We had the good fortune of connecting with Shantel Seoane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shantel, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
We operate several glamping sites in the Cleveland National Forest under the USFS Outfitting and Guide program. We’re dedicated to the USFS overall mission – in support of responsible recreation development, visitor outreach and managing visitor expectations. We support public awareness and outreach campaigns, towards educating visitors about trail etiquette, volunteer opportunities, environmental stewardship and responsible travel. We do our best to support volunteer efforts such as trail work and maintenance, clean-ups and any other areas where USFS may need us. We serve the mission of the USFS as one of our primary company objectives. We continue to place priority on sustainable tourism and business, responsible travel and the stewardship of our Cleveland National Forest. In a time when our planet needs it most, Alter Experiences LLC will set the standard for a tourism model centered around sustainability, conservation & the protection of our resources in the San Diego Central Mountain Region. We’re dedicated to pioneering business practices that encourage overall sustainability, a balance with nature conservation, & encouraging localized business growth.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Alter Experiences LLC is the result of an ever-evolving dream, very different from the busy modern day world. It’s a vision of a simpler place where life is basic, beautiful & in resonance with nature. It’s this dream that’s inspired our travel concept and business approach. We are an experience travel company, dedicated to nature adventures, wildlife encounters, responsible travel and sustainable business. Our glamping headquarters are in the San Diego Backcountry, Mount Laguna – under concession of US Forest Service – Cleveland National Forest.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The San Diego Backcountry is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets. Very few places are comparable to this region in terms of its pristine nature, bio-diversity, history, & heritage. As a proud community & leading tourism destination, we’re dedicated to ensuring a safe & memorable experience during your stay in the backcountry. This region represents one of the last places left in Southern California, where you can enjoy pristine nature, wildlife, & the solitude of mountain forests. We intend to keep it that way & count on your support. The Rancho Cuyamaca State Park & Cleveland National Forest feature a labyrinth of trails just waiting to be explored. Streams & waterfalls abound in dense oak & pine tree forests. Wildlife such as deer, turkey & hawks frequent the area regularly. Take a tour at the Cuyamaca State Park Interpretive Center & learn a little more about the region’s rich history & heritage. Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip out to Fletcher Island from Lake Cuyamca. The lake-view restaurant offers a variety of delicious plates & libations. You can camp on site at the lake or you can choose from many traditional camping/RV sites in the area. Maybe you’d like to stay in one of our glamping sites? There are also numerous hotels, lodges, and B&B accommodations to suit your needs. Just past Lake Cuyamaca is Sunrise Highway that leads to Mount Laguna. This area offers spectacular views to the east all the way out the Anza-Borrego desert & the Salton Sea. At an elevation of almost 6,000ft, Mount Laguna can experience significant snow fall in the winter. The historic town of Julian offers a multitude of tours, attractions, restaurants & shopping. Enjoy a carriage ride down Main Street & don’t forget to try our world-famous Julian pie. Our local breweries Nickel Beer and JBC have some of the best craft beer in San Diego. Menghini Winery & Volcan Mountain Winery are one of our most popular attractions, along with our local orchards & u-pick farms. While you’re in the area stop by the Volcan Mountain Preserve & learn about their amazing efforts towards conservation. The Julian Station & Wynola are an attraction in themselves. Jeremey’s on the Hill offers farm-to-table cuisine, or you can visit Wynola Pizza & Bistro for some delicious pizza & drinks. Head on over to the Julian Station afterwards for libations ranging from wine, craft beer, cider, mead & komboucha. Julian Hard Cider & Julian Ciderworks are a must! Manita’s Mexican food is another local favorite. Further on down is Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs, Lake Henshaw & the La Jolla Indian Reservation all waiting to be explored. There is no shortage of unique attractions & activities to choose from while visiting the San Diego Backcountry. Enjoy all the beauty & wonders this region has to offer. Please act safely and responsibly while visiting the backcountry. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
None of this would’ve been possible without the support of Lindsey Steinwachs and the U.S. Forest Service – Descanso Ranger District. They’ve been an integral part of helping develop the outfitting and guiding program in the Cleveland National Forest, along with conservation efforts, among many other initiatives. 3 years ago, Lindsey recognized the potential in our business model and took a chance on us. Today, we remain the first glamping outfitting program in the State of California, thanks to her forward thinking approach. We’ve set the stage for the growth of the outdoor hospitality industry and continue to pioneer sustainable business trends in our backountry. As a business dedicated towards responsible travel, we can’t think of a more important alliance than supporting the mission of the US Forest Service.