Kirch Flat Campground

Kirch Flat NFS
Camp Kings River

kirch flat

Low elevation Western Sierra: a big river at the beginning of Kings Canyon. Fishing, biking and hiking. The Kings Cyn National Park is directly east, upriver.

Oak woodlands, steep granite canyons, waterfall hikes, rock beaches, river fishing, mountain biking and wildflowers. Day time temperatures get triple-digit in summer months, so best time to visit is the rest of the year. Small RV accessible, paved road, river close – and best of all, open all year long!

flora west sierra

Kirch Flat Campground

Due EAST of Fresno, California in a large river canyon, Western Sierra Nevada
Located 18 miles up Trimmer Springs Road (paved), 5 miles above Pine Flat Lake. Sierra National Forest; River rafting take-out spot for Middle Kings River.

• Elevation: 1100′
• Number of Sites: 17
• Camp Fee: No
• Vehicle Accessibility: RV 22′ max
• Campsites Reservation: No
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Season: Open Year Round
• Trailheads: Kings River

lowerkings

see also Kings River Camping

nearby destinations –

Big Creek Rd #9
Blackrock Reservoir
Dinkey Creek
Dinkey Lakes Wilderness
Fresno, CA
Kings Canyon NP
Monarch Wilderness
Pine Flat Reservoir
Reedley, CA
Shaver Lake, CA
Sierra National Forest
Sequoia NP
Wishon Reservoir

Culp Valley

vegculpvalley

Anza Borrego Camping

Culp Valley Campground

Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Southern California, high desert; in between Temecula & Borrego Springs, CA

Culp Valley Primitive Camp Area, Anza Borrego

San Diego Deserts, San Ysidro Mountains
Montezuma Grade
Montezuma Highway, Hwy S-22

High desert elevations, large boulders, highway w/ primitive campground. No trees, but much vegetation; flat parking, large tent spots, picnic tables, vault toilet. High desert mountain pass, with boulders, canyons and many dirt roads to explore.

• Elevation: 3,350′
• Number of Sites: 10
• Vehicle Accessibility: all
• Campsites Reservation: No
• Camp Fee: No
• Length of Stay: 10 Days
• Season: October – May
• Trailheads: Grapevine Canyon, Pena Springs, Anza Borrego & PCT (Pacific Crest Trail)

culp valley

hike highcountry borrego

Culp Valley Trail, Grapevine Canyon, Montezuma Valley, Pena Springs, San Ysidro Mountains.

  • bouldering
  • camping
  • climbing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • off-roading
  • picnic
  • stargazing
  • wildflowers
  • culptoilet

    2018 Wildfire Walk – Culp Valley
    https://www.parks.ca.gov/Events/Details/9825

    Summit Post for Culp Valley
    https://www.summitpost.org/culp-valley/931432

    culpvalleyOHV

    OHV trails SoCal Deserts

    Mill Creek California

    free river camp sites

    Mill Creek w/ Lassen Peaks (July 2011)

    Numerous Mill Creeks exist in the golden state of California. Here we will try to list the most well known ones, some with campgrounds and others without.

    LASSEN NF

    The well-known Mill Creek, is the one south of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

    MILL CREEK, CA

    Small mountain resort in the forest near Mill Creek, with cabin rentals and campgrounds nearby.

    Mill Creek Indians: Described as a group of ‘renegade and outlaws’, from multiple tribes in NorCal. Mill Creek Indians took shelter in the secluded the secluded Mill Creek gorge, located below the Mill Creek Rim, a volcanic ridge which extends from Mount Lassen to the Sacramento River Valley

    KLAMATH NF

    Mill Creek inside the Marble Mountain Wilderness.

    • Mill Creek Ponds Trailhead – Mill Creek Ponds Trail
    • Etna Mill Creek Trailhead – Etna Mill Creek Trail
      (Pacific Crest Trail access)

    PCT

    PLUMAS NF

    Mill Creek @ Bucks

    Mill Creek @ Bucks

    The Bucks Lake Wilderness region also has a developed NFS Mill Creek Campground. The camp location is well off the Bucks Lake Road, tucked deep in a tight canyon; northern most point and near a dam for the large Bucks Lake.

    elevation = 5200′

    • 10 camp sites
    • fee
    • closed in winter
    • 14 night camp limit
    • RV = 21′ max
    • pit toilets
    • picnic tables
    • camp fire rings

    Bucklin Road (aka Bucklin Dam Rd and Road 33) #24N24 a paved road on the west end of Bucks Lake, connects to Road #24N88X which leads back to this smaller campground; camp sites are paved. Steep driveway down.

    This Mill Creek intersects Bucks Lake at the campground, then connects to the PCT hiking trail, although the narrow dirt road #24N88X veers away from creek a few miles up.

    SIERRA NF

    SEQUOIA NF

    This Mill Creek is located on the south shore of the lower Kings River, above Pine Flat Reservoir. This is the boundary where Sequoia NF meets the big river, and on the other side of the water is the Sierra NF.

    Mill Flat Campground (also known as Mill Creek Camp) is a small campground on a dirt road, located right at the rocky rivers edge.

    kings river view

    As usual – the further you drive, the more seclusion you will find. This observation holds true for this Mill Creek location. During peak summer months, there may be families enjoying this spot, but most of the year it is virtually empty and rarely used.

    Oak foothills, canyons, granite rocks, wildflowers. Fishing, camping, hiking, rafting, kayaking.

    No cell phone coverage back in this deep canyon.

    NFS Mill Flat Campground @ Lower Kings River

    elevation = 1167′

    • 5 camp sites
    • free, no charge
    • open year round
    • 14 night camp limit
    • RV = 25′ max
    • pit toilets
    • picnic tables
    • camp fire rings

    kings tables

    campground mill creek

    Mill Flat Kings River

    Mill Flat Kings River

    Kings River Camping

    Camping areas along Kings River, Sierra Nevada California

    dirtroadskings

    Kings is the longest river in the Sierra Nevada and very rugged and remote in most of the length. The Upper Kings is situated in the highest of elevation, granite alpine back country, with abundant small lakes and numerous Wilderness areas.

    The tallest peak, Mount Whitney, drains this way – down waterfalls and whitewater, westward to California into the San Joaquin Valley. Agriculture and orchards of citrus. The mid section of this mighty Kings River runs close to Hwy 180 inside the Kings Canyon National Park.

    The Lower Kings is popular among campers, fishermen, kayakers and rafters, accessible most of the year. Upper Kings River is located inside the National Park boundaries.

    NPS Campgrounds near Upper Kings River

    Inside Kings Canyon National Park:
    Cedar Grove Village @ end of Highway 180

    elevation 4600′

    may be closed during winter months.
    reservations recommended.
    NPS

    Sheep Creek Campground (111 sites)
    Sentinel Campground (82 sites)
    Canyon View Campground (37 sites)
    Moraine Campground (120 sites)

    Roaring River Falls, Sentinel Dome (9115′ elev)

    hikes
    Roads End Trailhead
    backpack camping, from paved parking area.
    NPS – wilderness permits required for overnight stays.

    Kings Highcountry Topo Map

    bridge kings

    Camping near Lower Kings River

    Open all year round. Outside the National Park boundary, westward in lower elevations, many more camping options are available.

    NFS

    NOTE: Sierra National Forest is located  on the north side, along the river shore in between Pine Flat Lake & Kings Cyn National Park. But Sequoia National Forest is located on the south side!

    Lower Kings is best accessed via the paved roads, up behind Pine Flat Lake, California

    river
    Trimmer Springs Road #11S12: a paved access route, wraps around the northern shore of Pine Flat Reservoir. Very winding and long, with 25 mph curves; this main route continues east into the massive Kings River Canyon.

    Google Maps may have this road crossing the river, toward the end. Proper signage is questionable in the area, since local rednecks love to shoot up signs. Trimmer route quickly peters out to narrow dirt roads, anywhere past the Mill Flat Campground area.

    Lower Kings is NOT easily reached via the National Park – Kings Canyon Highway 180. Dirt road travel is required on Road #12S01, which can be steep and rocky at best. The drivable climb up to the highway may require 4 wheel drive in some sections, depending on weather.

    Winter brings some snow and abundant rains (NOV – APRIL).

    LANDSLIDES and ROCK SLIDES are common with ROAD CLOSURES usually posted on the Sierra National Forest, NFS web site.

    big river kings

     

    poppy

    Wildflowers are abundant in this region for springtime. (MARCH-MAY)

    camp

    (north shore)
    Lower Kings River

    elevation 1100′

    Sierra National Forest
    fish

    Kirch Flat Campground NFS (17 sites)

    tables & toilets

    both above are free camp spots: boondocking, primitive car camping, tent camping, RV camping, fishing, kayaking, rafting

    Sierra Road #12S01 – primitive camping, few pit toilets; fishing access, some trailhead camps and RV spots along river. The northern most arm of this road is also referred to as Road# 12S001 Garnet Dike, on the NFS web site.

    newbridge
    Along paved routes, near bridges, some dispersed camping is also allowed. Campfire permits are required.

    Sierra Road #9 is Big Creek Canyona side route, graded dirt road worth exploring for primitive camping options. The farther you drive up, the more vegetation you will find. Campfire permits are required.

    BlackRock Reservoir Road #11S12, another side route (paved) climbs steeply in elevation, along a cliff edge. This spot offers a small NFS campground near a lake, and is located along the North Fork of the river.

    kingsflow2010

    click to enlarge

    NFS

    (south shore)
    Lower Kings River

    elevation 1000′

    Sierra National Forest

    Pine Flat Reservoir

    elevation 952′

    Lake View


    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    rafterskings

    Bear in California

    California Black Bears

    California Black Bears

    Although the grizzly bear image graces the state flag, grizzlies were killed off during the gold rush days. Black bears are found in California mountains and foothills, down to lowest elevations in NorCal. California black bears come in more than one color –  light brown, cinnamon, dark brown, and of course, black. For the most part, bears usually stay away from people.

    Some areas are more prone to bear problems due in large part to the overpopulation of tourists and abundance of food provided by them. Certain California National Parks are particularly notorious for their brazen bear populations. Concentrated bear problems are sometimes posted so be very aware.

    Bear Habitat

    Follow some simple rules:

    • Keep a very clean campsite
    • Clean up all dirty dishes & beverage containers (especially before bedtime)
    • Keep clothing & sleeping bags free of food odors or heavy scents
    • Never leave any type of food garbage outside of a cabin or mountain home
    • Store garbage properly inside a locked, sturdy container inside garage or a shed
    • Stay away from bear cubs, there is sure to be a mother in close proximity
    • Try not to hike alone. Make noise & sing on trails to scare away any unwanted animals.
    • Bear storage canisters are available at sporting good stores & at stores in most National Parks.

    Proper Food Storage Outdoors:

    Bear Boxes @ Campground

    Store food in closed up automobile, not visible. Store food correctly: in trunk of your car, or hidden from sight; in campground food lockers when available.

    Lock all food, beverages and coolers in the provided metal bear boxes or bear lockers where available.

    Toothpaste, deodorant & anything that has a scent should be thought of as food and stored accordingly.

    Bears are so strong they can rip your car door open (in places like Yosemite, where bears are problem and you can get cited for not storing food items properly)

    Bears are so strong they can break open a garage door to get to the smelly trash inside, so make sure you utilize the curbside pickup service available in some mountain communities or take a trip to the dump once per week.

    carcampers

    DO NOT LEAVE FOOD OUT, UNATTENDED, outdoors…
    during a picnic lunch, during a barbeque, or dinner at the campfire.
    (Birds, dogs, squirrels and wild animals can move in quickly.)

    Backpackers should hang food in nylon bag & drape over weak branch in high in tree: hang your food using the counterbalance method. Ranger who issues your wilderness permit can explain the hanging procedure;

    2 stuff sacks (with drawstrings) for your food items, and 60 feet of medium weight cord. 2 carabiners make hanging much easier.

    Bear Canisters

    Bear Canisters

    for your food
    when exploring the wilderness

    hikers tent campers mountains rivers picnic lakes

    Bear Repellent / Bear Mace
    Bear Pepper Spray

     

    Additional Storage Tip

    As for storing food inside cars:

    When primitive car camping on a dirt road, which does not have campgrounds, nor bear lockers, it is possible to store food in the vehicle. BEST location is on the front floorboards with towel over it. With the car alarm set at bedtime, any ruckus should trigger a decent alarm. Any large animal trying to break in will get blasted with alarm siren & most likely will run away. The noise will wake you up as well, to deal with the intruder, if need be.

    If a bear does get into your camp area:

    • Make as much noise as possible: yell, bang pots/pans, whistle, air horn and get your bear mace or pepper spray ready in hand
    • Raise your hands up to appear larger
    • Get your entire camp group together, join hands and spread out everyone at the camp should be outside the tents in order to be as effective as possible
    • Throw rocks & small objects
    • If possible, try to get to your car for protection & honk the horn
    • If a bear charges at you, drop to the ground and curl up in a tight ball. Cover your head, face and vital areas. Play dead.

    If you encounter a bear on a hiking trail:

    • Make as much noise as possible while walking solo. Hum, sing, talk to the birds. Sing or talk to yourself – out loud.
    • Carry bear spray (mace or pepper) or a weapon for added protection
    • If a bear approaches: stand still, slowly retreat, say a few calming words in a friendly voice and never make eye contact
    • If a bear charges at you, drop to the ground and curl up in a tight ball. Cover your head, face and vital areas. Play dead.

    bearcreek