Sequoia National Park is known for it’s giant sequoia trees. Many people visit the park to see the towering General Sherman Tree. which is the largest tree in the world by volume. But where can you stay? Can you overnight camp in Sequoia National Park?
You can camp in Sequoia National Park. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks have fourteen campgrounds. Plus there are many additional campgrounds in nearby Sequoia National Forest. Sequoia National Forest has dispersed camping, where permitted. National Forest Service has posted signs where camping is NOT permitted; that way, there is no confusion. Camping inside Sequoia National Park requires and entry fee.
Read on to find out more about camping in and around Sequoia National Park.
Campgrounds Inside Sequoia National Park
As I mentioned, there are fourteen campgrounds inside the park. Due to the recent fires, some campgrounds may be closed. Of the fourteen campgrounds inside the park, three are open year-round. Each campsite inside the park has a picnic table, a fire ring, and a bear locker. There are no RV hookups in any site, but Potwisha, Lodgepole, and Dorst Creek campgrounds all have dump stations. Dogs are allowed in parking lots, on paved roads, campgrounds, and picnic areas, but not on the trails. Showers are available at Lodgepole Village in Sequoia National Park and Stony Creek Resort in Sequoia National Forest. There are no gas stations inside the park, so fill your tank before you arrive. For sites that can be reserved, reserve your site through recreation.gov.
Best Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park:
Best Campground for Backpackers: South Fork, Cold Springs, and Atwell Mill
The three campgrounds in Sequoia National Park that are open year-round are South Fork Campground, Potwisha Campground, and Azalea Campground.
South Fork Campground
The South Fork Campground is a tent-only primitive campground that has ten campsites. There are food storage lockers and trash collection, but no potable water is available. The campground has vault toilets. There are no showers in South Fork Campground. Trailers and RVs are not permitted in this campground. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and sites cannot be reserved in advance.
Park attractions are over an hour away from South Fork Campground. However, the campsite is a good launch site if you are backpacking to Cahoon Rock, on the Garfield Grove Trail, or the Ladybug Trail. The road into this campground is a steep, winding and narrow gravel road. High clearance vehicles are recommended. There is no cell phone service at this campground. At around 1500 feet in elevation, the campground is hot in the summer, but pleasant all other months of the year.
Located just four miles from the Ash Entrance Station, Potwisha Campground has 42 sites for either tent or RV campers. The maximum RV length is 24 feet and there are no hook ups. Campsites are paved and fairly level. This campground has drinking water and flush toilets, but no showers. Sinks are available for dish washing. At an elevation of around 2100 feet, the campground is hot in the summer, but has limited snowfall in the winter.
This is a very popular campground and is typically full at peak season. Sites are available by reservation only. The Middle Fork of the Kaweah River is a short walk from the campground and a great place to cool off in the summer. Cell service may not be available.
Azalea campground is centrally located near many attractions and located just 3.5 miles from the Kings Canyon entrance, and very close to the General Grant tree. It’s a short walk from Azalea Campground to the visitor center, restaurants and shops. Sites are available for both tent and RV campers. Sites are paved and some are somewhat level. Potable water and flush toilets are available as are trash services, but there are no showers. The maximum RV length overall is 30 feet, but the length of each campsite varies.
The campground is generally open year-round, but site availability varies depending upon snowfall in the shoulder season. Of the 110 sites, it’s possible that only 21 of those may be available November through Mid-April. Elevation for this campground is 5,708. While winter camping is accessible at this campground, it may be quite cold. Firewood is available for sale during peak season. Reservations are required during peak season and only available one month prior to your camping date. Azalea campground has some cell phone reception.
Seasonal campgrounds in Sequoia National Park open at various times. Be sure to check with the park to make sure the campground you are interested in is open when you plan to visit.
|Seasonal Campground||Tentative Opening||Tentative Closing|
|Cold Springs Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Last Wed. in October|
|Atwell Mill Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Last Wed. in October|
|Buckeye Flat Campground||Last day of March||Last Wed. in September|
|Lodgepole Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Phased: Completely closed by Thanksgiving|
|Dorst Creek Campground (Closed in 2022)||Wed. before July 4th||Last Wed. in September|
|Sunset Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Wed. after Labor Day|
|Crystal Springs Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Wed. after Labor Day|
|Sentinel Campground||4th Friday in April||Monday after Veteran’s Day|
|Sheep Creek Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||3rd Wed. of September|
|Canyon View Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Wed. after Labor Day|
|Moraine Campground||Wed. before Memorial Day||Wed. after Labor Day|
Lodgepole Campground is located on the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River and is just a 12-minute drive from the Giant Forest Sequoia Grove. This is the premiere campground for both RV and tent campers. As the second largest campground in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, this park boasts 214 camp sites. There are 76 tent sites, 122 RV sites, and 16 walk-in sites. Walk in sites are located along the river.
The campground is within walking distance of Lodgepole Village, which has coin-operated showers, a market, and laundry facilities. At an elevation of 6700 feet, the campground is no stranger to snowfall in the spring and fall months, so prepare accordingly. However, summer temperatures are mild and comfortable. Mosquitos are present during the summer months due to the proximity to the river.
The campground can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, but there are only five sites available that accommodate these longer RVs. RV sites are paved, well-spaced, and somewhat level. Most sites are shaded. There are several sites that back up to the road, but the traffic noise is minimal. The campground includes potable water spigots and flush toilets. A dump station with potable water is also nearby. All sites are reservation only, and you can reserve a month in advance of your stay.
In the summer, a free shuttle service will take you to many of the nearby trails, including the Moro Rock Trail and the Crescent Meadow Trail. The Tokopah Falls trailhead is a short walk from the campground along the river and leads to a beautiful waterfall. Cell phone service is limited.
Dorst Creek Campground
Dorst Creek Campground is closed until 2023, due to damage from the KNP fire.
Centrally located between both Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks, Dorst Creek Campground has 222 sites. There are campsites for RV use, tent camping, and walk-in sites. Thirty-three of the sites are dedicated RV-only sites. The campground has flush toilets and potable water. A dump station is located nearby.
Lodgepole Village, a short 9-mile drive, has coin-operated showers, a market, and a laundromat. The free shuttle travels to Lodgepole Village. There is no cell phone coverage, but pay phones can be found near the ranger station.
Campsites are somewhat close together and there are few level tent sites. Most tent sites are well shaded, but many RV sites don’t have as much shade. Each site has its own asphalt pad for RV and car parking. RV sites are somewhat level.
Dorst Campground is at an elevation of 6700 feet, so spring and fall months can be cold and sometimes snowy while summer weather is normally pleasant. A stream runs through both the upper and lower sections of the campground. Due to its proximity to the stream, mosquitos are bothersome in peak season. Several hikes leave from the campground including the Little Baldy Trail and the Muir Grove Trail. Dorst Campground is very popular and can be quite bustling during peak season.
Cold Springs Campground
Cold Springs Campground is located near the Mineral King Ranger Station. Mineral King does not connect to the rest of Sequoia National park by any road. The road coming into the campground is narrow and winding. Some sections of the road are unpaved. The campground has 31 tent-only sites and 9 walk-in sites. RV camping is prohibited at Cold Springs Campground.
This is a primitive campground with vault toilets but has potable water seasonally. There are no showers. Trash pickup and food storage lockers are present. All sites are reservation-only and can be reserved a month in advance of your camping date. There is no cell phone service, but the campground does have a pay phone. The campground gives access to several trailheads including the Sawtooth Trailhead and the Farewell Gap/Franklin Lakes Trailhead, The Tar Gap trail starts right at the campground, making this campground a great jumping off point for hikers and backpackers.
Atwell Mill Campground
Atwell Mill is a 21 site tent-only campground nestled along East Fork of the Kaweah River in Mineral King at an elevation of 6650 feet. Sites are reservation-only and you can make your reservation up to a month in advance of your stay. This is a primitive campground with no water, but it does have trash pick up and pit toilets. The road to the campground is steep, narrow and winding, steep, and only partially paved. Some sections of the road are single-lane.
Buckeye Flat Campground
Buckeye Flat is a tent-only, dirt-pad campground with 27 sites – no RVs are allowed. Campsites are shaded by towering oak trees. The elevation is approximately 2800 feet. Potable water is present seasonally and the campground has flush toilets and a dish washing station. From your campsite, you can hear the sound of river and waterfall, which are adjacent to the campground. The campground is reservation-only and you may reserve 30 days in advance of your stay. Buckeye Flat campground is a 30 minute drive from Giant Forest and a 45 minute drive from Crystal Caves. The Paradise Creek Trail begins in the campground.
Located just three miles from the Kings Canyon Park entrance, Sunset Campground has 158 asphalt pad campsites for tents and RVs as well as group sites. The campground can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet. This campground has potable water, flush toilets, and dish washing sinks, but there are no showers. Firewood is available from the campground host.
Sites are fairly large and most are shaded at least some time during the day. However, many sites are spaced close together. Not all tent sites are level. Some sites have a beautiful view of the sunset.
At 6500 feet elevation, the campground is comfortable enough in summer, but can cool off in the evening. Anticipate snow in Spring and Fall. Bring your bug spray (or screened tent) as yellow jackets are abundant during the summer months. Hike the one-mile trek to the General Grant Tree, or enjoy several other hikes right from the campground, including a hike to Ella Falls.
Sunset Campground is located near Grant Grove Village, where you can find a market, restaurant, post office, and gift shop.
Crystal Springs Campground
Located just four miles from the Kings Canyon Park Entrance, Crystal Springs campground has 36 tent and RV sites and fourteen group sites. The campground includes flush toilets, potable water, and a dish washing station. However, there is only one bathroom for all 36 sites. There is only one stall for men and one stall for women, so the bathrooms are very busy in the mornings. An additional toilet is located in the group site area. RVs under 25 feet are permitted. All sites are reservation-only and can be reserved a month in advance of your camping date.
The campground elevation is 6500 feet, so summer days are mild while nights can be cool. Snow is possible in Spring and Fall. The campground is an hour’s drive from major attractions like the General Sherman Tree, the Cedar Grove, and Kings Canyon National Park. Hume Lake is only 30 minutes away.
Sentinel Campground is located next to the Cedar Grove Visitor Center and just a quarter mile from Cedar Grove Village. The campground has 82 sites for both tent and RV campers. This campground can accommodate larger RVs. Some sites are up to 83 feet long. This campground even has some pull-through sites. While the road to the campground is paved, it is windy and narrow in some sections.
There is no dump station at this campground. However, Princess Campground, in Sequoia National Forest, has a dump station open during the summer. Many sites are shaded and some sites are available along the river. The campground has potable water and flush toilets. Showers are available at the nearby Cedar Grove Village. All sites are reservation only, and you can reserve a month in advance of your stay.
Sheep Creek Campground
Like Sentinel Campground, Sheep Creek Campground is also a quarter mile from the Cedar Grove Visitor Center. This campground has 111 tent and RV campsites. Most sites accommodate RVs up to 30 feet long. However, there are a few sites that are up to 90 feet long. The campground is close to the river with several campsites backing right up to the river. These sites are large and shaded. Some of the other sites have shade as well. Yellow jackets frequent the campground, so bring your screened tent or your bug spray.
The campground has potable water and flush toilets. The nearest dump station is Princess Campground in Sequoia National Forest. Showers are available at the nearby Cedar Grove Village. All sites are reservation only, and you can reserve a month in advance of your stay. There is limited cell phone service at this campground.
Canyon View Campground
Canyon View Campground is a group campground that has sixteen tent sites that accommodate 7-40 people per site, depending on the site. No RVs are allowed. The campground has potable water and flush toilets. All sites are reservation only. Reservations can be made up to one month in advance of your stay.
Moraine is another campground that is located close to Cedar Grove Village. This campground has 121 tent and RV sites. A few sites can accommodate RVs up to 61 feet, but most sites are shorter. There are a few pull-through sites. A few sites are tent-only. Moraine campground has potable water and flush toilets. The nearest dump station is at Princess Campground in Sequoia National Forest. Sites are reservation-only and you can make your reservation up to a month in advance of your stay.
Campgrounds in Sequoia National Forest
If you can’t get a campsite in Sequoia National Park, here are a couple of options close by.
Most campgrounds in Sequoia National Forest do not have a dump stations. However, the Princess Campground on Hwy 180 near the Hume Lake junction does.
Stoney Creek Campground/Upper Stoney Creek
While Stony Creek Campground is part of the Sequoia National Forest, it is run by concessionaire Rocky Mountain Recreation. It sits just outside of Sequoia National Park near Hume Lake. It’s central location gives access to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Stony Creek campground offers 50 sites and Upper Stony Creek offers 11 sites that can be reserved through recreation.gov. Sites are well-spaced. However, automobile pads are small and only suitable for cars and smaller RVs. A few sites are near the creek.
The campground offers dry camping with vault toilets and potable water. However, water spigots may not be used for dish washing or teeth brushing. Showers, a grocery store, a restaurant, a laundromat, and gas station can be found nearby at the Stony Creek Resort. However, showers and laundry facilities are not available for your 2022 stay. There is no dump station, but one is available at nearby Dorst Creek Campground. The campground is open seasonally from May 15th to October 1st. Cell phone signal is spotty, at best.
Princess Campground has 88 sites and is located in a meadow nearest to Hume Lake and Grant Grove Village. Nineteen of the sites are tent-only. Sites can be reserved through recreation.gov. This campground is suitable for tents and larger RVs, up to 45 feet. Sites are somewhat close together for a National Forest Campground. The campground has pit toilets, potable water and a dump station. The dump station is an additional cost that is not included in your campground fee. Firewood is available for sale through the camp host. Showers are available inside the park at Lodgepole Village. Cell phone signal is limited to unavailable. WiFi is available at nearby Grant Grove Village.
Dispersed Camping Areas
If you’ve never been to Sequoia National Park, don’t miss the opportunity to visit. You’ll have the time of your life and make memories that last a lifetime.