Sequoia National ParkLeave review
About Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park camping means camping in California’s first national park and the second one established in the United States. Chances are if you’re coming here it’s for the trees, but there are many other activities to choose from including but not limited to boating, fishing, climbing, hiking, snow spots in the winter and wildlife watching year-round. The ancient trees of Sequoia National Park are thousands of years old, and have ancestors who once lived with dinosaurs, so it’s no wonder that they need to be protected.
Camp among the giants! There are seven campgrounds at Sequoia National Park, broken out into three areas: Lodgepole and Giant Forest, the Foothills, and Mineral King area. Check individual campgrounds for seasonality restrictions, Southfork campground being the only campground open year-round for tent camping!
Reservation tips: Camping reservations can be made at Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, Lodgepole, Dorst Creek, and Sunset campgrounds. You can make reservations up to six months in advance for standard tent and RV campsites, and up to one year in advance for group sites. South Fork Campground, Atwell Mill, and Cold Springs are all first-come, first served and often fill on weekends in summer months. Try Sunday through Thursday afternoon for the best chance of grabbing an available site!
Campgrounds in Sequoia Park
Nothing beats Sequoia National Park camping if record-breaking trees are what you’re after. But if you appreciate a little scenic variety,...
Potwisha Campground gets hot in the summer! Lucky for you, it’s right by the banks of the Kaweah River’s Middle Fork, the perfect place to cool...
Sequoia National Park camping might be a popular activity for nature-seeking tourists world-wide, but you’d never know it from Atwell Mill...
Just because you’re enjoying some good old Sequoia National Park camping doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to only sequoia trees. Make...
Set up camp in the lush Sierra Highlands for spectacular wildlife spotting. Summers are hot and dry, so you’ll want to take cover under the shade...
You should never have to choose between convenience and open space when it comes to Sequoia National Park camping! Dorst Creek campground is the...
Drop some Sequoia Park knowledge on us.
Lodgepole is one of the best campgrounds in Sequoia National Park. Much more favorable summer temperatures than the lower park campgrounds, and right on the river! Check out the moderate 3.4 mile round trip hike ending at Tokopah Falls.
Great small campground nestled in the woods. Incredible mountain hikes. Did a long hike up to the Monarch lakes which was incredible.
You can also camp up there next to the lakes apparently, which I want to do next time. Some cute camper ladies up there offered us ramen. And we said we had to get back before dark. We're idiots, I know.
The road up to the campground is narrow and windy and steep and almost 20 miles. A four-banger would struggle on the way up and low gears needed on the way down. So use caution. It will take you an hour to get up in any car. The views are amazing though.
We went in October right before they closed the road. Marmots are apparently a problem with cars earlier in the season so look into that.
Summer "peak" season when showers are open at the Lodgepole Market, mornings at the shower rooms are empty to low traffic of folks and afternoons/dusk are pretty crowded. Plan accordingly and get your quarters ready! There's a bill changer by the door.
My family and I have been going here for as long as I can remember, and I can't get enough of it! Best spots are in the back, 125-128. 128 is hands down the best site in the whole camp ground. Best time to go is in late June, early July, depending on rainfall.
After what seemed like hours on a narrow windy mountain road, 7/29 we arrived 10am on Friday and were left with no choice but campsite 5, no shade at all. On Saturday lots of sites opened up (strange) and we got to switch. The weather was perfect and we slept with tent top off looking at shooting stars. Some sites are very close together, great for a group, while others have a lot more privacy. The flies bite, so don't forget bug spray. The bathrooms were pretty clean except near site 28 where it seemed much more crowded in every site. The water tastes so refreshing there, no need to haul up your own water.
I was a Sequoia newbie when my small dog and I arrived in the park after dark in the . We camped one night at Potwisha and found it super navigable/accessible. Dog friendly and no snow (whereas there was lots of snow further up in the park).
LOVED this campground. It was very remote, away from the tourist spots and the campgrounds feel secluded. It's definitely out of the way though from all of the Sequoia hot spots. I camped here one night and then camped in the main area the next night.
Arrived late afternoon on a Friday in mid-August. Even with the forest fire relocated reservations we were able to find a nice, private walk-up site without reservations (first come, first serve). Highly recommend site #120, privacy and perfect distance to the flush toilets :)
I went during the summer with only a tent and regretted it BIGTIME. Temperatures reached 105+ and the site was mostly rock which made it nearly impossible to put any stakes in. (no wonder everyone was in a camper)
The site is around 30-45 minutes to all of the great attractions. ALSO there is a river across the road of the campground which is really beautiful and cooled us off in the extreme heat.
Went camping here last summer. Moderately crowded (it was in August, so not a surprise), cool mornings, and clean, crisp air. We went to see General Sherman (largest tree in the world by volume) and THAT was crowded. But the nights were pretty peaceful, and the scenery is beautiful. There are lots of bears too! So make sure you remember to lock up your stuff.
Camped here in the end of September (end of the season). The campsite and park weren't crowded at all. About 5 hours away from the LA area but a perfect place to get fresh air and escape the lights. I recommend getting a spot close to the creek since its so beautiful to see from your tent. The staff was very kind and the camp was clean, especially the bathrooms. There is a market/gift store down the road. It's like a small grocery store so even if you forget something I'm sure they'll have it. There are so many thing to do in the park so you're never bored. The park is so beautiful and Lodgepole made it perfect. If your going to stay in the park I recommend staying here.
The weather can change dramatically depending on where you end up, so make sure you check at the right elevation and pack accordingly. You don’t want to end up freezing your toes off!
Bring tire chains because the road tends to be snowy, even in the spring. Better safe than sorry!
If you plan on bringing food, make SURE you store it in a bear locker. The last thing anyone wants are bears breaking into your car…
The town of Three Rivers is perfect for staying a night or two, and there are great local shops!
Some of the sites are not large (and if you don't have a reservation they'll ask how larger your tent is when you arrive), but this place is definitely worth the stay (and worth the hassle trying to get a spot). The stream that runs through the middle of the campground and the proximity to all of the awesome Sequoia sites make this the perfect campground for the park.
I was amazed by the beauty of this campground. It is also impressively well kept. Tons of trees, mountain views, and the sound of rushing water was what led me here. I've camped everywhere in California and this is easily a top 3 for me. It is a rather large campground and in the late spring/summer when we were there it was packed with tons of happy campers! The good news is that since it is such a large campground there is a chance you can snag a spot last minute if you get there early enough :) There's also an awesome visitor center down the road from the campground that has a couple places to eat/grocery store AND coin operated showers :)
History of Sequoia 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.