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Sequoia National Park Camping: The Best Guide to All 7 Campgrounds, Backpacking, and Camping Nearby

Snow-capped mountains in the background and tall green trees in the foreground
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There are seven campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, each offering a great stay among the world’s largest trees. Separated into three districts, these campgrounds offer something different for every type of traveler. In this guide to camping in Sequoia National Park, we will cover all seven campgrounds, the different districts, pricing, reservations, and more.

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Land Acknowledgment: This post promotes travel to native lands for the following nations: Western Mono/Monache, Eastern Mono/Monache, Tübatulabal, and Yokuts. We honor all Indigenous caretakers of these lands and waters, the elders who lived here before, the Indigenous today, and the generations to come.

Sequoia National Park Camping Regulations

The following list of regulations is from the park’s official website. Make sure you follow these regulations carefully before and during your visit.

  • All reservations should be made online. Reservations are available up to six months in advance.
  • There are no RV hook-ups in any of the campgrounds in Sequoia National Park or neighboring Kings Canyon National Park.
  • Check-out time for all campsites is Noon.
  • Wilderness permits are required for camping outside of designated campgrounds.
  • Campfires are only permitted in fire rings. You may only gather dead and down wood.
  • While pets are not allowed on park trails, they are permitted in campgrounds. Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6-feet at all times. They may not be left unattended.
  • Feeding, touching, disturbing, approaching, and scaring wildlife is prohibited.
  • Quiet hours take place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Generator hours vary per campground.
  • You must store all food and scented items in the food storage boxes provided. Bears can easily break into your vehicle, therefore, all food must be removed.
A winding, narrow, paved road hugs a canyon
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Reserving a Campsite at Sequoia National Park

The following campgrounds in Sequoia National Park can be reserved in advance: Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, Lodgepole, and Dorst Creek. You may also reserve group sites in advance. All other campgrounds are operated under a first-come, first-served basis.

If you’re interested in reserving a campground, you can do so online at Receation.gov. Reservations are accepted up to six months in advance, and you should book as early as possible. Create an account and have your campground and campsite of choice selected before you try and reserve to ensure that you’re as prepared as possible.

Instructions for booking a first-come, first-served campsite are available upon arrival to the campground you’re interested in. You’ll want to claim a campsite in the morning, as early as you can. Campgrounds often fill quickly on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in the summer in addition to major holidays. Sunday to Thursday afternoons are the best times to search the campgrounds for an available site.

An image of tall sequoia trees. The text on the image is encouraging you to download a checklist of the best hikes in Sequoia National Park by signing up for e-mail notifications.

Map of Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park

A map of the seven campgrounds in Sequoia National Park

For a full map of Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, click here.

Sequoia National Park Campgrounds in Lodgepole

The Lodgepole District, also known as Giant Forest, is located in the northwestern corner of the park. Many of the best hikes in Sequoia National Park as well as the most popular things to do are found in this area. The average elevation here is 6,700 feet (2,050 m), so plan accordingly if you need to acclimate. To get to Lodgepole, take Highway 180 from Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park or take Highway 198 (the main park entrance). Vehicles over 22-feet in length should not drive between Potwisha Campground and the Giant Forest.

Campgrounds in Lodgepole are generally open from early spring or summer through late fall. Reservations are recommended for both campgrounds in the Giant Forest.

Dorst Creek Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

Dorst Creek Campground is located between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, making it a great campground for anyone hoping to see both parks. It’s located about 10 miles from the Giant Forest and the free Sequoia Shuttle provides transportation between the two locations. The elevation at the campground is 6,800 feet (2,073 m). Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $22 per night

Facilities: Payphone, flush toilets, Sequoia Shuttle stop, and many additional services (such as showers and laundry) in Lodgepole Village

Ranger Programs: Yes, located in the campground amphitheater.

Reservations: Yes, you can reserve Dorst Creek Campground online here.

RVs: Yes, this campground can accommodate RVs of any size. Reserve your campsite using a search filter for the size of your RV.

Season: Summer

Sites: 218

More Information: click here

Lodgepole Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

Lodgepole is one of the largest and most popular campgrounds in Sequoia National Park. It’s located just two miles from the Giant Forest Grove of Sequoia trees and only 1/4-mile from Lodgepole Village. The free Sequoia Shuttle stops here frequently to take you to other popular destinations in the park, including Moro Rock. The elevation at the campground is 6,700 feet (2,073 m). Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $22 per night

Facilities: Payphone, flush toilets, Sequoia Shuttle stop

Ranger Programs: Yes, rangers deliver programs at the amphitheater in the summer.

Reservations: Yes, reservations can be made online for dates between May 6 and September 22. Outside of these dates, all camping is on a first-come, first-served basis at Lodgepole Campground.

RVs: RVs up to 42-feet long can be accommodated in Lodgepole Campground. There are no hook-ups. Generators can be used between 8 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

Season: Spring through winter (depending on the loop)

Sites: 214

More Information: click here

Sequoia National Park Campgrounds in Mineral King

The Mineral King district is only open in the summer months. Located at 7,500 feet (2,280 m), Mineral King features the highest elevation campground in Sequoia National Park. The narrow, winding road to Mineral King is generally open from late spring to fall, depending on weather and snowfall. RVs and vehicles towing trailers are not recommended on this road and are not permitted in the two Mineral King campgrounds.

Marmots are particularly active in Mineral King and have been known to chew through car wiring and radiator hosing. For tips on marmot safety in the park, click here.

Atwell Mill Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

This small campground features 21 sites available for tent camping on a first-come, first-served basis. This campground is perfect for anyone seeking peace and quiet during their visit to Sequoia National Park. Each campsite is equipped with a large food storage container for your scented items. It’s recommended that you cover your vehicle’s undercarriage with a tarp to protect it from marmots.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $12 per night

Facilities: Potable water (when open), payphone, vault toilets, and other services (including showers) at the nearby Silver City Resort

Ranger Programs: No

Reservations: No, this campground is first-come, first-served.

RVs: Not permitted

Season: Summer and fall

Sites: 21 tent sites

More Information: click here

Cold Springs Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

Down the road from Atwell Mill is another one of the more remote campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, Cold Springs. This campground is also tents-only on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a bit larger, but farther from services in Silver City Resort. It’s located near the Mineral King Visitor Center, offering visitor services daily. Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $12 per night

Facilities: Potable water (when open), payphone, vault toilets, and other services (including showers) at the nearby Silver City Resort

Ranger Programs: No

Reservations: No, this campground is first-come, first-served.

RVs: Not permitted

Season: Summer and fall.

Sites: 40 tent sites, 9 of which are walk-in only (located 100-200 yards/meters from parking area)

More Information: click here

Sequoia National Park Campgrounds in the Foothills District

At a much lower elevation of 2,500-3,000 feet (750-920 m), the Foothills district in Sequoia National Park is typically warmer in the summer and usually snow-free in winter. Due to these hot and dry conditions, fire restrictions may be in place during a summer visit. A beautiful, winding drive through the Sierra Mountains and Sequoia forest leads you to the Giant Forest area of the park. Between Potwisha Campground and Giant Forest, vehicles over 22-feet are not recommended due to the narrow, winding roads.

Buckeye Flat Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

Just 7 miles from the main entrance to Sequoia National Park, Buckeye Flat Campground is a great place for a base. You can easily get to Giant Forest or the community of Three Rivers outside of the park. With only 28 tent-camping sites, it’s one of the smaller and quieter campgrounds in Sequoia National Park. Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Sites 20 and 24 are designated as accessible. Please refrain from reserving these sites unless you require an accessible site.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $22 per night

Facilities: Flush toilets, potable water

Ranger Programs: No (but there are programs every night at the nearby Potwisha Campground)

Reservations: Yes, you may reserve online here.

RVs: Not permitted

Season: Summer

Sites: 28

More Information: click here

Potwisha Campground

A Sequoia National Park campsite with a picnic table and food storage container
NPS Photo

The largest campground in the Foothills of Sequoia National Park, Potwisha is located about 4 miles from the main entrance. It’s located along the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River with a forest of oak trees. Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Sites 30 and 40 are designated as accessible. Please refrain from reserving these unless you require an accessible site.

Campground Map: click here

Cost: $22 per night

Facilities: Potable water, flush toilets, dump station

Ranger Programs: Yes, from July to early September

Reservations: Yes, you can reserve online here.

RVs: Yes, RVs shorter than 24-feet are permitted. Generators are allowed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Season: Summer

Sites: 42

More Information: click here

South Fork Campground

NPS Photo

The South Fork Campground is one of the most isolated campgrounds in Sequoia National Park. If you’d like a quieter experience, this is a great option. That being said, the campground is also a bit farther from popular attractions in the park. For example, it takes about two hours to get to Giant Forest from South Fork Campground. The only way to access the park from South Fork is through Three Rivers on Highway 198. Each site has a large food storage container for your scented items.

Cost: $6 per night

Facilities: Vault toilets (no drinking water – bring your own)

Ranger Programs: No

Reservations: No, this campground is first-come, first-served.

RVs: Not permitted

Season: Year-round

Sites: 10 tent sites

More Information: click here

Camping in Sequoia National Park with an RV

There are no RV hookups in any of Sequoia National Park’s campgrounds.

The following campgrounds accommodate RVs or truck/trailer combinations:

  • Dorst Creek (any size)
  • Lodgepole (42-feet or shorter)
  • Potwisha (24-feet or shorter)
A hiker stares up at tall Sequoia trees
Unsplash Photo

Backcountry Camping in Sequoia National Park

The best source for backcountry camping information and wilderness permits is the official website. I have summarized many of the logistics below, however, I still recommend reading the park’s official webpage. It provides everything you need to know.

Wilderness Camping Fees

It costs $10 for your permit in addition to $5 per person to obtain a wilderness permit for backcountry camping in Sequoia National Park. This fee is only collected during the quota season. These dates change each year, but are usually between May and September. If you wish to backcountry camp in the off-season, permits are free but still required. There are no discounts for American the Beautiful pass holders.

Getting Your Permit

Beginning on March 1, you may request a wilderness permit by e-mailing the park rangers at Sequoia National Park. Fill out this application electronically, then send it to seki_wilderness_reservations@nps.gov. You should request your permit at least 2 weeks prior to your planned start date. If accepted, you must pick up your permit in-person upon arrival at the park. Your e-mail confirmation is not your permit. Visit the permitting desk during their open hours to pick up your permit.

The middle of very tall Sequoia trees
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Camping in Sequoia National Park: What to Pack

The following list of items should be included in your pack.

An image of a blue tent lit up at night. The text on the image is encouraging you to download a packing list for backpacking by signing up for e-mail notifications.

Camping Near Sequoia National Park

If all of the campgrounds in Sequoia National Park are full, you can try to camp outside of park boundaries. There are a lot of options to choose from, and I’ve listed some below for you.

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In this guide to camping in Sequoia National Park, we will cover all seven campgrounds, the different districts, pricing, reservations, and more. | Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park | Sequoia National Park Camping | #sequoianationalpark
In this guide to camping in Sequoia National Park, we will cover all seven campgrounds, the different districts, pricing, reservations, and more. | Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park | Sequoia National Park Camping | #sequoianationalpark
In this guide to camping in Sequoia National Park, we will cover all seven campgrounds, the different districts, pricing, reservations, and more. | Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park | Sequoia National Park Camping | #sequoianationalpark
In this guide to camping in Sequoia National Park, we will cover all seven campgrounds, the different districts, pricing, reservations, and more. | Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park | Sequoia National Park Camping | #sequoianationalpark

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