The Best Campsites in Sequoia National Park, California

Camp under the tall trees at Sequoia National Park in California
Camp under the tall trees at Sequoia National Park in California | © Barbora Martinakova / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer13 August 2020

Sequoia is one of nine national parks in California – but that doesn’t make it any less special. Camping among its dramatic landscapes, which include the tallest mountain peak in the lower 48 states and some truly enormous sequoia trees, is an experience you won’t forget. Here we’ve assembled the best campgrounds in the park for you to choose from.

Lodgepole Campground

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This large campground has just about the best location in the park, set along a picture-ready stretch of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. It’s very close to some of the largest sequoia trees and is handily nearby the Village Visitor Center, which has a store and bus stop. The camping spots with the best views are the farthest upstream, but any of the 200 tent and RV sites are desirable. Open from mid-April to the end of November, you can reserve a spot during summer, but otherwise it’s first-come, first-served.

Potwisha Campground

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Open year-round and ideal if you want to brave camping in the snow, Potwisha Campground is just 4mi (6.4km) from the park entrance. It’s conveniently located on the banks of the Kaweah River’s Middle Fork, so if it gets too hot in summer, you can take a dip to cool off. Sheltered by a canopy of shady oak trees, the 42 camping spots welcome tents, trailers and RVs alike. Flushing toilets and running water are available on the site, and an RV station is also available.

South Fork Campground

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If you’re looking for seclusion, this is the campsite for you. With 10 total sites for tents only and open all year round, it’s a spacious, beautiful location to reconnect with the earth near an oak and evergreen forest close to the South Fork of the Kaweah River. The access road can be rough to access, especially during winter, and the National Park Service doesn’t recommend driving a low-clearance vehicle here. With vault toilets and no running water, you can get back to your roots. Sites are first-come, first-served.

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  • Buckeye Flat Campground

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    Shady and quiet, this 28-site campground is a 30-minute drive from the park’s major attractions, but you trade accessibility for privacy. Found in the south section of Sequoia National Park, near Hospital Rock, you can only camp here with a tent. Located at the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, you’ll wake to the sound of the rushing river in the mornings, and large sprawling deciduous trees offer tempting tree-climbing opportunities. Open from spring to September, sites can be reserved up to six months in advance.

    Atwell Mill Campground

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    Secluded, shady and private, Atwell Mill Campground is in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park. Located near the East Fork of the Kaweah River, it’s overlooked by a grove of towering tall sequoia trees that gaze majestically over the campers below. With the town of Three Rivers just one hour away, it’s easily accessible, and if you forgot to book a slot, all sites here are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Potable water and vault toilets can be found on the site.

    Dorst Creek Campground

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    Drive an RV? Dorst Creek Campground is your new favorite place – although it’s also great for tent camping. One of the more social campsites in Sequoia National Park, with 218 total sites plus four campsites for groups of 15 to 30 people, it’s an ideal base for your national park adventure. Found in a dense forest of sequoia trees, you get (relative) luxury as well as beautiful nature here, with flushing toilets and running water on the site. With all it has to offer, you’d be wise to book this campsite in advance.

    These recommendations were updated on August 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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