Camping at Kings Canyon National Park

Camping at Kings Canyon National Park
Deep in California's Sierra Nevada range, surrounded by soaring Kaweah Mountain peaks and filled with soaring sequoias trees, lies Kings Canyon National Park. Named for the massive glacier-carved gorge passing through it, Kings Canyon and bordering Sequoia National Park are just as spectacular but less crowded alternatives to their northern neighbor Yosemite. Hiking, fishing and exploring the majestic groves of giant trees are a few of the outdoor adventures awaiting their visitors.

Sunset Campground

The largest of King Canyon's three Grant's Grove campgrounds, Sunset Campground draws the largest peak-season crowds and is easily accessible from Route 180. Its 159 campsites mean that landing here probably won't get you away from it all. But you can escape the crowds by hiking the surrounding trails through nearby Grant's Grove, and losing yourself among the mighty sequoias. From late June to mid-July, the Azalea trail is ablaze with bloom. The campground has no hookups. Tents, trailers or RVs are allowed at the individual sites; tents only for the group sites. The two group sites for 15 to 30 campers can be reserved by mail or fax only, while individual sites are first-come, first-served.

Sunset Group Sites
P.O. Box 926
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
(559) 565-4390
nps.gov

Crystal Springs

A no-RV policy makes Crystal Springs, with 36 individual and 14 group campsites, is the smallest and quietest of the Grant's Grove campgrounds. There are no hookups. It's pack-in, pack out with individual sites holding up to six campers and group sites from seven to 15. All are first-come, first-served. Crystal Springs is just a stone's throw from one of Kings Canyon's less-traveled hikes, the Big Stump Trail. This two-mile path winds through the remains of a harvested sequoia grove. Climb the ladder to the top of the Mark Twain stump for an up-close experience of the enormous breadth of these trees.

Grant's Grove
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271-9700
(559) 565-3341

Canyon View

Even smaller than Crystal Springs, but located in the Cedar Grove section of Kings Canyon, is Canyon View Campground. Individual sites with room for one vehicle and six people are first-come, first-served. Group sites for 20 to 40 people are by reservation by mail or fax. There are no hookups. It's tents only for the group sites; RVs and trailers must use individual campsites. Its 23 individual and five group sites are a short distance from the Don Cecil Trail, which climbs the canyon's northern slope past Sheep Creek to the summit of Lookout Mountain and outstanding views of the Kings Canyon backcountry. One stretch of the Kings River's South Fork flows through Cedar Grove area where it has carved an 8200-foot-deep canyon, the deepest in the United States.

Canyon View Group Sites
P.O. Box 926
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Fax: (559) 565-4391 (Nov-April)
Fax: (559) 565-0314 (May-Oct)

Considerations

The 6,500-foot elevation of the Grant's Grove campgrounds means that unless you're already in decent shape, you'll need to acclimate before any serious hiking. All these campsites have flush toilets and bear-proof food storage units. Pricing is available through the National Park Service. Very long RVs may not fit in some of the individual campsites.

Article Written By Judy Wolfe

Judy Wolfe has owned her own writing business since 2006. She is a professional florist, holds a certificate in advanced floral design and had her Valentine's Day floral design published in "Super Floral Retailing." She spent her college summers tending her family's Santa Barbara avocado orchards. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from California State Polytechnic Univeristy in Pomona.

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