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Top Dispersed Camping near Sierra National Forest

120 Reviews

Looking for dispersed camping near Sierra National Forest? Dispersed camping means that no facilities or amenities are provided, so that you can truly disconnect and get back to nature. You're sure to find the perfect dispersed campgrounds for your California camping adventure.

Best Dispersed Camping Sites Near Sierra National Forest, CA (54)

  1. Camper-submitted photo from Goat Meadow - Dispersed Camp Site

    1.

    Goat Meadow - Dispersed Camp Site

    22 Reviews
    38 Photos
    688 Saves
    Fish Camp, California

    Dispersed Camping is allowed in the National Forest except in the area surrounding Huntington Lake, Shaver Lake, Bass Lake, Redinger Lake, and the Merced River Canyon. Campfire permits are required at all times whenever you plan to have a fire on public land outside of a developed campground. When building a fire please remember to only pick up down and dead wood that is no larger than wrist size and to never leave a campfire unattended.

    You can obtain a campfire permit at any Forest office or online at www.prevetnwildfireca.org. Be sure to check and see if campfire restrictions are in effect, when campfire restrictions are in place you will not be able to make a fire in dispersed camping areas (Developed Designated Campgrounds Only) but, you will be able to operate gas stoves, and lanterns with your permit.

    When camping in the Forest proper food storage is also required either using a bear box, or by the proper use of the counter balance method. While camping anywhere in the forest also keep in mind that there are other people in the forest and we advise you to respect them and their space.

    You may stay at one campsite for a limit of 14 days and you may stay on each district for a limit of 21 days before we will ask you to vacate. Please follow ENVUM maps for all designated roads and vehicle limitations.

    We ask you to always remember to pack out what you pack in. Human waste needs to be buried 6 to 8 inches deep. For any other questions about visiting and camping in the forest and in the wilderness please visit LeaveNoTrace.org.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
  2. Camper-submitted photo from Cherry Gap OHV Staging Area
  3. Camper-submitted photo from JO Pass

    3.

    JO Pass

    1 Review
    7 Photos
    26 Saves
    Lakeshore, California

    The 10,500-acre Jennie Lakes Wilderness is a lovely mixture of lakes, meadows, forests, and streams. Mostly above 7,000 feet in elevation, this wilderness contains scenic variations of alpine and sub-alpine forest of White & Red Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Western White Pine, Jeffrey & Ponderosa Pine, with an abundance of wildflowers in the Spring and Summer. The summit of Mitchell Peak is the highest point at 10,365 feet. Four trailheads access 26 miles of trails within the wilderness. Several of these trails also connect to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park's enormous backcountry.

    • Fires
    • Reservable
    • Dispersed
    • Alcohol
  4. Camper-submitted photo from Sequoia Forest Hunting Area - FS 13597

    4.

    Sequoia Forest Hunting Area - FS 13597

    3 Reviews
    3 Photos
    54 Saves
    Dunlap, California

    Tips and rules on dispersed camping: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/maps-pubs/?cid=fseprd883625

    Dispersed camping is camping outside of a designated campground. It is allowed in many areas of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

    There are certain areas where dispersed camping is prohibited and these areas are posted.

    Dispersed camping is free but you must have a CAMPFIRE PERMIT. These can be obtained fore free at Readyforwildfire.org. Be aware of fire restrictions, typically enforced by mid-summer, banning open fires outside of designated campgrounds. More on campfire rules here.

    The maximum length of time you may camp in dispersed areas is 14 DAYS at a time and 30 DAYS in a year.

    Each year the number of people taking advantage of dispersed recreation opportunities has increased, making it more essential that these areas be left clean and undamaged.

    The following acts are PROHIBITED on the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument and are subject to a fine:

    1. Driving off designated roads inside the Monument.

    2. Leaving campfire unattended.

    3. Leaving trash buried, stashed or left in campfire ring. Abandoning or leaving personal property. PACK IT IN-PACK IT OUT.

    4. Cutting or otherwise damaging trees for use as a lean-to or a horse corral. Do not leave anything tied to trees.

    5. Destruction of government property such as signs, posters, gates, etc.

    6. Removing forest products without a permit.

    7. Discharging any firearm within 150 yards of any building, occupied area, across forest development roads, or body of water

    Here are some tips to appropriate dispersed camping: More information on dispersed camping here.

    1. Protect standing trees from nails and scars from axes, knives and hatchets. Use only dead and down trees for firewood.

    2. Bury human waste at least six inches deep and 200 feet from any waterway or trail. DO NOT bury toilet paper–PACK IT OUT

    3. Wash at least 200 feet away from any water source using biodegradable soap.

    4. Set up camp more than 200 feet from any waterway or trail.

    5. Take a litterbag to carry out all refuse. Do not leave trash in fire rings. Do not bury trash.

    6. A campfire permits is required to have a campfire, charcoal barbeque, or camp stove. Use existig fire grates or fire rings. Gather only dead and down firewood. Firewood may not be transported off of the Forest without a permit.

    7. Avoid leveling or digging trenches around tents. Place tent on bare ground and not on vegetation.

    8. Protect your food from the bears and other animals. Keep your food and anything with a scent stored in an airtight container in your car truck. If your vehicle has no truck, put everything on the floor, cover it well and close the windows. Always, Keep a clean campsite.

    9. LEAVE YOUR CAMPSITE BETTER THAN WHEN YOU ARRIVED!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Dispersed
    • Alcohol
  5. Camper-submitted photo from Road to Armenian Camp - Dispersed Spot

    5.

    Road to Armenian Camp - Dispersed Spot

    2 Reviews
    4 Photos
    42 Saves
    Dunlap, California

    Tips and rules on dispersed camping: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/maps-pubs/?cid=fseprd883625

    Dispersed camping is camping outside of a designated campground. It is allowed in many areas of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

    There are certain areas where dispersed camping is prohibited and these areas are posted.

    Dispersed camping is free but you must have a CAMPFIRE PERMIT. These can be obtained fore free at Readyforwildfire.org. Be aware of fire restrictions, typically enforced by mid-summer, banning open fires outside of designated campgrounds. More on campfire rules here.

    The maximum length of time you may camp in dispersed areas is 14 DAYS at a time and 30 DAYS in a year.

    Each year the number of people taking advantage of dispersed recreation opportunities has increased, making it more essential that these areas be left clean and undamaged.

    The following acts are PROHIBITED on the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument and are subject to a fine:

    1. Driving off designated roads inside the Monument.

    2. Leaving campfire unattended.

    3. Leaving trash buried, stashed or left in campfire ring. Abandoning or leaving personal property. PACK IT IN-PACK IT OUT.

    4. Cutting or otherwise damaging trees for use as a lean-to or a horse corral. Do not leave anything tied to trees.

    5. Destruction of government property such as signs, posters, gates, etc.

    6. Removing forest products without a permit.

    7. Discharging any firearm within 150 yards of any building, occupied area, across forest development roads, or body of water

    Here are some tips to appropriate dispersed camping: More information on dispersed camping here.

    1. Protect standing trees from nails and scars from axes, knives and hatchets. Use only dead and down trees for firewood.

    2. Bury human waste at least six inches deep and 200 feet from any waterway or trail. DO NOT bury toilet paper–PACK IT OUT

    3. Wash at least 200 feet away from any water source using biodegradable soap.

    4. Set up camp more than 200 feet from any waterway or trail.

    5. Take a litterbag to carry out all refuse. Do not leave trash in fire rings. Do not bury trash.

    6. A campfire permits is required to have a campfire, charcoal barbeque, or camp stove. Use existig fire grates or fire rings. Gather only dead and down firewood. Firewood may not be transported off of the Forest without a permit.

    7. Avoid leveling or digging trenches around tents. Place tent on bare ground and not on vegetation.

    8. Protect your food from the bears and other animals. Keep your food and anything with a scent stored in an airtight container in your car truck. If your vehicle has no truck, put everything on the floor, cover it well and close the windows. Always, Keep a clean campsite.

    9. LEAVE YOUR CAMPSITE BETTER THAN WHEN YOU ARRIVED!

    • Pets
    • Phone Service
    • Dispersed
  6. Camper-submitted photo from Marie Lake, John Muir Trail
  7. Camper-submitted photo from Florence Lake Dispersed
  8. Camper-submitted photo from Crab Cooker Hotsprings - Dispersed Camping

    8.

    Crab Cooker Hotsprings - Dispersed Camping

    11 Reviews
    33 Photos
    393 Saves
    Inyo National Forest, California

    Located near Mammoth Lakes, Crab Cooker Hot Springs is one of several hot water springs in the area that are suitable for soaking in. The pool consists of a manmade cement tub with water piped in from a mineral spring about 30 feet away. Though the water at the source is too hot to bathe in, or even to touch, the tub has been outfitted with a valve that allows for the control of hot water.

    Crab cooker is located on land that is owned by the LA Department of Water and Power, which forbids camping. However, camping is permitted on nearby public land.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
  9. Camper-submitted photo from Yosemite “Boondock National” Dispersed Camping
  10. Camper-submitted photo from Scenic Loop - Dispersed Camping

    10.

    Scenic Loop - Dispersed Camping

    7 Reviews
    16 Photos
    441 Saves
    Mammoth Lakes, California

    Regulations governing campfires can change with weather conditions and the seasons. To protect yourself and the forest, before each visit, check with the Forest Service office nearest to your destination for current restrictions.

    You can help protect the National Forests from wildfires by knowing and following the rules for the safe use of fire. You must have a California Campfire Permit to use a stove or lantern outside a Developed Recreation Area such as a campground. The permit is your agreement to follow restrictions and regulations in effect.

    Your California Campfire Permit is valid until the end of the calendar year; it may be used in any National Forest in California.

    Go to any Forest Service, CALFIRE, or Bureau of Land Management office during business hours and a receptionist will issue you a permit. You may also go to this website to get a campfire permit online (please note you will need a printer to print it off).

    Campfires - Campfires when permitted, you need to follow five conditions:

    Campfire Permits are required. Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire. Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires. Have a responsible person in attendance at all times. Extinguish campfire with water, using the drown, stir and feel method. Take Responsibility... It is your responsibility to know the current conditions and restrictions for the area you intend to visit.

    Details here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/recreation/ohv/?cid=stelprdb5362150

    • Pets
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Dispersed
    • Alcohol

Popular Camping Styles near Sierra National Forest

Pet-friendly camping near Sierra National Forest

Recent Dispersed Reviews In Sierra National Forest

120 Reviews of 54 Sierra National Forest Campgrounds