Kimberly M.
Oakland, CA
Joined May 2018
Skiing. Mountaineering. Adventure stuff.
ugh

This place is noisy (lots of traffic on the main road bc of all of the boating traffic), hot and windy (seriously, it's like being in a super hot wind tunnel), and full of grasses like foxtails (that are quite dangerous for dogs, especially when they're dry!) I won't be coming back

noisy!

We actually had booked a dispersed camping spot close to this campground, but once the high winds picked up on the plateau we were on we decided to high-tail it over to Castle Crags to have a less windy night!

It is right next to the highway and close to a high-volume railroad track, so BRING EARPLUGS! It really does get very noisy. There are a wide variety of sites (some include a grade you need to back your camper up onto), some close to streams, etc etc. so from that perspective it's quite nice. And if you want to climb the Crags you really can't pick a better location.

They have the usual bear lockers and fire rings, there is usually a host, and the bathrooms are actually quite nice (well-heated, which is what we needed during a soggy November trip!) The gas station down the street has a VERY big selection of beer (I was super surprised).

Be careful of two things: one, there is abundant poison oak in the area and two, we found a very big and nasty spider in the bag of firewood I bought.

cool park, pretty nice camping

This is the first campground we stayed in when we bought our new Cricket trailer. It gets COLD at night! We weren't expecting it. Be prepared!

There are a lot of sites at the campground but there really isn't much privacy (like the Yosemite campgrounds, this is not a place you go when you want seclusion). The sites are on gravel so they're nice and level (I don't know about the tent sites, though). I think this is a great place if you want to camp with friends (since you can book a bunch of sites all in a row and there won't be any division between you), or if you're really just using it as a good spot for a home base so you can go climbing.It's dog-friendly but ONLY inside the campground itself.

There are a lot of amenities, including a store (the sell food, plus all the nicknacks like natl park stickers) and a pool (which I didn't use). I think I'd like to go back now that we are more experienced campers and know to bring blankets. :)

First to Review
very quiet spot

We loved this spot! This is a less popular campground than some of the others in the area we drove by (which were totally full), but I don't know why. There wasn't a host at the time we stayed, but we didn't end up needing them so it's OK. There seemed to be quite a few people there who had been several times prior, and they were all very friendly.

Pick a site in the outside/larger loop and you'll get more privacy. There are a lot of mature trees so there's a lot of nice shade. Bathrooms are fine, clean vaults. But let me tell you, they have the coolest built-in camp stoves…I've never seen anything like them! Instead of it just being a regular fit pit (which they also had), they have these wood-fired stone things that have an exposed cast-iron top that you can also use to cook…perfect! The nearest store is pretty close and it's one of those store/restaurant combo things, and they have a decent selection (lots of beer options); you keep driving past the campground to get there. And the stuff that is actually in town you pass through on the way up from Truckee is quite cute (I don't remember the name). Dog friendly campground

There are a lot of beautiful hiking options in the area, including some moderate-distance hikes to nice alpine lakes.

nice sites!

We really like this campground and would go more often if it wasn't such a drive to get there! Speaking of drive, if you're going to be driving there at night be sure to download the coordinates and pay VERY close attention to the directions…we got turned around a couple of times and it was almost impossible to find it!

They have quite a few paved, pull-thru sites which is super convenient. Some are more secluded than others, we didn't have any neighbors which was nice. The bathrooms arent anything to write home about. Seemed like mostly trailer/camper/RV people here and I didn't see very many tent campers (probably due to those nicely paved spots!) But it didn't seem to be a rowdy crowd so that's OK. It gets very hot, so be prepared.

huge campground, nice lake

Don't come seeking serenity here, it's definitely a BIG family campground! There are a lot of large groups and families that come here (seems like they'll take up a big part of a loop by reserving multiple sites), so the sites at in the farthest corners will be your best bet if that's not what you want.

The hosts here in 2017 were quite nice, and the lake is lovely (it's a perfect swimming lake and should be pretty chill for kayakers as well). You're close-is to a town where you can get somethings, but it's pretty slim pickings so stock up before you head too far up the hill. Speaking of food, it's definitely bear country, and a site close to ours was stupid enough to leave their food out at night (guess what happened!!) It's also a dog-friendly campground, which is nice.

Be aware that there are several sites in the loop we stayed at (including ours) that have an entrance with significant grade, so you'll be backing up a camper/trailer up a hill. Since we had a more secluded site it was worth it, though!

Hidden gem

This place is REALLY out there. Seriously. While it is technically in Sequoia, it is very far off the beaten path and usually the roads to get there are super shitty and super winding (not recommended at night unless you're used to those conditions). But that's what keeps this place a secret!

If your camper/trailer is more than 17-18ft, do NOT attempt to come here, you'll probably get stuck on the way. You can get to the Scenic Byway by taking one of the forest routes as a shortcut (I wouldn't recommend it for vehicles that aren't either trucks or 4x4 SUVs…you will bottom-out in anything else, bc the road isn't maintained). I'm not sure how long it takes to get to the main pard via the regular routes.

There are several resident bears in the area, so you MUST take it seriously. Our site was visited nightly but bc we didn't leave food out it was fine. They come for the wild berry patches nearby. The toilets are fine (standard vault toilets) and there is running water. No showers or anything else.

We love how quiet and remote this place is, it's a favorite

Just for the location

We brought our little Cricket trailer here in August, and I'd say that you stay here just for the location. So centrally located, you can get to basically everything quickly. But it is SO crowded, the bathrooms are sorta meh, and the squirrels are INSANE. Seriously, they're like aggressive ninjas. They WILL steal your stuff.

You go here to enjoy the stuff in Yosemite, you don't go here for the ambiance.

Perfect for Kearsarge hikers

My husband and I stayed here at the tail-end of our Eastern Sierras road trip with our Cricket trailer, and it was perfect! We couldn't find our site number so we asked the hosts…they were not only SUPER helpful, but they pointed us to a different site that was vacant and was WAY better (much, much more spacious). We asked them if it'd be possible to stay for our remaining days instead of moving down to Lone Pine, and they called the hosts and the other campground to make it happen. They were amazing!

We were in the area to hike Kearsarge pass and some other areas, but for that hike specifically it is PERFECT, as it's about a 5min drive right down the hill on the road to get there (we couldn't stay at the portal to that hike bc it was tents only).

The bathrooms are spacious and clean. There is wildlife so keep your stuff locked up (we heard a mountain lion in the night), but that's the usual for the area. In late summer there are angry Yellowjackets, but that's also normal for the area. The creek is a nice thing to listen to in the evenings. Go for the spots that are shady

We look forward to coming back.