Sierra National ForestLeave review
About Sierra National Forest
Campgrounds in Sierra
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The PG&E page for this campsite says it doesn't have drinking water or bear boxes, but it has both drinking water (centrally located) and swivel-clasp-secured cabinets (one per campsite). Firewood is available for purchase from the hosts at Trapper Springs.
We had a great 4 night Easter weekend camp in 2016. The site is really nice, clean and well kept. The camp host Kelly was very friendly and helpful. We read the reviews on Yelp. Did not have Mosquito problems (maybe to early in the year;end of March) or other issues. The sites 1 and 4 are very secluded. Far enough from other campers. 3&4 are kind of together but with enough room in between. The camp sites are right next to Merced River so you have the white water noise all the time. The street to Yosemite is on the other side of the river, due to the white water sounds we did not really hear cars. We where not disturbed. Worst case bring ear plugs if you want to avoid nature sounds. Will come again.
-Clean vault toilets
This was by far one of my favorite site. We camped at site 8. It kept us pretty secluded and away from the noise of the campground. The sites are so close together that you want something on the outside if your looking for a peaceful camping trip. I had small children so the rock slides were pretty dangerous. However there is a nice little swimming pond behind site 3 if you take the little hike back.
We did not camp here, but we camped nearby at Swanson Meadows. We were going to camp at Gigantea if Swanson was full. We still visited Gigantea to check it out. It is far back on McKinley Road which is great for privacy and quiet. From Swanson, we could hear light traffic from Dinkey Creek Road. However, Gigantea is far away from everything, so less road traffic noise is great. The campground is VERY dense with trees-more dense than I've seen at any campground. I thought that was cool but wouldn't fit our family well with children who want to run. This campground is also pretty far from Shaver Lake-45 min, so if you're wanting Shaver fun, I would stay someone closer. Gigantea was not full on Labor Day Weekend. There's always a spot!
It takes a crazy, kind of scary drive along a single-lane, dirt, cliffside mountain road to get to Mono Creek, but it's worth it. The seclusion is incredible. The campgrounds are good quality, and the nearby creek is beautiful. There are so many cool trails around, but I recommend the hike to Devil's Tub. It's a gorgeous High Sierra Lake, surrounded by a cirque of mountain peaks. We made a quick stop at Mono Hot Springs on our way out, it was alright. Only one of the tubs we found was actually hot. I'd focus more time on hiking & exploring the Sierra next time.
Very nice and quiet campground just above a beautiful river. Has clean toilets, and fire pits, but bring your own water! The drive in is incredibly long and a little scary (single lane, bumpy, cliff side road), but also a little fun :) You pass some beautiful spots along the way. Site is also very close to Vermillion Valley Resort, where there is a shop, cafe, bar and is also a stopping point for those hiking the PCT. You can grab a drink and hear amazing stories from those hikers!
Definitely do the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, a four hour road trip through the forest with panoramic incredible views!
There are a handful of natural hot springs near the campground. Cross the San Joaquin using the log bridge and head up the hill - there are a few small concrete tubs, or there is a larger, natural bottomed spring about a mile away. The resort store has a map.
Oh my! There are quite a few hidden gems around this campsite.
The dirt roads here have spotty signage, but with a bit of navigation skill and some luck you'll find beautiful meadows, epic vista points, and awesome trails.
Drive up 6S10 just a little while further beyond the campsite to the Fresno Dome trail head to hike to the top of the dome for a view that you will not forget.
This is one of the coolest campgrounds around. You'd never know it existed if you were driving along the highway without a reservation. It has 4 tent spots so you know you're not going to be bombarded with people. The sites come with a tent spot, picnic table, fire pit and a food locker. The host is a great girl and she's got food for sale and knows the land well! You'll want site 1. While all are right on the Merced, this one has the most incredible rock formation that sits over the water -- the perfect place for a glass of wine, watching sunsets or contemplation. Dog friendly but as always, watch for wildlife! I will definitely be back!
History of Sierra National Forest
This was the second National Forest created in California and the largest at the time. It covered over six million acres (24,000 km2) of the Sierra Nevada and was about four times the average area of typical California National Forests. Originally it embraced parts of eight counties from Tuolumne on the north to Kern on the south and Mono and Inyo on the east. Initially its name was descriptive, but later when the Sierra was divided into different units this was no longer the case.
President Harrison proclaimed the Sierra Forest Reserve on February 14, 1893. Four years later the south half became a separate unit and was named Sierra South during the "forest reserves" era. This designation was dropped after the administrative transition to the National Forests on March 4, 1907. the Sequoia National Forest on July 1, 1908 Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks were established from this south portion of Sierra National Forest. Eastern portions of Sierra NF were used for the Inyo and Toiyabe National Forests; northern portions were used for the Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest.
The first timber sale on a California National Forest took place in the Sierra NF by the General Land Office in 1899.