The Sentinel Campground in Kings Canyon is one of the best campgrounds that I've visited recently. We visited in later September on the last day that the Visitors Center down in the Canyon was open. About half of the campgrounds and campsite loops on the canyon floor were closed already. I would say that this is the best time to visit Kings Canyon. It wasn't too hot or too busy even though some of the facilities and activities were closed.
There are a handful of campsites along the river but you probably have to arrive very early to get those. The other campsites are an easy walk to the river and visitors center. There were also a surprising number of prime spots to set up a tent in each site. There are plenty of bathrooms, water spigots, and trash/recycling bins around the campground. There are also picnic tables and bear boxes. Bear precautions are a BIG deal in the area. The campground is quiet and wooded with beautiful, tall trees.
We hiked the Zumwalt Meadow loops which is a super easy trail (more of a walk) and well worth traveling a few more miles down the road. It's also worth stopping and visiting the waterfalls just off the road. Honestly, the drive down into the canyon is worth is if you do nothing else.
Sentinel campground is closest to the ranger station, where the Mational Park service rangers host many programs. There is also a small store and informational center with the rangers station. They also operate an outdoor ampitheather.
Close also to the general store, which is about a quarter mile away. There are spots available there. Also rooms for rent,
Flush toilets and water spigots are available throughout the campsites.
King’s Canyon is equally amazing, but much less crowded, than Yosemite Valley. We visited on the Sun/Mon after July 4th, and although this campground was almost full, the others in the canyon were completely empty the entire time. Leaving us the run of the park when it came to visiting sites and hiking.
Although everyone should visit the Yosemite Valley at least once, Kings Canyon would be my multi-day choice a second time around for sure. Crystal clear waters, scenic hiking and stunning waterfalls.
Campsites are typical national park style, with minimal ground cover and no firewood to collect. It should go without saying that this is an active bear area, and all rules apply.
Services are very limited after dark throughout the Sierra Nevada park systems, and the remote location makes modern amenities hard to come by. Bring anything you think you may need.
Basic bathrooms, no showers. Small store/rangers office and maybe a small eatery open in peak season throughout the day.
Beautiful campground close to the ranger station, surrounded by pine trees and rivers. We had site 8, which was a large site close to the restrooms. there were several great spots to put a tent, a large fallen tree separating use from a site on one side, and backs to a beautiful meadow. We had a pop up trailer and two large dogs which must always a be on a leash. There was a large bear box, a new large picnic table and a fire pit.
Our family has been coming to Kings for over 40 years so we love it. Coming in July, we spend our days at the river swimming and lounging. This trip we encountered quite a bit of afternoon rain and thunderstorms for the first 5 days. Usually it’s not super crowded but this time Yosemite closed from the fires and we got inundated with a lot of ill-mannered people.
There are beautiful hikes, rivers for fishing, lots of wildlife, and beautiful views. There is a small store and snack bar nearby. Sentinel is probably one of the quieter campgrounds because it’s close to the ranger station.
Some cautions: very steep and twisting road to enter the canyon. We had some damage to our van from rocks coming down to the road as we were driving on. The thousand foot steep drop made it hard to swerve. Also there are bears so don’t leave any food out or in your tent. If you leave your coolers in your car make sure the are covered. Be careful in the rivers as the current is super strong. Also please pick up your trash.
We loved this campground. Far from most of the hiking and especially from the entrance but the roaring river was definitely the highlight of our trip! Very nice cool weather!
We camped in a site near the restrooms and a trail. There was a small stream at the back of the site that occupied kids making fairy houses for hours. Beyond that was the river, which gave a peaceful backdrop for sleep. Plenty of shade, water spigot very convenient. Definitely coming back.
Wonderful mostly shaded spots next to the Kings river. Spaces next to the meadow are especially nice. Lots of bird watching opportunities. Amenities are the usual for a national park campground. There are showers, laundry, store, and food within walking distance at Cedar Grove. There is also a very small visitor center and amphitheater for ranger presentations. You also have several day hiking opportunities from the campground and even more a short walk or drive away.