Cold Springs campground is a must for camping in Mineral King. Remote, but not too remote and great for kids. Closed in winter due to snow. Usually open late May through October.
Getting to this campground takes a little patience. It is about 45 min drive from SR-198 on Mineral King Rd (partially paved/dirt), but with a couple small pull offs with water falls and Sequoias along the way. You can also stop at Silver City, a small cabin resort that offers a hot meal, some supplies, and paid showers, that is located about 15 minutes down the road from the campground.
To access the campground, you drive across a bridge and locate the camp site that you want (first-come, first-served). Tent camping only. There is a drop box for camping fees and the ranger does a walk-around daily.
The campground road is a loop. There are sites located along the East Fork of the Kaweah River from which you can climb down into the River. In spring, some river sites have some flooding because of rain and runoff. Note that the water is COLD, even in summer.
Vault toilets and potable water are provided. No cell service, but they do have a pay phone you can use. Be sure to bring all the supplies you need. Firewood is a must, and each site has its own fire ring. Keep food in bear boxes. I have seen bears there, but not every time. Also be wary of marmots.
Great access to many different hiking trails of varying difficulty. 100% Recommend.
Great campground and would highly recommend. Close by King’s canyon and so much to see in both parks!
One of the best campgrounds we've stayed at. Water nearby, no flies or mosquitoes, good distance to other sites and nature all around. Take spot #8, if available. It is the best. We even had a deer family visiting. Oh, and the campfire events on weekends are good. Fine effort by the rangers. Great hiking without the crowds of Sequoia.
Stayed here the night before a 2-night backpacking trip into Mineral King. Great for acclimating to the elevation. I don't think I would drive here just to stay here though. The crazy drive up isn't worth it! It's a long and windy dirt road, with steep drop offs. We made it up okay in the middle of the night in my honda civic, just would not like to re-live that experience.
These sites are nice and open and very unlikely to fill up due to their limited amenities. (no wifi or showers…) But you have great flat sites covered by a tone of conifers and aspen trees. You're so close to some of the most amazing sequoia groves you have to see these trees. 40 total campsites in the middle of the woods which hardly ever fill up are sure to leave you feeling calm and refreshed and not everyone can say they slept (or even saw!) such ancient and rare trees. (These trees are monsters!!)