Category Archives: California Camping

Glacier Lodge Brochure Circa late 1980’s

Here are the four pages from a brochure we picked up when staying at Glacier Lodge in Big Pine, California.  We found a website that has older brochures from the Owens Valley including some from Glacier Lodge.

Glacier Lodge Brochure Page 1
Glacier Lodge Brochure 1980’s
Page 2 of the Glacier Lodge brochure shows the interior.
A view of the lodge interior.
The lodge appears on page 3 of the brochure.
A Very nice view of the lodge along with description of acommodations.
Page 4 of the brochure provides a photo and directions.
Another nice photo and directions on the back.

Glacier Lodge 1988

The original lodge was built in 1917 and destroyed by fire in 1967, rebuilt in 1967, then destroyed by an avalanche in 1967.  Glacier Lodge was again rebuilt in 1969 and is shown below in a 1988 photo.  Scroll to the bottom for an area map.

Photo of Glacier Lodge 1988.
Glacier Lodge circa 1988.

It remained the building known as Glacier Lodge until it was destroyed by another fire in 1998.  Currently one of the cabins, which were unharmed during the fire, serves as the new Lodge until a replacement can be built.  Below are photos of the lodge dining room as seen in 1988  and the lake map that used to hang in  Glacier Lodge.  This page rounds out with a hand drawn map showing the area around the lodge and points of interest.

A photo of the Lodge dining room before the 1988 fire.
The Dining Room of The Lodge in 1988.
Map from pre-fire days.
The old Lodge had a painted map on the wall showing the area lakes.
Photo of Glacier Lodge Cabins.
Some of Glacier Lodge Cabins 1988.










Map of Glacier Lodge and nearby Points of Interest

Map of Glacier Lodge and surrounding area.
Glacier Lodge Map showing Big Pine, Bishop and Lake Sabrina. NOT TO SCALE.

Visit the Glacier Lodge Website for rates and information.

Tomorrow’s blog provides information of the campsites in the areas.


Glacier Lodge, Big Pine California and Palisades Glacier

The Eleven Mile Road To Glacier Lodge

SIDE NOTE:  As downsizing continues photos are a big project.  I’ve suddenly found inspiration in creating these blog pages to match up with photos that needed to be scanned.  
The eleven mile road takes one past several camprounds on the way to Glacier Lodge where cabins and RV camping are available except during the off season.

Below are areas the next few blogs will cover.  Tomorrow’s post will provide an overview map of the area and photos of the lodge before the 1998 fire destroyed it for the third time.  

Glacier Lodge

Glacier Lodge was built in 1917.  Fifty years later the lodge was destroyed  by fire and rebuilt.  Later that year, 1967, an avalanche struck which resulted in an explosion, once again destroying the lodge.  Twice in one year, how heartbreaking.

The photo captures Palisades Glacier as it was in 1988.
Palisades Glacier as viewed in 1988.

1969 saw the lodge rebuilt where it reclaimed its home once more in the beautiful Sierra’s known to John Muir.  The lodge boasted and boasts a fantastic  view of the Palisade Glacier and became a favorite for such celebrities as John Wayne, Rita Hayward and others in the industry.  Glacier Lodge was referred to as the Jewel of the Sierras and was known to many.

29 years after the 1969 fire the lodge was once again engulfed and destroyed on the night of May 5, 1998.  Owned bythe Huffman-Jordan families only since the previous October, an electrical fire in the kitchen began which lead to a complete loss of Glacier Lodge.

Although electrical was destroyed to the cabins the buildings were saved and remain standing and in use today.  One of those cabins has become the temporary new lodge headquarters.  Both the lodge and this  cabin can be seen on the upcoming blogs thanks to a winter visit Wayne and I had in the late 1980’s.

Big Pine Creek Campground

In 1988 we stayed during the summer at Big Pine Creek Campground located 0.3 miles from Glacier Lodge.  That winter we stayed in the cabin that is today the lodge headquarters.  We will be sharing more photographs in the blogs which follow.  


Links to points of interest nearby and information on the area will follow.  In addition to Big Pine Creek Campground there are additional accommodations:  Big Pine Canyon Group Camp Site, Upper Sage Flat Campground and Sage Flat Campground.  We’ll provide links to a few good YouTube videos we’ve discovered as well to let you really get a feel of the area.

TIP! If you have a lot of photos from lots of trips start a travel blog.  A good excuse to actually take the time to digitalize them and create a record of your past ventures as well as information for others.




La Jolla Indian Reservation Circa 1970’s & 80’s

Camping At LaJolla Indian Reservation

This was by far my #1 place to camp as a young adult.  I used to keep a packed milk crate containing camping supplies in the hall closet and would stop by the store

Photo of Christine floating on the river.
A very old shot of Christine floating on a small boat down the San Luis Rey River. Sometime in the 80’s.

on a Friday night for ice and other needs, gas up and head out at a moment’s notice.  Several of us would head to the campground with just a call from anyone saying let’s go!

Carrie and Wesley took different routes .





About an hour’s drive from San Diego we were lucky in those days as $5 would get you and your carload in.  We’d bring our own tubes or you could rent them and spend all hot summer day tubing along the San Luis Rey River located in the campground.

Teresa and Sarah return from tubing. Tom’s catching some rays.



Denise and Steve Cooking it up. I get the tongue from Denise.


One would take the long hot trek uphill from camp by the lower calm river to the higher starting point for the not too difficult rapids over rocks and tree parts.  Then the calmer water would float us down to our campsite where we’d stop to grab a beer or get food or pee and then head back up with tube in hand and do it all over again all day long.

Today the prices are higher and there is RV parking to boot.  In those days the ground was dirt everywhere with rocks and trees and river.  Your car would get you so far, pack it in if you want to go futher.  No assigned spots, we would camp where it fit our style.  I believe it was the late 1980’s when I discovered my old camping spots were now dedicated to the RV’s.  That trip something was going on and the loud speakers spoke where the wind said shut up.  I’ve never been back.  We plan to go during our California to Oregon and Beyond Trip and explore this and other old stomping grounds.    That is, unless pets are still banned of course.

If you have current information to add post to the comments and I’ll publish it here.

Back then there were plenty of places to hike into in the uphill section and even across the river on the green bank of tents.  Beautiful places to hike to in the lower river.  We were always next to our vehicle as well as the river with almost always friend or friends camped close.

Photo of secluded area of campground.
Exploring brings one to all kinds of great places where you or your group can get away from the crowds.

I used to be like many of the campers there, we’d bring pallets of wood and have huge campfires part of the night only winding down as we did.  It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Mark and Sioux taught me the value of conserving the size of the fire and emissions of same.  (Something I’ve practiced since I’d like them to know should they ever stumble upon this site.)

I remember one trip we camped up the hill and discovered a HUGE pile of dirty diapers, trash and toilet paper.  Someone must have been there a month or a whole tribe of people had stayed there a week.  We couldn’t leave it and cleaned it up.  Those grounds were sacred to some of us.

Summer weekends were insane with huge crowds of people decending upon the land.  I guess that’s why the prices have become what they have, to control the crowds and keep the foot traffic reasonable.

I remember one time driving past the office and they had a burnt picnic table on the lawn clearly facing out to the dirt road right next to it so anyone driving in or out could see it.  A big sign was painted and hung on it that said something to the effect of “They did this.  You should see what we did to them and they are the ones in jail.”  I guess someone forgot to bring firewood.  And their manners.

One time I camped with just me and my daughter, I think she was two at the time.  Ever the camper who brings it all, I had a ton of wood in the form of 2×2’s and other assorted shapes.  I made a table to use while camping.  I woke up the next morning and someone had taken it for their fire (most sites had no tables and the firepits were all rocks from the mountainous land we were camping on).  It was bring your own wood or purchase from the small campground store.

One of the fondest memories of my life was talking my parents into camping here with me and actually going on the tubes.  My dad was called “Archie Bunker” by my and my sister’s Burbank friends and yes, after the TV Archie.  My mom on the other hand had a story about having gunshot fired at her for stealing a watermelon in her Texas teens so it made more since that she was up for it.   They both came.

Times sure have changed through the years.  At one time there was a waterpark built above the campground area.  I can’t find any current information on that and it was built after I had camped there last. At one time the river water was diverted and I think the waterpark was built for that reason but it appears to no longer be there or perhaps someone else owns it or?  Today I went to their website listed below and it is for the campsite closed for the winter – but they will be taking reservations for group and RV sites.  So possibly campers can camp in the summer and there will be some means to pay, either by phone or perhaps at the gate.

I only got a recording when calling the campground.  I wanted to know if they still ban pets (see below taken from one of their old websites and I removed the waterpark number).

The La Jolla Indian Reservation is located along State Highway 76, ten miles west of Pauma Valley, and six miles east of Lake Henshaw.  This statement was found “The whole family is welcome — but no pets, please. It is wise to call first for updated information 760-742-1297 (campground).”  That phone number is not a correct number so for now the 2018 status of the campground is unknowns.  UPDATE 2/15/2018:  Clicking the above link takes you to a new and improved website from just when this article was written.  The new site looks great and I imagine shortly all the info you need will be there.








Camping At Red Rock in California

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Ricardo Campground

One of my top 5 California campgrounds when living in southern California.  Below are two relatively poor copies of 12×12-inch scrapbook pages that give you an overall experience of camping at Red Rock.

Photo of camping at Red Rock Ricardo State Park in California.
Camping at Ricardo Campground in Red Rock State Park CA.









It was here in 1986 we drove to see Haley’s Comet, arriving the night before the event only to find a booked campground.  It was after hours so it was drive around, mark your site and pay in the box but there were no sites – telescopes and campers were throughout the land.

As we drove our second pass around a stranger hurried towards us asking if we like to share their site as they had plenty of room and thus they saved the trip and our chance at seeing the comet.  I’ve always said, campers are the BEST people!

Current camping fees (2/2018) are $25 night/$23 seniors plus $6 for extra vehicle. No online reservations.

Note that trailers and motorhomes must be no longer than 30 feet.  I called the park information numbers provided 661.839.6553 or 661.946-6092) and only got recordings so I will keep trying until I can answer that my 19′ truck plus possible future 22′ trailer is ok as long as I disconnect..   I think from camping there many times in the past that there was plenty of room to park along side it but I want to make sure as it’s been 11 years since our last trip.

No online reservations available.  No drones permitted.

Rather than my going on about the extensive history of this beautiful desert area I would direct you to a wonderful write up on Wikipedia.

I will update this page when I add the maps and other information to the California Camping section of this website and provide a link.  (And then remove this message). provides campsite photos.  Awesome!

California State Parks Annual Pass might be something you are interested in.  The link provides all the current information.

Note:  (I’ll be scanning some individual photos for the California Camping pages of this website and try to re-scan the ones here as well.)