A short stroll and a lot of history

House of Happy Walls
The park's main museum is located in the house built after the Wolf House fire and Jack London's death.
User: Austin Explorer - 4/14/2019

Location: Jack London State Historic Park

Rating: 3stars
Difficulty: 2stars  Solitude: 3stars
Miles Hiked: 1.91 Miles  Elapsed Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes


During all of our previous visits to Jack London State Park Coppertone and I had not visited many of the historic exhibits here.  We always intended to do so, but we were more focused on hitting the trails than looking at exhibits.  Today we wanted a nice leisurely walk and decided to log some of the trails that focus more on the life and legacy of Jack London and his "mate" Charmian.

The Wold House Service Road is a one lane paved service road that heads towards Jack's dream home, the Wolf House.  The path is pleasant enough for a paved trail and might be ADA compliant.  It parallels a small stream that was flowing nicely with a couple of tiny waterfalls here and there.  In a mile or less you'll come up to Jack's dream abode.  Sadly, he and Charmian never got to enjoy the house as it burned in a fire just weeks before construction was to be finished.  All that remains are bare stone walls, some held up by steel support beams the state has put in place to keep the remaining structure from deteriorating further.  A small loop of trail provides views of the mansion from different angles.  An elevated platform "enters" the perimeter of the building and provides views of the reflecting pond and other features.

On the way back we took the short spur trail leading to the site of Jack and Charmian's graves.  A simple rock lies over their cremated remains.  If there were no fence and wooden sign indicating this was their resting place you would hardly give it a second thought.  The graves of the two pioneer children who lie nearby have resting places that are more significant.

The single track trail leading to the House of Happy Walls Museum was the way we headed back to the parking lot.  The museum had just undergone an extensive renovation and we found the exhibits very interesting.  Be sure to place your finger on the letters of the large metal topographic map near the entrance.  It's a multimedia spectacle.  If you're a Jack London fan then you'll definitely want to visit the museum and visit its well stocked gift shop that has special editions of most of his works.

In all we got in just short of 2 miles, not counting the distance we covered in the museum itself.  Not a serious hike today, but a pleasant morning.

Log Photos
Parking Lot View
Wolf House Service Road
Wolf House
Reflecting Pool
Jack London's Gravesite
Grave site
Greenlaw children
Trail View
House of Happy Walls Trail
House of Happy Walls
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