Kings Canyon National Park

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About Kings Canyon National Park

Honestly, there is so much natural beauty and so much to see at this park, it’s hard to fathom where to begin. Sweeping canyons with sunset-red rock carve through the landscape; tranquil lakes lie, still and quiet, in the shadow of great, craggy peaks; towering expanses of pine give way suddenly to peaceful meadows, spotted with babbling streams and waterfalls. Eight hundred miles of trails wind up and down with the landscape, bringing something new with every turn. There is an overwhelming presence of truly being in the wild here, where you could walk for miles and miles and never see another person. With this, of course, comes endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Hikers and equestrians can follow whichever path calls to them, the courageous can try their hand at whitewater kayaking, anglers can fly-fish in one of the many sparkling waterways, and nearly a mile of caves brings to life an ancient and haunting world below your feet. Even if you stand completely still, you can take in the rich array of wildlife that call this park home during the day, and gaze up at the galaxy as the stars soar around you, unfettered by the light and noise of human bustle. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is definitely a park you don’t want to miss.

Campgrounds in Kings Canyon

Moraine Campground

1. Moraine Campground

Moraine Campground is also located on the Middle Fork of the Kings River, and at 120 sites, it is one of the largest in the park. Like most of the...

28 Saves
Sheep Creek Campground

2. Sheep Creek Campground

100% Recommend (3 Campers)

Also located in Kings Canyon like nearby Sentinel Campground, this campground is on the middle fork of the Kings River. Located at 4,600 feet,...

William Ray
William Ray: Sheep's Creek is THE spot to camp in King's Canyon. One can fall asleep to the sound of rushing water from anywhere in the...
16 Saves
Crystal Springs Campground

3. Crystal Springs Campground

This spot is located about 4 miles into the park from the entrance near Grant Grove, close to Azalea Campground. Situated among pine groves at...

14 Saves
Azalea Campground

4. Azalea Campground

Located under open stands of evergreen pines, this campground has more than 100 sites situated at 6,500 feet above sea level. It is about 3. 5...

13 Saves
Sentinel Campground

5. Sentinel Campground

This campground has a lovely spot in the canyon along the South Fork of the Kings River, meaning you are just steps from one of the loveliest...

9 Saves
Sunset Campground

6. Sunset Campground

94% Recommend (8 Campers)

Despite being one of the larger campgrounds in Kings Canyon (there are 157 individual sites and 2 group sites), the high elevation means nice...

Jeremy: We showed up on a Friday morning in July without a reservation and had our pick of about 4 sites that were still open.
8 Saves
Canyon View Campground

7. Canyon View Campground

The best feature of this campground is in its name, and the vista certainly doesn’t disappoint! This campground is really only for larger groups,...

6 Saves

8 Reviews

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Drop some Kings Canyon knowledge on us.
Hipcamper William Ray

Sheep's Creek is THE spot to camp in King's Canyon. One can fall asleep to the sound of rushing water from anywhere in the campgrounds, though there are plenty of spots to grab right along the river (caution is advised when camping near any river). The spaces are some of the largest I've seen anywhere in the country, especially the sites along the outer edge. This gives a feeling of seclusion even when the next site over is occupied. The trees are numerous, providing plenty of shade in the afternoon, and many hammock hanging opportunities.
I suggest higher grounds (Sequoia) in the summer, as the heat and bugs can be intense here.

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Hipcamper Jeremy

We showed up on a Friday morning in July without a reservation and had our pick of about 4 sites that were still open.

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Hipcamper A

When checking the weather, make sure it’s park specific as elevation can make a big difference.

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Hipcamper A

Be sure to call and ensure the roads are all open, as weather can affect the portion taking you to your campsite.

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Hipcamper A

If you do wind up getting delayed, check out the little town of Three Rivers. It’s a lovely spot with yummy local food and art galleries.

Hipcamper A

Make sure you either bring or rent a lock box (before you get to the park). Nature usually finds a way to make it into your car (hot dogs are worth it when your diet is nuts and berries).

Hipcamper A

It gets chilly, even in the summer, so bring layers and plenty of blankets for those crisp, cool nights.

Hipcamper A

The same thing that makes this park great also means that there is no cell service, so be prepared for no GPS.

History of Kings Canyon National Park

Humans have traveled or lived in the Southern Sierra for at least 6-7,000 years. In the higher mountains, and also down into the western foothills, lived hunters and gatherers remembered today as the Monache or Western Mono. West of the Monache in the lowest foothills and also across the expanses of the Great Central Valley were a second group, the Yokuts.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, Spanish agents began exploring the edge of the Sierra Nevada Range. Within 50 years or so, trappers, sheepherders, miners, and loggers poured into the Sierra seeking to use the mountains' resources. By the end of the 19th century, San Joaquin Valley communities increasingly looked to the Sierra for water and recreation. In the struggle between all these competing interests, two national parks were born that became known as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Today, the parks together protect well over 500 Native American archeological sites and over 100 historic sites. The number of recorded sites grows each year because of project surveys.