This post is part of Just Ahead’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon Trip Planner—our guide to what you need to know to plan your trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Click here to see the complete series. And be sure to download our Just Ahead smartphone audio tour of Sequoia and Kings Canyon before you head to the parks.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have 14 campgrounds, most of which are first-come, first-served; no reservations. A few accept reservations through recreation.gov. Most of the campgrounds accommodate RVs, but none of them have RV hookups. Campgrounds provide storage lockers to protect your food from bears and other hungry park creatures. You’ll also find camping in Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, both of which are adjacent to the parks.
Foothills Area, Sequoia National Park
Tucked away in the far southwest corner of Sequoia National Park, this 10-site, tents-only campground is fairly isolated and has no potable water from October to May. It sits at 3,600 feet, meaning it’s more oak habitat than evergreen. But it’s open year-round and may have a site when others are full.
Potwisha lies in an oak-shaded setting in Sequoia National Park on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. As the lowest campground in the park (2,100 feet), it’s likely to be the warmest as well, at any time of year. It has 42 sites, some of which can be reserved year-round through recreation.gov.
Buckeye Flat is a quiet campground near Hospital Rock in Sequoia with 28 sites for tents only. It’s open from late March to late September, and reservations are accepted from late March through the September closing. Buckeye Flat is one of the lowest campgrounds in the park, so don’t expect giant sequoia trees, and do expect it to be very warm in summer.
Mineral King Area, Sequoia National Park
Atwell Mill, located halfway up Mineral King Road in Sequoia National Park at 6,500 feet, is open from late May to late October. Many of its 21 sites (tents only) can be reserved during the busy season, May through September.
The highest campground (7,500 feet) in either park, Cold Springs is in the heart of Sequoia’s Mineral King Area. Its 40 sites (tents only) are available from late May to late October, first-come, first-served.
Giant Forest Area, Sequoia National Park
Lodgepole is probably what you’re picturing when you picture camping in Sequoia National Park. It’s in the heart of the park amid pines and giant sequoias and near the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, and it’s also close to a visitor center and store. The campground is open from late March to late October. Many of its 214 sites can be reserved during the busy season, late May to late October, through recreation.gov.
Another beautifully shaded campground in the heart of Sequoia National Park 10 miles from Giant Forest, Dorst Creek has 281 sites and is open from mid-June to mid-September.
Grant Grove Area, Kings Canyon National Park
Sunset is the first campground you come to when you enter Kings Canyon National Park from the west or the south. It has 157 evergreen-shaded sites, all available first-come, first-served, and open from late May to early September. Like the other Grant Grove campgrounds, Sunset is convenient to the store and visitor center in Grant Grove Village.
The second campground for visitors approaching Kings Canyon National Park from the west or the south, Azalea has 110 first-come, first-served sites. Like the other Grant Grove campgrounds, it’s convenient to the Grant Grove Village store and visitor center. Azalea is the only campground in Kings Canyon National Park that remains open year-round.
Crystal Springs is neatly situated between the General Grant Tree and Panoramic Point, about a half mile from Grant Grove Village. It has 36 first-come, first-served sites, open from early July to early September.
Cedar Grove Area, Kings Canyon National Park
Sentinel, Sheep Creek, and Moraine
Out near the end of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (State Route 180) is this closely spaced trio of campgrounds along the South Fork of the Kings River. The campgrounds have 82, 111, and 120 sites, respectively, all first-come first-served. The scenic byway that reaches the campgrounds is open only from about mid-April to mid-November. Sentinel Campground is open during that period; the other two campgrounds open a bit later in the season and close a bit earlier.
Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are unusual. They not only abut one another, but as you drive through them, you are also likely to pass through portions of Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, which both have campgrounds operated by the US Forest Service.
Hume Lake Area
You’ll find five Forest Service campgrounds in the Hume Lake area, which borders on Kings Canyon National Park. All of them can accommodate at least small RVs, and the three larger campgrounds have sites that can be reserved through recreation.gov. The campgrounds are generally open from mid-May to mid-September. Princess Campground, west of Hume Lake on Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, has 88 sites, and is the most accessible. Convict Flat is farther east on the scenic byway, and has five first-come, first-served sites. Hume Lake has 74 sites near the shore of the lake. Landslide and Tenmile are south of Hume Lake. Landslide has nine first-come, first served sites. Tenmile has 13 sites that can be reserved through recreation.gov.
Stony Creek and Big Meadows Area
These Forest Service campgrounds lie right in between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Stony Creek (49 sites) and Upper Stony Creek (18 sites) are just off Generals Highway and are open from late May to late September. Both accept reservations through recreation.gov. Horse Camp (five sites), Buck Rock (11 sites), and Big Meadows (40 sites) are farther north, i.e., closer to Kings Canyon. They’re off Generals Highway, a few miles down Big Meadows Road (Forest Route 14S11). They close with snow, and open with snowmelt. All three are first-come, first-served.