Sequoia and Kings Canyon Camping

  • 01 of 04

    Campgrounds in and Around Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    Campsite at Lodgepole Campground, Sequoia National Park
    ••• Campsite at Lodgepole Campground, Sequoia National Park. Ray Bouknight/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    It sounds simple: You want to go camping at Sequoia National Park. Or find a campground at King Canyon. Or somewhere nearby.

    Finding the perfect spot gets more complicated than it ought to be - in a hurry. Here's why:  There are not one but two national parks, side by side. There are campgrounds in the national forest. Other government agencies also offer places to camp. On top of that, privately-owned campgrounds and camping spots are available outside the parks.

    That's why I'm here - to help you quickly make sense of your options.

    Camping In Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

    The national parks together have more than a dozen campgrounds.

    All of them charge a nightly fee. Most are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but some can be reserved - see the Reservations section below for details. On Saturday nights in July and August and all three-day weekends, you should have a reservation to avoid finding everything filled up. If you arrive unprepared, Lodgepole...MORE Campground may have a few sites available, but I wouldn't count on it. 

    Facilities vary, with some having flush toilets, RV dump stations while others accommodate tents only and may have only pit toilets. None of them have showers, but there are pay showers at Lodgepole Village and Cedar Grove Village. You can also shower at Grant Grove during limited hours. See their locations and find out what facilities each one has.

    Backpackers can camp in wilderness areas inside the park, but you need a wilderness permit

    More About Sequoia Camping

    • Camping Nearby But Outside the Parks
    • Private Campgrounds Near Three Rivers
    • High Sierra Camps at Sequoia
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Camping Nearby But Outside the Parks

    Camping In Sequoia National Forest
    ••• Camping In Sequoia National Forest. Paul Lovine/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The USDA Forest Service manages more than 50 developed campgrounds in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, some that accommodate RVs and have toilets and running water while others are more primitive.

    Fees vary, and some of the most basic are free. Camping season runs from late-May through mid-October, but a few campgrounds are open year-round. See a list of all of them with descriptions and find information about reservations.

    Camping is also available nearby in Sequoia National Forest's Hume Lake Ranger District.

    Reservations For Federal Sites Anywhere

    You can make reservations for campgrounds in the national parks, in Sequoia National Forest and other locations administered by the U.S. Government at one website. You can reserve up to six months ahead - and up to a year for group sites that accommodate seven people or more.

    Here's how: search for "SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS" at recreation.gov. Select the Campgrounds box on the...MORE left to see them all. They even include sites that don't take reservations.

    Their map is also helpful, but use it with caution. Places that appear to close may not be because of mountains in between. For example, Onion Valley is about 5 miles from Cedar Grove on the map, but it's a 360-mile drive around the mountains to get there.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Private Campgrounds Near Three Rivers

    Lake Kaweah, Three Rivers, California
    ••• Lake Kaweah, Three Rivers, California. David H. Carriere / Getty Images

    Just outside the park's south gate is the town of Three Rivers. You'll find several campgrounds and RV parks in the area:

    Sequoia RV Ranch 

    They have RV sites and can accommodate all kinds of recreational vehicles. Some of their sites are on the river. If you don't own a trailer, they have one for rent.

    Three Rivers Hideaway 

    The hideaway has over 40 sites and three cabins and they say they're the closest RV park to Sequoia.

    Kaweah Park Resort 

    The resort is near Lake Kaweah, with RV hookups and tent sites. It's a bit west of Three Rivers near Lake Kaweah

    Lemon Cove-Sequoia Campground

    It's a bit further west on Highway 198 near the small town of Lemon Cove.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    High Sierra Camps at Sequoia

    Afternoon at the Sequoia High Sierra Camp
    ••• Afternoon at the Sequoia High Sierra Camp. ©2008 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Bearpaw Meadow Camp 

    Bearpaw is a backcountry tent hotel overlooking Kaweah Gorge and the Great Western Divide, providing hikers with linens and meals, open only in summer. You can make reservations online. Bearpaw is 11.3 miles from the trailhead at Crescent Meadow. The average time to hike there is about seven hours.

    Sequoia High Sierra Camp 

    This is a much more refined place, where the experience is sometimes called "glamping" (glamorous camping). Their 36 luxury canvas cabins combine a wilderness camping adventure with the comforts of home. To get there, you can make an all-day hike 11 miles along a well-marked backcountry trail or drive to a trailhead and hike just 1.5 miles. Open July through October.