Walton's History

Established in 1926, Walton's Grizzly Lodge has a long, rich history.

Before electricity and refrigeration, our lake was used for harvesting ice. When the lake froze, workers on horseback would drag heavy saws that would cut the ice into large blocks. Through a system of trenches, the ice was transported to a large three story building where it was stored until summer. The Western Pacific Railroad would then place the ice in cars carrying perishable goods.

With the invention of refrigeration, the ice harvesting was no longer needed. The land lay dormant until World War II. During the war the facilities were used as a training ground by the Air Force. Many of the current camp buildings, including our historic dining lodge, were used by the Air Force during this time. When the war ended, the land became vacant once again.

Meanwhile, the camp's founders, Mom and Pop Walton, were running a school in San Francisco. In 1926 they moved to Lagunitas, a small town in Marin County, and began running a summer camp for children. Several years later Mom and Pop were hiking outside of Portola when they came upon a beautiful piece of land. When they found that the land was available, they purchased it, and relocated Camp from Lagunitas to its current location in Portola.

In 1966, Mom and Pop retired and turned camp over to their son Joe and his wife Gert. Joe and Gert ran camp until 1981 when they turned it over to their son Bob and his wife Denise, the camp's current owners. Grizzly Lodge is now directed by Bob and Denise's sons Adam and Jared and their wives Julie and Erica.

Year after year hundreds of children enjoy all Walton's has to offer. The many campers who come back each summer are testimony to the truly special place that is Walton's Grizzly Lodge.