the dyrt
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Sequoia National Forest, CALIFORNIA
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Most Recent Sequoia National Forest Camping Reviews
Busy but Beautiful

We stopped here on the way into Sequoia National Forest knowing the Kern River sites would be full. There were lots of families playing by the water here and it was nice to have our dog out and swimming for a little bit.

There is only one pit toilet bathroom so that was rough waiting for the line to go down. Kernville isn't far away so you can go to town easily to get supplies and food.

Hidden gem

One my favorite places to camp among the redwoods. There is a daily fee. Generally pretty quiet, smaller trailers ok. We’ve driven up 28 ft travel trailers. Road up is fair but that is what keeps it from being overwhelmed by visitors. Gets crowded on holidays. Ponds are stocked with trout during the summer. Lots of trails.

Backpacking trip in sequoia

6ish mostly uphil trek to the twin lakes campsite. Campsite sites are very nice with bear boxes and a locker toilet. Whole area is at about 9,000 ft elevation so it gets cold and the views are unreal

Sequoia backpacking trip

Nice 6.5ish hike out to a beautiful subalpine lake. Campsite are scattered around the edge of pear lake with granite mountains surrounding the area. Trout in the lake also

Backpacking

Easy 3-4 mile hike to beautiful weaver lake. Camp sites are spread out through out the side of the lake. Even spots with no amenities but an awesome lake.

Always a nice stop

One of the best BLM spots around . There are no amenities so you have to be 100% self contained. Bring your own everything. Always will stop here when visiting the 395. Hope it stays pristine

Where the desert meets the mountains

This is a great dispersed camping area at the base of the E. Sierras. Camping can be along any one of several dirt roads, explore a bit til you find just the right spot (existing sites are easy to pick out)! The town of Lone Pine is nearby but make sure you bring plenty of food and water. Pack in/Pack out. With Mt. Whitney as your back drop you really can't go wrong here.

trees trees trees

This is a really cool little campground near the entrance of Sequoia National Park. The sites are tent only, so no hookups or anything like that. Pretty nice sites though, a lot of space. I think there can be fire restrictions in the summer since it can get so dry, so just be aware of that. As far as places go, it wasn't too pricey. I think we paid about $20 a night. There are bathrooms with running water, and the sites have picnic tables and fire rings. Each site also has storage lockers for your food, so be sure to lock it up in order to keep the bears from getting into it.

As for stuff to do around here, you obviously have to check out the trees. Go look at General Sherman and all the other Sequoia trees. They're so amazing and honestly it humbles you a little. Also check out Moro Rock Trail. The view from the top is amazing. You'll also probably see a fair amount of wildlife while you're hiking around, so be careful of the bears. Out of all my trips to California, I've seen the most bears here in Sequoia. They are super cool creatures, just keep a respectful distance and of course don't feed them.

Breathtaking landscape

This is the closest campground to the peak of Mt Whitney

permits for camping are extremely limited and are based on a beginning of the year lottery system for peak season. Permits are available spring and fall as well but weather conditions may make reaching the camp/peak impossible.

this camp is located above the tree line with views of rugged peaks, glaciers and lakes.

All waste must be packed out in special bags given to you when you pick up your permit.

Kernville River Camp

Easily accessed campground located right on the Kern River in the lower Sequoia Forest. No service, running water, or electricity, but there is vault toilets and dogs are allowed. Pretty hefty on the fee almost $30 a night, But trust me this place is worth it. Lots of trees to make shady spots. The lower camp spots are located at the bottom of the hill (easier access to the river, safer for children). The higher spots are up the hill with a magnificent few of the raging Kern River. There is a few private "beach" spots you can enjoy the river without the intimidating rapids (videos below). It is about 30 minutes from any store or cell service, so make sure you come prepared. Probably one of the best campgrounds in Kernville! Check out a deal for white water rafting before you plan your trip. One of the most fun I've ever had in my life!

Love this Place

Visit for the day or stay overnight this is a gorgeous place to visit. At the base if the mountain you’re camping amongst tall pines and a running river falling from above. Visit the store for a souvenir or a breakfast for the hike. Campground is set on a winding amongst the trees with developed sites. Bathroom areas etc Gets busy and is a first come first serve so have a backup plan in the summer.

Great if you are hiking Whitney as a base camp!

this is a great campground to use as a base camp before you summit Whitney. The staff is friendly and helpful and the portal is just a few minutes away with the store and small restaurant. Lone Pine is close about a 10 minute drive away.

Great camping near the Kern River

We decided to take last minute trip to Kernville and were able to find a campsite very easy here. Kernville is right along the Kern River which is absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of breweries in the town, hiking nearby and great food. Overall this was a really fun experience!

It was pretty hot when we went, however cooled off nicely in the evening.

Excellent dispersed camping in eastern Sierras

If youre comfortable with primitive dispersed camping, this is the place to go in the eastern Sierras. Like walking on mars, the landscape is amazing with endless boulders and unobstructed views of Mt Whitney. I was there in April, and it was quite windy so be prepared for that. If youre setting up a tent, make sure youre able to stake it down securely. With the ground being dry and rocky make sure to pick a spot accordingly. The area is ideal for RV or car camping.

We got some early morning wind and rain, but were rewarded full crisp rainbow that lasted a good 30 minutes, stretching over the landscape. It was quite the scene.

Loaction wise, youre close enough to the town of Lone Pine if you need groceries, laundry or shower, or feel like having a bite or drink at a local watering hole. It also feels far enough away civilization to have a genuine wilderness experience, and little light pollution from town. I look forward to going back!

Great location

This is a great Corp of Engineer Campground just minutes from Sequoia National Park. Sites are big and well spaced from each other. No hook up but fresh water and a dump station are available at the campground. Two well located bathrooms with good showers at no additional cost. During the summer months the Rangers put on a Campfire program at the campground every Saturday evening. When the lake is full you can walk right up to the waters edge and actually boat in for camping. The staff (Camphosts and Rangers) are friendly, knowledgeable about the local areas and go out of their way to assist campers. Highly recommend this campground especially if visiting Sequoia National Park.

Stinky and cramped campsite

This campsite has small sites that are right on top of each other. We had site #2 and we were right on top of our neighbors, and we could smell the toilets from everywhere in camp. They are pit toilets, and they stink.

Good news is, no bear sightings, especially since there are no bear bins. That's right, bring your own bear proof containers, because they're not provided here. The camp host told us there had been no sightings all year, and that we should be safe to leave our food in the car. We were only there two nights, but we didn't like that.

Overall, it's a cool and quiet campground. But the lack of space, and the stink make it not worth visiting.

Quiet and small campground with lots of space

This place is amazing. You'll be camping in an old Sequoia Grove that was milled. There are still a couple sequoias nearby that you can hike right up to, but even cooler are the giant stumps left over that you can right next to. We got site 17 out of 21 sites and it is THE BEST site in camp. Fair warning, this campsite is referred to as "Bear Ally" by the rangers because that's where they come up from the forest to come checkout food opportunities at camp. We only saw 1 adolescent bear the 5 days we were up there.

All campsites are First Come, First Served, so be sure to get there early.

deserty, dry, but plenty of space

This is one of our intermediate stops if I'm going on a weekend trip to Mammoth. There are a pretty substantial amount of off-road/mtb trails in this area, if that's your thing. Also, you might get the stray hiker trying to make it to the Mount Whitney trailhead.

Desert landscapes aren't usually my thing, but there's plenty of space. I'd avoid in the summer unless there's something you really want to do here - it got fairly hot even in March. Also, it's free, so for the price I can't really complain. Just pack in/pack out!!

Beauty in between the hilly fruit groves

This is an adorable park nestled in between orange and lemon groves. The sweetness of the air and beautiful views of the hills add to the beauty of this quaint park. The laundry facility and bathrooms are spotless clean. There is a little store located inside at the check in desk. This park is conveniently located near Sequoia National Park for those outdoor enthusiast. There are camping and RV sites as well as a small tiny home community section. I would recommend this park if you are traveling to this area.

Awesome campgrounds

Center point for touring sequoia and kings canyon national parks. Free shuttle to take you all over the park. Great stream running through campgrounds upper and lower sections. Great hikes from campground. Especially, Muir groves and lookouts, breathtaking views. We also hiked lost groves which was very special hiking through meadows and going across streams. Saw many deer groups. Clean campsites and especially restrooms. We got to see two female bears walking at a distance from campground. Wildlife management team came and made sure bear stayed in it's nature areas. fun to watch and learn how they track bears and keep visitors informed on how to store our items with smells inside metal bear boxes. we had a amazing family vacation in one the most beautiful places on earth. the sequoia groves had great signage and easy trails to walk.

First to Review
Nice campground right by the river

Nice campground that is kept up very well. Depending on the level of the river it can be very noisy. Great if you want to be right next to the river.

Camp underneath the tallest peak in the lower 48

The Whitney Zone has an other-worldly feel to it. You can start your adventures to this unique place in the High Sierras by camping at the end of the road, just before the trailhead. The elevation is high enough to make it substantially cooler than Lone Pine, and it also has plenty of shade. The drastic climate difference here should acclimate you for even colder weather and altitude, if you're hiking up into the Whitney Zone!

There are plenty of bearboxes, sufficient pit toilets, and it tends to be quiet. Most people who stay here use it as a launch pad to hike into the backcountry early in the day. So, in my experience, you won't run into boisterous parties, and the campground is fairly spread out.

Just a reminder to obtain permits before you head into the Whitney Portal!

Tight, close quarters sites

Medium sized campground that has smaller, tight sites. Located directly off the main access road to Sequoia National Park, making it very loud and popular. RV’s and big campers with lights and generators. Fine if your passing through or can’t find other accommodations, but I wouldn’t spend significant time there. There is a swimming hole with ancient petroglyphs and acorn grinding holes right across the street.

Gateway to Mount Whitney

BLM land, so you can camp anywhere. Have to pack-in and pack-out. No fees, but you do need a campfire permit.

Stunning views and wide open spaces. Great bouldering and day use as well.

Been camping here for 20 years

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.

Convenient access for rock climbing

This camping area is at the end of dirt road Route 21S69, there is a sign for Dome Rock. It's very close to Ponderosa, a small town(?) with a general store and lodges, so that makes it super convenient if you need to buy some standard supplies.

At the end of the dirt road there is a parking area. You can camping anywhere in this area, no fee. Just make sure to apply for a fire permit ahead of time. There are NO facilities at this campground - no bathrooms or trash even. That said, it is a beautiful area, especially if you want to rock climb or hike with great views, including The Needles. Rock climbing info for the area can be found here.

Keep in mind that this location is at ~7,000ft elevation, so the temperatures will be cooler here, and you should plan accordingly.

CLOSED INDEFINITELY

Due to a bridge wash out and no funds for repair, this beloved campground is closed.

Good facilities, but less scenic and shady than other nearby options

This campground has better facilities than Brush Creek or Limestone campgrounds, but we found it to be less scenic because it has fewer trees throughout the campground. The camping experience seems to be variable depending on which site area you get - the ones by the river are larger and feel more private, because there is more space between sites.

Upsides are that this site has a campground host (who was very friendly) and running water. There are vault toilets - cleanest we found in the surrounding areas. Both trash and recycling collection bins are available (not the case for nearby day use areas or dispersed camping). Each site has its own campfire ring and picnic table.Single sites are $28/night, doubles sites are $56/night. This campground is very close to a store for supplies and to McNally's Lodge and Hamburger Restaurant. Dogs are allowed everywhere as long as they are on a leash.

Activities in the area:

  • hike the 7 teacups trail or go canyoneering
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • White water tubing/rafting/kayaking
Ranger Review: Body Glove at Guitar Lake Backcountry Campground

Campground Review:

If you find yourself in the Crabtree Meadow area due to section hiking, or maybe summiting the ever famous Mt. Whitney, this is the campground I suggest you stay at!

Guitar Lake is a beautiful spot to stay at no matter which spot you pick! Since this is bac country, you really get to pick any spot you see suitable as long as it follows guidelines of 100ft from the trail, 100ft from the water sources and do not set up on the vegetation. It's pretty easy to spot the "normal" spots people stay in. Just walk around a little, you'll find plenty.

We choose to stay on the North side of the lake as we were hiking up from Crabtree Ranger Station / Meadow area. This would make for the best summit the next day of Mt. Whitney. There are no trees in the area as this is above tree line. We were within guidelines, but the water was not a far walk. Plenty of fish swam along the stream that connects to the lake. The water was COLD, but else would you expect for a lake that high up (11,460'). There are marmots, chipmunks, and mice that inhabit this area so make sure all your food is stored per regulation in an approved bear canister!

The quick run down

Pros:

Beautiful

Plenty of sites

Fishing

Lake view

Perfect spot for summiting Mt. Whitney

Cons:

Marmots, mice, and chipmunks are sneaking sometimes

Bonus: Before the sunrises, you can see the headlamps of other hikers making their way up the switch backs!

Product review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing the Body Glove Equalizer Sport Bra in the color Agave- size S. I want to begin with saying that this sports bra blew my expectation out of the water! Being an active woman I have purchased many different brands from many different stores over the years. Some were better than others and most would suffice. This sports bra couldn’t have come my way at a better time for I was about to go on a 3 week backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada. I chose for the Body Glove Equalizer Sports Bra to be the ONLY bra I’d be carrying with me to take it on the ultimate test. Normally I would break down reviews into pros and cons, but in my opinion, this bra didn’t reveal any down sides!

Quality: This bra was made with a blend of nylon and spandex. It also had two removal cups, to which I decided to remove. It did not change the support in an way. It has a netting type mesh in the razor back that also lines the inside of the front. I did not experience any loose stitching. While taking on and off I never heard a 'rip' sound that most sports bras make. The sound of money down the drain as your stitching just ripped. Though I wore this bra for 20 straight days, never once did it make that 'rip' sound. Another quality feature I was impressed with was the fact that I didn't have a single rubbed-raw spot like all the other sports bra's I own. Typically after wearing my normal sports bras all day, I'd end up with a raw, red spot on my rib-cage. With the Equalizer and after long hours, sleeping in it, and wearing it into the next day, and the next day for that matter.. I didn't have a single sensitive spot from it! Lets just say on a 3 week backpacking trip, you are extra thankful for that!

Sizing: I am typically a 32B in a normal bra size and I choose a small based off their sizing charts. I was a little nervous to go through with purchasing a small because I normally wear a medium on my top half. Thankfully though Body Gloves sizing charts are spot on! A medium would have been too big! The small was perfect, not tight to leave marks, but taught to be supportive.

Washing: Being on the trail for weeks you have to wash and wear your items. Like I said above, this was the only bra I brought with me. I was so thankfully for the nylon/spandex blend for being a quick dry material! Mind you I washed the bra only about 3 times in the 20 days so I was impressed when even after the long days of hiking 12-15 miles, this bra never gave off any sort of smell. It never itched. It never became uncomfortable.

Summary: This is the best sports bra I have ever had the privilege of wearing! I recommend it 10/10.