Before hitting the mountain ... get the campground facts

May 23, 2007 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Overview: Yosemite has 13 campgrounds; up to seven operate on a reservation system. Reservations are required year round for all car campgrounds in Yosemite Valley and summer through fall in Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona and Tuolumne Meadows. (Half the sites in Tuolumne Meadows are first come, first served.)

Accessibility: Lower Pines, Upper Pines, North Pines, Hodgdon Meadow and Wawona are open year round; others open seasonally.

Fees: Range from $10-$20 per night. Camp 4 is $5 per person. (Does not include $20 park entrance fee, which will be $25 starting Jan. 1).

Limits: Fourteen days between May 1-Sept. 15, only seven of which can be in Yosemite Valley or Wawona; and 30 days within a calendar year.

Information: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground.htm

Reservations: Available in monthlong blocks up to five months in advance on the 15th of every month at 7 a.m. Pacific time. (The window will become six months in late 2007.)

Note: For May through September, campgrounds often fill up on the day reservations become available, sometimes within hours. Demand for first-come, first-served sites in the summer is incredibly high. Don't plan on finding one unless you arrive by noon on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends.


SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS

Overview: Sequoia and Kings Canyon have 14 campgrounds between them, including two (Lodgepole and Dorst) on a reservation system. The others are first come, first served.

Accessibility: Lodgepole, Azalea and Potwisha are open year round; others open seasonally. Trailers and RVs are not allowed at Buckeye Flat, Canyon View, Atwell Mill and Cold Springs.

Fees: Range from $12-$20 per night. (Does not include $20 park entrance fee, which will be $25 starting Jan. 1).

Limits: Fourteen consecutive days from June 14-Sept. 14; and 30 days per calendar year.

Information: nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Reservations: Accepted up to six months in advance at (877) 444-6777 or recreation.gov


SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST

Overview: There are 65 developed campgrounds, including 32 that can be reserved in advance. Dispersed camping is allowed except around Bass Lake, Huntington Lake, Dinkey Creek and the Merced River canyon.

Accessibility: Go to fs.fed.us/r5/sierra for updates.

Fees: Some are free; others range from $10-$19 per night and up to $38 for double sites.

Limits: Fourteen consecutive days with a 21-day max per ranger district per calendar year.

Information: fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/recreation/camping

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or recreation.gov


SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST
Hume Lake and Tule River/Hot Springs ranger districts)

Overview: There are 13 developed campgrounds in the Hume Lake Ranger District and 11 in the Tule River Ranger District. Dispersed camping is also allowed in most areas.

Accessibility: Go to fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia for updates.

Fees: Some are free; others range from $14-$19 per night. Rates increase on holiday weekends. (Does not include $20 fee entry through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.)

Limits: Fourteen consecutive days

Information: fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/recreation/campgrounds.html

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or recreation.gov


OTHER

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Pine Flat Lake has 97 sites at Island Park. Eastman Lake has 65 sites at Codorniz. Hensley Lake has 55 sites at Hidden View. Lake Kaweah has 80 sites at Horse Creek. Lake Success has 103 sites at Tule. Nightly rates from $14-$22. Reservations accepted up to 240 days in advance at (877) 444-6777 or recreation.gov.

California State Parks: Millerton Lake has 148 sites along its north shore. Nightly rates from $25-$34. Reservations accepted up to seven months in advance at (800) 444-PARK or reserveamerica.com.

Camp Edison: SCE operates 252 campsites at Shaver Lake with electricity and cable TV. Nightly rates from $25-$50. Mail-in or fax reservations only. Details: (559) 841-3134 or sce.com/CommunityandRecreation/Camping

Bureau of Land Management (San Joaquin River Gorge): Small campground is first come, first served. No fees.

-- Marek Warszawski, The Fresno Bee

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