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The best camping near Sierra National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Sierra adventure.

92% (171 reviews)
92% (171 reviews)

“Secret Yosemite” offers scenic beauty, rugged forests, and outdoor recreation with smaller crowds.  

Popular ways to camp

Community favorites near Sierra National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Sierra National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds near Sierra National Forest

Booked 3 times

Lakeshore Resort

30 sites · Lodging, RVsShaver Lake, CA
Lakeshore Resort offers a peaceful retreat where the timeless beauty of Sierra National Forest comes alive. Lakeshore Resort is excited to announce that all of our cabins are undergoing a complete renovation, so you can experience the ultimate comfort during your stay. We have already completed the renovation of three original rustic units, each one offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere that perfectly blends modern amenities with traditional mountain charm. In addition, we are proud to offer three brand new log cabins that are available for booking. With all of these options available, you’re sure to find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs and make your stay with us unforgettable. Our cabins have recently undergone complete renovations. Limited cabins available for booking! Our resort’s ideal location offers endless year-round activities for visitors to enjoy. Come with your loved ones and enjoy skiing, snow play, or plan a romantic weekend escape to this charming destination. Each cabin offers a cozy, intimate atmosphere. -Pets Policy At Lakeshore Resort, we strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for all of our guests. As much as we love our furry friends, we do not allow pets to stay in our cabins. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping us maintain a clean and enjoyable atmosphere. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff. Our rates start at $244.95 from Sunday to Thursday and $294.95 on Fridays and Saturdays, with no minimum stay required for our A Cabins. Consider Lakeshore Resort as your next destination for a relaxing and fun-filled vacation with your loved ones.
from 
$85
 / night
97%
(57)

Musick Creek Falls

4 sites · RVs, Tents40 acres · Sacramento, CA
Musick Creek Falls is 40 acres that lies just south of Shaver Lake. At an elevation of, 5400ft. The land is regenerating in a green and lush state following the Creek Fire of four years ago, exhibiting novel and intriguing wildflowers such as Sierra Manzanita, sweet peas, and cedars. The terrain is natural, beautiful, and rugged. This property boasts three exquisite cascading waterfalls, hiking trails, 4x4 roads, hunting, rock climbing, and stargazing opportunities. We are just 8 minutes from the town of Shaver Lake, Sierra National Forest, campgrounds, boating, fishing, and about 20 minutes from China Peak Ski Resort. The road into the property, although being maintained by us and the community, can be a challenge for vehicles very low to the ground. There is water, and trash on site, but no bathrooms or outhouse currently. one is in the works, and should be completed this spring There are 4x4 roads starting on the property going into vast wilderness. We stay on site part of the year, but the campsites are far enough for privacy , or hospitality , and you are welcome to explore the entire 40 acres. There is an amazing sunset every night, and just the sounds and smells of nature. The weather is very mild most of the year, where a sweat shirt is perfect most nights and not to hot in the day We have kayaks available for use free of charge. Musick Creek Falls offers an affordable option whereas campgrounds and cabins in the area are often booked up and very expensive. Most cell phones have good reception throughout the property. We also have spare tents and camping gear, blankets etc. if you forget something. If using off road vehicles, please stay on Old Railroad Grade Bed Rd until you enter in national forest. Please be advised Winter months December through February there will be no host on site and access will be limited as weather permits.
from 
$48
 / night
97%
(199)

Hudson and Wendy's Land

2 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents5 acres · Oakhurst, CA
Welcome to Hidden Falls Yosemite Camp. We can't wait for you to stay with us and enjoy what the area has to offer.
from 
$72
 / night
50%
(4)

Granite Mountain RV Park

32 sites · RVs10 acres · Oakhurst, CA
Our property takes pride in its no-frills approach, emphasizing our prime location, ease-of-access, and affordable prices. While we offer minimal services and amenities, this straightforward approach caters to travelers seeking a practical and unembellished stay while visiting, or just passing through on their way into the park. We offer a simple and convenient arrival experience. For guests who have already made reservations, just drive straight to your assigned spot! Walk-ins are also welcome, with a self-check-in area available on the property complete with clear instructions on how to book a site and get settled in after a long day on the road.
from 
$49
 / night
90%
(384)

Sequoia Mountain Farms

72 sites · RVs, Tents10 acres · Miramonte, CA
Welcome campers! PLEASE read all of the below before booking and screenshot/print the BELOW DIRECTIONS, as google and other mapping apps have taken guests on very difficult routes. Trust us, mapping apps don't account for the issues of small mountsin roads! We have over 10 acres of stunning campground nestled only 15-20 minutes from the North entrance to the Sequoias! We have multiple sites to accommodate every type of camping from tent camping to tents-attached-to-cars and trucks, to pop-up campers to RVs with or without power and water hookups. Please see our RV hook-up spaces on our sister post! (RV sites at Sequoia Mountain Farms) Site numbers are not used...which allows you to pick any open area on the 10 acres. We have many sites made for you to choose from! There are wonderful views down into the valley, at night with sunsets off-the-hook, and city lights twinkling in the valley distance. Pick your spot and enjoy! First come-first serve, with multiple sites for large groups which can be reserved. Hot showers now available for all campers at no extra charge!! DIRECTIONS: Navigator apps push anyone coming from the south up the 245 highway north. It is a very windy and slow climb up the hill. It's doable (except large rigs), but we HIGHLY recommend continuing north on highway 99 to Fresno and then heading east on highway 180 up the mountain. It's faster, much more scenic and a smoother drive. This route also goes right by the nearest gas station on your way up! Coming east on highway 180, out of Fresno, that gas station is a Valero at 35468 E Kings Canyon Rd. aka Clingans Junction. From Clingans, head east on the 180 for exactly 13.8 miles to the 245 highway (it comes up quick with only 1 or 2 small signs), make a right, heading south. If you hit the park entrance, you went too far, turn around drive back about 5 min and look for the 245 on your left. Once on the 245 heading south, go 5.1 miles. On your right you will pass the 'Pinehurst Lodge', which is on google, an easy reference point and is 1 minute or less away (great food!). Then a few seconds later the "Worksource Center" and we are just past that on the same side of the road. First you will see a Giant Sequoia Tree in the front yard (campground road is just to it's right) then the apple ranch with the ole loggers cabin chimney from the late 1800s still standing in the front yard directly off the highway! If you hit the 'leaving sequoia national forest' sign and the community center, you went too far, turn around and drive 1 minute back and look for the apple ranch on your left, pass it and then turn left after the Sequoia tree into the gravel road with the orange cones coming from this direction. ARRIVAL: Please feel free to drive in and directly find your spot, no need to check in unless you want to say hi or need some assistance! We are usually around working somewhere and make multiple rounds on the camp daily. Please take note of the posted pics from directly across the street facing what you will see when you get here. The address sign is posted on a tree and you can see the apple orchard and ole loggers chimney from the road off to the left and the Giant Sequoia Tree on the right of the address sign with the main entrance just to the right (north) of the tree. There are 3 gates.: The FAR RIGHT GATE (north gate), just to the right of the Sequoia Tree, goes to the campsites! Look for the graveled road with orange cones / solar lights easily visible from the road.The middle gate is to the 2 RV hook up sites in the big pad / yard directly off the road. Far left and southern most gate (to the left of the address sign) is closest to the apple ranch and chimney; leads to the house which is also a rental. We look forward to seeing you soon at Sequoia Mountain Farms!!! :) Please message us for any questions! We are happy to help! We want you to have the best experience possible, so if we can help, we definitely will! Also, please check the weather online before you come up to the mountain! Just know we are operating under the assumption that you are aware of the conditions and are prepared for them. If nature happens message us and we will do our best to assist! :)
from 
$35
 / night
100%
(8)

Restoration Ranch and Retreat

1 site · Lodging46 acres · Ahwahnee, CA
Nestled into the Sierra Nevada mountains, 15 miles to beautiful Yosemite National Park, overlooking Deadwood Mountain is this gorgeous property! Here we have The Modern Barn Cabin. But we also offer more! Camp, glamp, or roll up in the ol’ RV to enjoy the sights and sounds of serene nature. Spy a deer, owl, wild turkey or more as you watch the sunset from outside your door or tent. Walk the property, or find a quiet spot to meditate or connect with family and friends. Come and create the memories of a lifetime! Don’t want to haul the tent and supplies, tear down and pack up? We have you covered. Try a Modern Cabin instead! Drive in and experience that Glamp life. All the memories, sights and sounds of camping without the headache. Heck, we will even wash the sheets and provide a bed if you want in that cabin. Yosemite is calling you!
from 
$95
 / night
99%
(60)

The Mountain Chapel Campground

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents25 acres · Hartland, CA
While on a family backpacking excursion through Sequoia King’s Canyon National Park, and the surrounding area, we came across this charming campground. A long-forgotten chapel in the mountains that was formerly a summer camp. From here, a short 15-minute drive will take you directly to the main entrance of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park for access to the Giant Sequoias at Grant Grove and the Grant Grove Village. For those who prefer to travel off the beaten path, a short 30-minute hike will take you to the National Forest. We are excited to invite you to camp at this hidden gem, while we undertake to restore the campground to its original splendor. Easy drive to available parking, with easy access and pull through drive for any vehicle, even with trailers. For campers bringing their own tents, we provide beautiful and well- shaded sites with level ground, soft grass, tucked underneath the many old-growth trees.
from 
$35
 / night
100%
(4)

Private Lake Event center

1 site · RV, Tent100 acres · Auberry, CA
Immerse yourself in a well-maintained forest, featuring a vast meadow and a serene five-acre lake. Shaded tent areas provide comfort, while trails reveal diverse flora and fauna. Bask in the beauty of sunlight filtering through trees, the gentle rustle of leaves, and the tranquility of the reflective lake. Discover nature's harmony in this captivating sanctuary.
from 
$800
 / night
99%
(39)

Camp Hye Sierra

5 sites · Lodging160 acres · Dunlap, CA
Camp Hye Sierra is a 160-acre property located about 35 miles east of Fresno, California (within five miles of the the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park).Our property offers a unique rental opportunity and serene retreat setting perfect for reflection and fellowship.Learn more about this land:Camp Hye Sierra is a 160-acre property located about 35 miles east of Fresno, California (within five miles of the the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park).Our property offers a unique rental opportunity and serene retreat setting perfect for reflection and fellowshipSPORTS COURTLocated at the center of camp, our all-weather, outdoor, lighted basketball court provides a great experience for basketball, tennis, and a host of other court friendly games. At night, the sport court provides us with an excellent place to take the entire camp for some spectacular stargazing!CAMPFIREOur campfire is also located next to beautiful Ketchoyan Lake. It features a stage, amphitheater, and outdoor lighting. The campfire location is a great venue for daytime classes and an area where campers have a chance to perform skits, sing songs, and roast marshmallows at evening campfires.ARBOROur arbor is a gorgeous open air structure adjacent to the sparkling water of Ketchoyan Lake. It is the perfect venue for an evening dance in the cool mountain air, daytime classes, talent shows, and a host of other activities. LAKESOur property has 2 fully stocked lakes where you can enjoy catch and release fishing, swimming and sunbathing.
from 
$70
 / night
82%
(14)

High Camp Yosemite

1 site · Lodging40 acres · CA
Watch the sunset disappear over the horizon in our vintage trailer with a charcoal powered hot tub (or cold plunge on a warm day). With 40 acres to yourself, this is the perfect place to relax after a day hiking in Yosemite. Enjoy being off the grid and have your morning coffee with wandering turkeys or an occasional deer sighting. 40 minutes to the park entrance and 15 minutes to Mariposa. Things to note: this trailer is run solely off solar power so you have to conserve energy during the stay. There is no air conditioning or heat but it is breezy since it is on a mountain.
from 
$114
 / night
94%
(1141)

Southgate Summit-closed for winter

8 sites · Tents20 acres · Oakhurst, CA
Hey Campers! We are temporarily closed for the winter.... but back open April 1st! See you then! This area was once inhabited by local native American Tribes. In the 1840's prospectors arrived in search of gold but none was found in the immediate area. Old Yosemite Base camp was along the route into Yosemite National Park prior to the construction of Highway 41. Horse and Carriage traveled along Old Yosemite Road from Mariposa and the entire golden state. Visitors from the world now pass through Oakhurst to Yosemite National Park along this route. Don't for to check out Bass Lake and its full service amenities. ALL CAMP SITES REQUIRE 4 WHEEL DRIVE or All-Wheel drive- NO Exceptions. Hipcampers, come pitch your tent at one of five Old Yosemite Base Camp drive in and walk in sites. OYBC offers over six acres of pine, oak, and bay trees, sprinkled around large granite features that remind you that Half Dome is not far away! Each unique site is equipped with a stone fire ring with cook top and a picnic table accommodating four person dining. Old Yosemite Base Camp is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset and stargaze next to a campfire after an adventurous day in the southern Yosemite region. Yosemite tent camping without all the crowds and tour buses is what you can expect. Backing up to the Sierra National Forest OYBC is conveniently located near HWY 41 just 14 miles from Yosemite’s south gate entrance. The region also offers a large amount of hiking trails where you can find swim holes, waterfalls giant sequoias, lakes, and rivers. Take 15-minute drive to Bass Lake and enjoy water sports and lake view dining. OYBC offers five camp sites and all wheel drive is required to get to the top of camp. OYBC sites 1, 2, 3, are drive up sites and 4 & 5 are walk in sites that have a separate parking area. All wheel drive is still needed to get to this lot. Have a large group? Old Yosemite Base Camp offers discounts for larger parties of up to 25 campers. Message OYBC to reserve the whole mountainside to yourselves!
from 
$66
 / night
98%
(46)

Camp SourBerry (near Yosemite)

1 site · RV40 acres · Oakhurst, CA
Welcome to Camp SourBerry! Here, you can park your home-on-wheels in a private space with a view. You can enjoy the feeling of rural seclusion while within walking distance (~1 mile) from shops and restaurants in Oakhurst. The South Gate to Yosemite National Park is less than a 30-minute drive (~75 minutes drive-time to the Valley floor), and Bass Lake's shores are only 15 minutes away. Local wildlife is abundant. Wild turkeys are a common sighting, especially in the spring and fall, as are squirrels, bears, deer, coyotes, and bobcats, plus all kinds of native birds (hawks, quail, jays, woodpeckers, ravens, vultures, and eagles). We have a small homestead-style farm and so do the neighbors, so you can hear the distant sounds of chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, and cows. Because the safety of our animals (and yours) is paramount, we do not allow other pets to visit. The parking location is an ease pull-through for passenger vehicles and shorter trailers. People with longer, taller trailers find it easier to pull-in and back out. The best view is on the passenger side of the drive! Whether you want to stay put and enjoy the natural setting or have a base from which to explore world-class attractions, we would love to host your next vacation.
from 
$40
 / night

The best camping near Sierra National Forest guide

Overview

About

In the western Sierra Nevada between Yosemite and Kings Canyon national parks, Sierra National Forest is an outdoor lover’s dream. With a diverse landscape spanning rolling foothills to towering peaks, the forest is also home to five wilderness areas, two wild and scenic rivers, two national scenic byways, two nationally designated trails, and numerous lakes. Hiking, climbing, biking, horseback riding, off-roading, fishing, swimming, boating, paddling, and rafting are all popular activities. With more than 60 developed campgrounds and plenty of space for dispersed camping, campers have options for spending a few days exploring the region’s riches.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for Shaver Lake access: Dorabelle Campground is the only forest service campground at Shaver Lake.
  • Best for hot springs: The Mono Hot Springs Campground is located near several natural hot springs; amenities can be found at the Mono Hot Springs Resort nearby. 
  • Best for exploring the Ansel Adams Wilderness: Set on the shores of Lake Thomas Edison, Vermillion Campground is just a ferry ride away from trails. 

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. During peak summer season, plan to reserve a campsite as soon as you know your dates. Reservations can be made at least three days and up to six months in advance.
  2. If you don’t have a reservation, arrive first thing in the morning to grab a site at a first-come, first-served campground.
  3. Be sure to check on seasonal opening and closing dates, which vary by campground.

When to go

Summers are the most popular times for camping in the forest. Although the forest is less crowded than many area parks, popular campgrounds fill up early. Visit in the spring and early summer for wildflowers and rafting, and fall for colorful foliage. Winter activities, including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, are also popular and snow dependent. Snow and ice can also affect road and trail access.

Know before you go

  • Permits are required for backpacking in the Ansel Adams, John Muir, Dinkey Lakes, and Kaiser wildernesses. Permits go on sale in March for dates six months ahead.
  • Campfire permits are required outside of developed campsites. Some areas do not permit any fires, even when fire regulations are not in place.
  • Forest products, including mushrooms, bracken fern, and firewood, require permits.
  • Be bear aware and store scented items outside your tent in a bear-proof container.
  • Fishing licenses are required for anglers 16 and older. Special regulations apply to wild and scenic rivers.
  • Motorboats must be registered to access Bass Lake.  

Nearby attractions

  • Experience the tranquility of riverside camping near the Merced River. With its clear waters, abundant fishing opportunities, and scenic surroundings, the Merced River camping experience blends adventure and relaxation in California's serene wilderness.
  • Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting and relaxing fishing sessions when camping near Tuolumne River. With ruggedly beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife, the Tuolumne River camping experience is truly one for the outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list.

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