The Best Camping in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is just one of nine national parks in California – but that’s no reason to pass it up.

Not only is it contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park to the north, but Yosemite National Park is just a short drive away. While Sequoia is worth a visit in and of itself, many visitors stop at all three national parks for the ultimate California national park road trip.

As for Sequoia itself, visitors are drawn to the dramatic landscape, namely the absolutely gigantic trees, including five of the ten largest trees on earth. Don’t miss the towering General Sherman Tree (the largest tree by volume in the world), the impressive Mount Whitney (the tallest mountain peak in the lower 48 states), or Crystal Cave (an expansive marble cavern).

Stay for a few nights for an even more enjoyable visit. Camping in Sequoia National Park is plentiful and diverse with fourteen campgrounds within both it and adjacent Kings Canyon National Park. Some campgrounds are restricted to just tents while others welcome RVs and trailers with open arms.

Here’s everything you need to know about camping in Sequoia National Park.

Index

  1. Best Campgrounds
  2. Backcountry Camping
  3. Winter Camping
  4. Nearby Campgrounds
  5. Other Lodging

Best Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park

Camping in Sequoia National Park is one of the best ways to explore this wonderland of outdoor beauty. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping in a private location or a more social setting, there’s a Sequoia National Park campground just for you.

Here are the best campgrounds in Sequoia National Park:

Atwell Mill Campground

East Fork of the Kaweah River

Dates Open: Early Summer to Early Fall

# of Sites: 21

Located in the Mineral King Area, Atwell Mill Campground is one of the best campgrounds in Sequoia National Park for those who value privacy.

With just 21 total campsites, the campground is quieter and more secluded than most. It’s located near the East Fork of the Kaweah River in a grove of towering sequoia trees. All campsites are shady and most are private from one another. The town of Three Rivers is just one hour away.

Vault toilets and potable water are located on-site. All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Learn more about Atwell Mill Campground.

Buckeye Flat Campground

Mule Deer Drinking From Kaweah River

Dates Open: Early Spring to Late Fall

# of Sites: 28

Hands down one of the best places for tent camping in Sequoia National Park, the Buckeye Flat Campground actually allows tents only. No RVs are allowed.

The peaceful campground is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. It’s protected under the shady cover of soaring trees. It’s located in the Foothills Area of the park which is best known for the Giant Forest sequoia grove.

Flush toilets are located on-site. Advance reservations are available. 

Learn more about Buckeye Flat Campground.

Cold Springs Campground

Bear Sign in Sequoia National Park

Dates Open: Early Summer to Early Fall

# of Sites: 40

One of the most remote campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, Cold Springs Campground is an ideal spot for those that value privacy and a sense of seclusion.

The campground is just an hour from Three Rivers, the town which serves as a gateway to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon. It has just 40 total campsites. All of these are reserved for tent campers only. 9 of the campsites are walk-in only. The campground is situated under a canopy of towering trees near the East Fork of the Kaweah River.

Vault toilets and potable water are located on-site. All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served.

Learn more about Cold Springs Campground.

Dorst Creek Campground

Dorst Creek Campground in Sequoia National Park

Dates Open: Early Summer through Fall

# of Sites: 218

Dorst Creek Campground in the Lodgepole and Giant Forest Area is one of the best RV campgrounds in Sequoia National Park.

Although it’s suitable for RVs of almost any length (the exact length of your RV is required while making reservations), it’s also an excellent place for tent camping. It boasts 218 total campsites plus 4 campsites for large groups (15-30 people). The campground sits at 6,800 feet and is tucked away in a dense forest of sequoia trees.

Flush toilets and running water are located on-site. Advance reservations are available. There is also an RV dump station.

Learn more about Dorst Creek Campground.

Lodgepole Campground

Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park

Dates Open: Early Spring to Late Fall

# of Sites: 214

One of the largest campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, Lodgepole Campground is ideal for those that prefer a more social camping experience.

That said, most of the 214 total campsites have plenty of privacy. All are tucked away in a forest of lodgepole pine and most have shade. Most of the campsites are suitable for RVs and trailers, although you must list the length of your rig when making reservations. 16 of the campsites are walk-in only for tent campers.

Flush toilets and running water are located on-site. Advance reservations are available during the peak season (all sites are first-come, first-served in the shoulder seasons). An RV dump station is also available.

Learn more about Lodgepole Campground.

Potwisha Campground

Ground Squirrel at Potwisha Campground

Dates Open: Year-Round

# of Sites: 42

Just one of two campgrounds in Sequoia National Park open year-round, Potwisha Campground is the ideal place for camping in any season, including winter.

Just 4 miles from the entrance to the national park, Potwisha is very convenient for those traveling to just Sequoia or to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The campground is near the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. It’s covered by a canopy of beautiful oak trees. It has 42 campsites total, all of which are open year-round. RVs, trailers, and tents are all welcome.

Flush toilets and running water are located on-site. Advance reservations are available during the peak season (all sites are first-come, first-served in the shoulder season). An RV dump station is also available.

Learn more about Potwisha Campground.

South Fork Campground

Milky Way in Sequoia National Park

Dates Open: Year-Round

# of Sites: 10

The only other place for year-round camping in Sequoia National Park, South Fork Campground is much smaller and more primitive than Potwisha Campground.

It boasts just 10 total campsites. It’s suitable only for tent camping. No RVs or trailers are allowed here. The campground itself is beautiful and spacious. It’s nestled near an evergreen and oak forest just a short walk from the South Fork of the Kaweah River. The access road in is gravel/dirt and can be rough, especially during winter. The National Park Service does not recommend a low-clearance vehicle.

Vault toilets are located on-site. No running water is available. All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn more about South Fork Campground.


Backcountry Camping in Sequoia National Park

Backpacking in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are home to one of the most magnificent wilderness areas in the world.

Not only does this wilderness contain the most vertical relief (1,370 feet to 14,505 feet) of any protected area in the contiguous United States, it also boasts an incredibly diverse array of ecosystems and terrain, including thick forests, expansive meadows, glacial canyons, and more.

One of the great joys of visiting Sequoia National Park is backpacking out into these wilderness areas and camping overnight in the backcountry.

A wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays in the Sequoia backcountry. Furthermore, you must always camp in designated backcountry camping areas, follow all minimum impact restrictions to a T, and adhere to all bear safety best practices, including proper food storage such as a bear-proof canister.

You literally have hundreds of miles of backpacking trails to choose from for backcountry camping in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Here are some of the best backpacking trails in Sequoia to help plan your trip.

Winter Camping in Sequoia National Park

Winter Camping in Sequoia National Park

Summer isn’t the only time to go camping in Sequoia National Park.

The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are equally desirable. Although you should be prepared for harsher weather conditions, these off-peak times are perfect for camping.

What about winter? Although just three of the fourteen campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park remain open year-round, a fabulous winter camping trip isn’t hard to come by.

Azalea Campground in Kings Canyon and Potwisha Campground in Sequoia are open to tents and RVs year-round while South Fork Campground in in Sequoia is open to tent camping year-round.

Any of these three campgrounds makes a perfect homebase for winter camping in Sequoia National Park. Don’t forget to check out popular winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter ranger programs.

Our guide to winter camping and our winter camping gear guide will help you further prepare for your winter camping trip. And, for the truly adventurous, our winter backpacking guide will help you prepare for backpacking in Sequoia during winter. 


Best Campgrounds Near Sequoia National Park

In addition to the best Sequoia National Park campgrounds, campers have the option to camp at nearby Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Forest, and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Here are the best campgrounds near Sequoia National Park:

Kings Canyon National Park Campgrounds

Because they’re administered jointly by the National Park Service as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, they’re actually two distinct national parks. That said, camping in Kings Canyon makes for easy access to much of Sequoia National Park.

  • Azalea CampgroundOpen year-round, Azalea Campground is situated in a beautiful evergreen forest at 6,500 feet elevation. It has 110 first-come, first-served campsites suitable for tents and RVs, although no hookups are available.
  • Canyon View CampgroundConsisting of group campsites only, Canyon View Campground is best suited for mid-sized (7-15 people) and large (15-30) people groups only. No RV camping is allowed, only tents. The campground is open from early spring through late fall. Advance reservations are available.
  • Crystal Springs CampgroundComfortably tucked into open stands of evergreen trees, the spacious Crystal Springs Campground has 36 individual campsites for tents and RVs. It has an additional 14 sites for mid-sized groups (7-15 people). The campground is open from early spring through late fall. Advance reservations are available.
  • Moraine CampgroundAmazing views of granite cliffs greet campers at Moraine Campground. The 121 first-come, first-served campsites are open to both tents and RVs. The campground is open from early spring through late fall.
  • Sentinel CampgroundThis forested campground is located in a peaceful, forested setting and has 82 campsites total. Both tents and RVs are welcome. The campground is open from early spring through late fall. Advance reservations are available.
  • Sheep Creek CampgroundJust minutes from the Middle Fork of the Kings River, this campground has 111 first-come, first-served campsites open to RVs and tents. It’s open from late spring through early fall.
  • Sunset CampgroundNear Grant Grove Village, Sunset Campground is, like many Kings Canyon National Park campgrounds, located in a stand of evergreens. It has 157 campsites plus two group campsites. Both RVs and tents are welcome. The campground is open from early spring to late fall. Advance reservations are available.

Hume Lake Area Campgrounds

Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park

The Hume Lake Area is part of the Sequoia National Forest. It’s largely situated around the titular 87-acre lake. In addition to camping, this area is popular for fishing and non-motorized boating. Dozens of miles of hiking trails are located nearby that double as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter.

  • Convict Flat CampgroundA bright and sunny campground, Convict Flat is set against large cliffs in an open meadow. It has 5 campsites best suited for tent camping and small trailers.
  • Hume Lake CampgroundJust minutes to Hume Lake, this Sequoia campground is notable for its proximity to not only the lake, but also to boat rentals, a grocery store, and additional amenities. It has 72 total campsites. Advance reservations are available.
  • Landslide CampgroundA small, primitive campground located in a beautiful forested area, this campground boasts 9 total campsites. It’s surrounded by nearby hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
  • Princess CampgroundTucked away in a breathtaking sequoia grove, this campground has 90 campsites separated into three loops. There’s both lots of shade and lots of privacy. Indian Basin Creek is a short walk away. In the summer, campground activities, like campfire talks, are available each weekend. Advance reservations are available.
  • Tenmile CampgroundAnother small, primitive Sequoia National Forest campground, Tenmile is just minutes from Hume Lake, making it a perfect hub for water recreation. It has 13 campsites that can be reserved in advance. Top-notch hiking and biking trails are available nearby.

Big Meadows and Stony Creek Areas

Stony Creek in Sequoia National Park

Also part of the Sequoia National Forest, the Big Meadows Area and Stony Creek Area are both home to excellent camping near Sequoia National Park. These campgrounds serve as great jumping off points for exploring the national park as well as for hiking, biking, ATVing, and horseback riding within the national forest.

  • Big Meadows CampgroundJust minutes from the Generals Highway, this campground is perfectly located for exploring both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It has 30 singles campsites plus 8 double campsites. Advance reservations are required.
  • Buck Rock CampgroundWith just 5 total campsites, Buck Rock is small but it packs a big punch. It’s located next to awesome hiking trails which pass by staggering sequoia trees and roaring rivers. It’s popular among bikers and equestrians in addition to hikers.
  • Horse Camp CampgroundAs the name implies, this campground is designed with equestrians in mind. It has just 5 total campsites but also offers horse corrals.
  • Stony Creek CampgroundAlmost 50 reservable campsites are located here, including many well-suited for RVs. The campground is set along the titular creek for a relaxing roaring of water at most campsites.  
  • Upper Stony Creek CampgroundGeared towards RVs, Upper Stony Creek Campground is just across the highway from Stony Creek Campground. It has 23 campsites which cater to RVs and tent campers. It’s an excellent homebase for exploring the nearby Jennies Lakes Wilderness.

Other Lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park

Not everyone wants to go camping in Sequoia National Park. Another overnight lodging option is to stay at one of four lodges or cabins in the national park complex. Three of these (Wuksachi, Grant Grove, and John Muir) are open to visitors year-round.

Here is the best lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks:

  • Cedar Grove LodgeTucked away in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, this lodge boasts 21 comfortable hotel rooms in addition to a gift shop, market, and snack bar. A plethora of hiking trails are available in the general area. The lodge is open from spring through fall.
  • Grant Grove CabinsLocated in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon, guests have the option to select from several cabin types, including timber and tent cabins. Some of the cabin rentals are available year-round, although the area is snowy in the winter. A gift shop, market, and restaurant are also available on site.
  • John Muir LodgeAlso located in the Grant Grove area, this Kings Canyon National Park lodge has 36 total hotel rooms. This is in addition to a restaurant as well as a nearby market and gift shop. The lodge is ideal for visiting the towering General Grant Tree. It’s open year-round.
  • Wuksachi LodgeThe only lodge in Sequoia National Park itself, the Wukaschi Lodge is an excellent home base for exploring the Giant Forest area as well as the rest of the park. It’s open year-round and has 102 hotel rooms plus a full-service restaurant, cocktail bar, and gift shop.

Check Out Our Other Top Camping Resources!

Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park

Need more help planning your Sequoia National Park camping trip?

Then check out some of our top camping resources:

Or, if you need help selecting the best camping gear and equipment, our popular buyer’s guides can help:

Looking to mix things up on this camping trip? Consider going RV camping in Sequoia and leaving the tent at home! Our RV rental tool will help you find the best RV rentals near you:

Our national park camping guides will help you plan camping trips to other popular national parks. A few of our best include:

Last but not least, our best state camping guides will help you find the best camping in any state you visit on your camping trip. Here are a few of our most popular:

Still have questions? Just reach out to us! Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help!

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