site pulled up. We bated our eyelashes, pleaded our case and they ended up being cool with it. We had our tent set up in their site and our fire and stove set up in the next site over which was reserved for the fire fighters who had been fighting the fire I talked about earlier. We were so proud of our resourcefulness! Finally we got our well earned showers, cooked dinner and settled in around the campfire.
That night we froze our asses off. Kristi wanted to use the tarp and I thougt we didnt need to bother… boy was I wrong. Even though there was no rain, the moisture in the air soaked into our sleeping bags and we shivered all night long.