Where to stay in Kings Canyon National Park
- Cedar Grove Lodge: Woodsy 21-room hotel is well located for exploring the park’s canyon. Open late Apr–mid-Oct; from $119; 877/436-9615.
- Grant Grove Cabins: Some cabins with baths, some without—tent cabins too. Cabins: from $79 May–Sep, from $129 Oct–Apr; tent cabins: from $62 Jun–Aug; 877/436-9615.
- John Muir Lodge: Pleasant, modern lodge in Grant Grove. From $172 May–Sep, from $79 Oct–Apr; 877/436-9615.
Where to stay in Sequoia National Park
- Bearpaw High Sierra Camp: Venerable (more than 75 years old) rustic camp is reached by a moderate 11.5-mile hike on the High Sierra Trail. Once you arrive, you’re rewarded with comfortable tent cabins, good camp food (breakfast and family-style dinner), and magnificent views of the Great Western Divide. Open Jun–Sep; from $350 per day for 2 people, including 2 meals; 866/807-3598.
- Wuksachi Lodge: Stylishly rustic, this 102-room lodge near Giant Forest is probably the nicest place to stay in the park—and its restaurant ($$) the best place to eat. From $195 mid-Apr–Oct, from $130 Nov–mid-Apr; 866/807-3598.
Places to stay near Sequoia and Kings Canyon
- Montecito Sequoia Lodge: Long-established resort in Sequoia National Forest, between the parks; offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding in the winter and is a good base for hiking and exploration at family camp in the summer. Mid-Sep–mid-Jun from $139 for 2 people, some meals included; mid-Jun–Aug family camp from $2,395 for 6 nights for 4 people, including meals and activities; 800/227-9900.
- The Sequoia High Sierra Camp: Luxury in the wilderness: 30 tent cabins (with comfortable beds) reached by an easy 0.75-mile hike from the parking lot- or a challenging 12-mile hike through scenic wilderness. And the food (3 meals a day are served) is very good. Open mid-Jun–early Oct; $250 per person per day, including 3 meals; 866/654-2877.
- Silver City Mountain Resort: Your best non-camping option near Mineral King (about 4 miles before the end of the road), Silver City has newish chalets and older cabins. Open late May–mid-Oct; from $100; 2-night minimum stay; 559/561-3223.
- Stony Creek Lodge: Handsome 11-room hotel in adjacent Giant Sequoia National Monument. Open May–early Oct; from $169, including continental breakfast; 866/522-6966.
Where to camp
There are 7 developed campgrounds within Sequoia and 7 within Kings Canyon, all operated by the National Park Service, and most are first come, first served.
Lodgepole and Dorst Creek campgrounds, near Giant Forest, accept reservations (recreation.gov or 877/444-6777). The Foothills campgrounds lie near Sequoia’s southern entrance and two campgrounds are near Mineral King.
Situated at 7,200 feet Quaking Aspen Campground puts visitors near some of the best views in the park at Needles Lookout, Dome Rock, and Mule Peak. This minimalist, reservation-friendly campground hosts 32 single-family sites, as well as spacious group lots fitting anywhere from 12 to 50 people. Made for relatively seasoned campers, Quaking Aspen forgoes sinks, showers, and even running water during the drought. Expect pit toilets and bring plenty of water, or stock up at the general store just two miles away. Due to the infrequent bear activity not all sites contain bear bins. Accepts reservations; $24/night; open mid-May to mid-Nov weather-permitting; www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sequoia/recreation/recarea/?recid=79813&actid=33.
At Kings Canyon, you’ll find campgrounds clustering at Grant Grove and at Cedar Grove. The per-night, per-site camping fee is the same for RVs, trailers, and cars. No RVs or trailers are allowed at the two campgrounds in the Mineral King area.
- Buckeye Flat 28 sites; open mid-Apr–Sep; $18.
- Potwisha 42 sites; open year-round; $18.
- South Fork 10 sites; open year-round; $18.
Giant Forest/Lodgepole area:
- Dorst Creek 210 sites; open late Jun–early Sep (reservations: recreation.gov or 877/444-6777); $20.
- Lodgepole 214 sites; open late May–Sep (reservations: recreation.gov or 877/444-6777), $20; Oct–Nov and Apr–May, $18; Dec–Apr, depending on snowfall, $10.
Mineral King area:
- Atwell Mill 21 sites; open late May–Oct; $12.
- Cold Springs 40 sites; open late May–Oct; $12.
KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK CAMPING
Cedar Grove area:
- Canyon View 23 sites; open mid-May–mid-Oct; $18.
- Moraine 120 sites; open mid-May–mid-Oct; $18.
- Sentinel 82 sites; open late Apr–Sep; $18.
- Sheep Creek 111 sites; open mid-May–mid-Oct; $18.
Grant Grove area:
- Azalea 110 sites; open year-round; $18.
- Crystal Springs 36 sites; open mid-May–mid-Sep; $18.
- Sunset 157 sites; open mid-May–mid-Sep; $18.
More: The West's best camping