Kings Canyon Camping Advice You Need To Know
Camping in Kings Canyon is one of the best ways to really experience the magic of the Giant Sequoia trees and the rushing rivers found deep within the park. Kings Canyon National Park is truly one of the most underrated parks in the national park system, with visitors often just skimming the surface, rushing ahead to Yosemite to the north or Sequoia National Park to the south. However for those of you in the know, this is the place to beat the crowds and to experience towering trees, cold snow melt rivers and spy a few bears along the way too.
Below we share all you need to know for planning the best Kings Canyon camping experience- with information on the best sites, which campgrounds to choose and how to book it all.
One of the first decisions you will need to make before planning a Kings Canyon camping trip is where you want to spend most of your time. Many visitors want to combine their Kings Canyon trip with a visit to Sequoia National Park. If this is the case with you, you will most likely want to stay in the upper section of Kings Canyon near Grant Grove Village.
For those who want the ultimate in seclusion and to be immersed in nature away from the masses, camping in the Kings Canyon Cedar Grove area is probably a better bet. This is a great option for people who want to spend more time down in the canyon after having explored the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.
We have stayed in both sections of the park and believe they both offer unique adventures.
Kings Canyon camping reservations are not quite as competitive as other nearby parks, especially if you can manage to camp during the weekdays. We highly recommend trying to visit the park in the shoulder season when crowds are less and the weather is beautiful.
That said, if you want a campsite during the summer months on a weekend, it is recommended that you mark your calendar and get ready well in advance. Individual campsites are released on a 6-month rolling basis (during COVID this is slightly altered with Kings Canyon sites operating on a one month rolling reservation basis.)
Above is a map showcasing the various campgrounds located within Kings Canyon National Park. There are 7 campgrounds total, with 3 in the Grant Grove Village section of the park and 4 in the Cedar Grove Village area. Between these two sections of the park is Sequoia National Forest, which also has a few campgrounds of its own that are outside of the operation of the national park, but provide access to the national park easily.
Now you know the lay of the land, where to book and how to book your reservations, here are a few other tips to prepare you for your Kings Canyon camping trip.
The weather is very different depending on where you book your camping trip. If you are in the Grant Grove area of the park expect cooler temperatures even during summer. Whereas, if you camp down in the canyon, you can expect very warm day time temperatures even with it quite warm well into the evening.