Kern River Campgrounds

gold ledge lupine

Kern River Campgrounds – NFS

Sequoia National Forest Campgrounds
Kern River, Southern Sierra Nevada

All the developed campgrounds listed below charge an overnight fee. Some are open year round, while others close for winter. Camping Reservation links provided.

kern campgrounds California NFS Kern RVing

Upper Kern River
North of Kernville, California

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

campground

elev

spots

veg

toilet

notes

Fairview Campground

3500′

55

mixed

vault

Upper Kern; RV 45′

Gold Ledge Campground

3200′

37

mixed

vault

Upper Kern; RV 30′

Headquarters Campground

2800′

44

alder

vault

Kern River; RV 27′

Hospital Flat Campground

3000′

40

alder

vault

Kern River; RV 30′

Limestone Campground

3800′

22

mixed

vault

Upper Kern; RV 30′

headquarters kern

RV campgrounds campgrounds hiking fishing campgrounds mt biking campgrounds

Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella, Kern Canyon California

Lower Kern River
South of Kernville, California

Granite Boulders

campground

elev

spots

veg

toilet

notes

Sandy Flat Campground

2300′

38

mixed

vault

open all year

Hobo Campground

2300′

35

mixed

vault

open seasonally

NFS
Sequoia National Forest
Kernville Ranger Station
760-376-3781

Additional Info on Kern Camping –

Kern Flats Camping: Free Camps
Lake Isabella
Keyesville OHV

Big Meadow Sequoia 

Kennedy Meadows, South Fork of Kern River
Chimney Peak Backcountry Byway
Dome Land Wilderness

Kern River Canyon
Kern River Hot Springs

kernrvcamper

22S12 – Sequoia NF

open camping

Big Meadow: Forest Road# 22S12 – Sequoia National Forest

Take Sierra Hwy. N of Kernville, past Fairview & over the Johnsondale bridge; Right turn on Sherman’s Pass Road & drive up to a signed intersection (near a snow gate). NOTE: This area may not be accessible during winter months.

Turn right on Big Meadow Road, aka Forest Service Rd# 22S12. This is a very long road which is paved for the first few miles. 22S12 becomes a graded dirt road, suitable for horse trailers; it forks off to other smaller dirt roads, as it progresses through the forests & dead ends back by Cannell Meadow. The main routes are passenger car accessible, but some of the smaller dirt roads can get quite bumpy. A truck or SUV would be advisable to explore these secondary routes. Certain areas have suffered from wildfires 2000-2002.

Big Meadow Sequoia

Horses & equestrian camping are very popular in this region. There is also a fair amount of backpackers heading into the Domeland Wilderness and mountain bikers looking for premium backcountry rides, away from the crowds at the Kern River.

NFS developed Horse Meadow Campground can be found on the right via road# 23S08. Located at 7400′ elevation w/ 41 spots, in the forest. Trailhead to Salmon Creek leads directly from camp.

SPUR – side routes include:

  • #23S14 Cherry Hill – a few camp spots near creek & a meadow with views at the very end
  • #23S41 Poison Meadow
  • #23S13 Salmon Creek
  • #22S07 Big Meadow – loop road around the “Big Meadow”. Plenty of primitive camp sites around Big Meadow, but they are the first ones to fill up during a popular summer weekend. The region is perfect for backpackers or day hikers wanting to access Manter Mdw. & the Domelands Wilderness.
  • #24S13 feeds the last stretch of road to Rattlesnake Meadow. Taylor Creek near 24S43, features numerous waterfalls leading to the South Fork of the Kern River
  • #24S12 Cannell Meadow & Pine Flat. The Cannell Meadow National Recreation Trail runs thru here, from Big Meadow down to Kernville, CA.

North Meadow

Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest MAP

DOME LAND Wilderness MAP

Nearby towns include:

22S82 – Sequoia NF

Forks of the Kern: Forest Rd# 22S82 – Lloyds Meadow Road
Jerky Meadow Trailhead, Sequoia National Forest

Driving north on Sierra Hwy N of Kernville, California; Passing Fairview & the Johnsondale bridge; After the R Ranch @ Johnsondale, take the right fork off the main highway, which goes deep into Kern River Gorge. This narrow & winding paved road skirts the Upper Kern River Gorge & the impressive Rincon Fault. Numerous primitive camp site can be found on dirt roads off this paved route. The pavement dead ends at Jerky Meadow trail head, which accesses the Golden Trout Wilderness & the Great Western Divide. Backpackers can get to the high country Sierra Nevada & Mineral King in Sequoia National Park from these trails.

Forks of the Kern

Boy Scout Camp Whitsett is one of the first places you pass, near Sentinel Peak.

The Western Divide Hwy runs parallel to road 22S82; way up above it @ 7000′ elevation – with destinations like Dome Rock & the Needles (2 very cool granite features) that overlook this Kern Gorge. The small community of Ponderosa, CA is also up there, along with the quaking aspen groves & the Trail of 100 Giants. Forest Rd# 22S02 connects paved route 22S82 to the Giant Sequoia highway above.

There are many primitive camp areas way above Kern River Gorge – all located on the right side of this road 22S82. Look for small signs for CAMP AREA #1-6. Camps 1-3 are great for RV campers with creeks & dense forests. Long Meadow Creek is one of the first of many streams, you will cross as driving this paved, winding, canyon route. Camp areas #4, 5, & 6 are the best bet for seclusion, plus awesome hiking trails to falls, granite pools & the impressive Kern gorge. Swimming holes are plentiful. Fishing can be decent at times. Many waterfalls can be found in this region as the tributary streams fall towards the deep granite gorge in the Sierra Nevada range. All roads off of 22S82 are dirt roads & most are passenger car accessible. Wetter months could be challenging. Some routes back here are considered to be 4×4 routes tho, so know your vehicles limitations. High clearance is needed to reach some camp sites. Summers can be busy.

This area was burnt from recent wildfires in 2002-2005, but the primitive, dispersed campsites near the streams are full of vegetation & making a nice comeback. Alder Creek runs down from the Sequoias, into Dry Meadow Creek nearby.

Lower Peppermint Campground @ 5300′ elevation, on the west side of the road, is the only developed camp ground on this main forest road. Lower Peppermint has 17 spots, piped water, & picnic tables. Peppermint Meadows & Peppermint Creek are adjacent to the camp area.

Lloyd Meadows @ Sequoia Forest Road# 20S67 – is the Forks of the Kern Trailhead & the dirt road that accesses it, is very popular among equestrian campers. Freeman Creek joins Lloyd Meadows Creek near Pyles Camp. There is a small developed campground called “Forks of the Kern”. Steep trail leads down to the granite gorge where Little Kern River meets the main Kern River; Rattlesnake Creek & Ninemile Creek also join the Kern River in this 10 mile stretch. Kern Hot Springs requires a backpacking trip.

Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest MAP

GOLDEN TROUT Wilderness MAP USDA
GOLDEN TROUT MAP (Tom Harrison)

Closest small towns are:

Sequoia National Forest Camping

Giant Sequoias

Sequoia NF Camping

Sequoia Campground Reservations – Giant Sequoia Campgrounds, Western Divide, Kern Canyon

areas include: Kernville, Kern River, Lake Isabella, Sherman’s Pass, Kennedy Meadows, Forks of the Kern, Western Divide Highway, Camp Nelson, Kings River, Hume Lake & Sequoia National Park

Western Divide Campground

Listed below are all the Sequoia National Forest campgrounds, public lands for outdoor recreation. Sequoia Campground reservations can be booked online with links in blue.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
Alder Creek Campground 3900′ 13 alder vault creek W of Alta Sierra; RV max 20′
Auxiliary Dam Campgr 2650′ dsp flush piped Lake Isabella
Belknap Campground 5000′ 15 pines vault piped Camp Nelson
no RVs
Big Meadows Campground 7600′ 25 pines vault creek Rd#14S11; June-Oct
Boulder Gulch Camp 2650′ 78 oaks flush piped fishing Lake Isabella; RV max 45′
Breckenridge Campground 6600′ 8 pines vault no South of Kern River; no RVs
Buck Rock Campground 7600′ 5 pines vault no Kings Canyon NP
Camp 3 Campground 2800′ 52 oaks vault creek Kings River rafting; RV max 30′
Camp 4 Campground 1000′ 5 oaks vault creek no RVs, Kings River rafting
Camp 4 1/2 Cabin 1000′ 5 oaks vault creek no RVs, Kings River rafting
Camp 9 Camp Area RV 2600′ 109 none flush piped Lake Isabella
Cedar Creek Campground 4800′ 11 pines vault piped W Alta Sierra; no RVs; May-Oct
Coy Flat Campground 5000′ 20 pines vault piped Camp Nelson; RV max 22′
Eshom Creek Campground 4800′ 23 pines vault piped fishing; near Sequoia NP
Evans Flat Campground 6100′ 20 pines vault spring equestrian, pasture; RV 20′
Fairview Campground 3500′ 55 mixed vault river upper Kern River; RV 45′
Fish Creek Campground 7400′ 40 pines vault E of Sherman; RV max 27′
Frog Meadow Campground 7500′ 10 pines vault no Sugarloaf Ridge; June-Oct
Frog Guard Station Cabin 7500′ 10 pines vault no Sugarloaf Ridge; 2 nite min
Gold Ledge Campground 3200′ 37 mixed vault Kern River; RV max 30′
Green Cabin Flat Camp 1000′ dsp oaks Kings River; primitive
Hanning Flat Campground 2650′ dsp chem fishing Kern River
Headquarters Campground 2800′ 44 alder vault Kern River; RV max 27′
Hobo Campground 2300′ 35 oaks chem lower Kern River; RV 22′
Horse Camp 7600′ 5 pines vault equestrian campsites
Horse Meadow Campground 7400′ 41 pines vault Sherman’s Pass; RV 22′
Hospital Flat Campground 3000′ 40 alder vault Kern River; RV max 30′
Hume Lake Campground 5200′ 74 pines flush Kings Canyon NP; RV 30′
Hungry Gulch Campground 2700′ 78 oaks flush piped Lake Isabella; May-Oct
Kennedy Meadows Camp 6100′ 39 pines vault piped E of Shermans; RV max 30′
Landslide Campground 5800′ 9 pines vault creek Hume Lake & Kings Cyn NP
Leavis Flat Campground 3000′ 9 pines vault piped California Hot Springs; RV 16′
Limestone Campground 3800′ 22 mixed vault creek Kern River rafting; RV 30′
Live Oak North Campground 2700′ 60 oaks flush piped Lake Isabella; RV max 30′
Live Oak South Campground 2700′ 90 oaks flush piped Lake Isabella; RV max 30′
Logger Flat Campground 6000′ 20 pines vault piped Hume Lake; May-Sept
Long Meadow Group Camp 6500′ 23 pines vault piped Group Camp; Western Divide
Lower Peppermint Campground 5300′ 17 pines vault piped road 22S82; May-Oct; RV 22′
Main Dam Campground 2500′ 82 oaks vault piped Lake Isabella; RV max 45′
Mill Flat Campground 1100′ 5 pines vault creek Kings River rafting; no trailers
Panorama Campground 7400′ 10 pines vault no Sugarloaf Ridge; June-Sept
Paradise Cove Campground 2600′ 138 oaks flush piped Lake Isabella; RV max 30′
Peppermint Campground 7100′ 19 vault creek Western Divide Hwy
Pioneer Point Campground 2650′ 78 oaks flush piped Lake Isabella; RV max 30′
Princess Campground 5900′ 90 pines vault Kings Canyon NP
Quaking Aspen Campgr 7000′ 32 aspen vault creek Western Divide
Redwood Meadow Campgr 6100′ 15 pines vault piped Western Divide 100 Giants
Sandy Flat Campground 2300′ 35 oaks vault Lower Kern River
South Fork Recreation 2650 dsp flush piped some walk-in camp sites
Stine Cove Campground 2650′ dsp oaks vault Lake Isabella
Stoney Creek Campgr 6400′ 49 pines flush piped Sequoia National Park
Tenmile Campground 5800′ 13 pines vault piped Hume Lake; May-Oct
Tillie Creek Campground 2650′ 159 oaks flush piped fishing; RV max 45′
Troy Meadow Campground 7800′ 73 pines vault OHV; E Sherman’s; RV 20′
Upper Stony Creek Camp 6400′ 19 pines vault piped Sequoia NP; May-Oct
White River Campground 4000′ 12 oaks vault piped Sugarloaf; May-Oct; RV 16′
Wishon Campground 3900′ 35 oaks vault piped Tule River; RV max 22′

Sequoia Camping & Kernville Vacations, see also –

Topo maps, wilderness hiking maps
Equestrian trails, OHV maps –

Sequoia mountain communities include:

Remington Hot Springs

lower kern river
hike-in hot springs

Remington Kern River

Remington Kern River

This place was the alternate choice to Miracle Hot Springs, but since that one is now closed – this is the main attraction out along the lower stretch of the Kern River. National Forest Hobo Campground is a few miles away and there is also plenty primitive style camping options if you so choose.

Remington is by far, one of the nicest primitive hot tubs in the whole region and easy to access. If you can find it, the rewards are great!! Can be crowded on weekends. If the dirt parking lot is totally full, come back later or wait it out. You can find travelers, mountain bikers, dirt bikers, hikers, backpackers, campers, off-roaders, RVers, burners, desert rats, military boys, local kids, LA couples,  techno DJs from Russia – a wide variety of people soaking at this not-so-secret spot.

These unique hand-crafted stone tubs are located on the Lower Kern, overlooking the big river and the fish. 3 volunteer built cement & river rock hot spring pools sit adjacent to the Kern River. There is also another small cooler tub on the trail perched above the thick brush.

This prime recreation spot is located a few miles west of Hobo Campground (old Miracle Hot Springs) is sometimes busy: dirt parking lot, minimal sign & the tubs are not viewable from the road. From parking area you must hike down a steep grassy trail for about a mile.

Bring towels, beverages & everything you will need from the vehicle, as turning around to go back & get everything half way down will prove to be a challenging trail up. Boulders & oaks on steep hillsides. A few campsites down along main trail. Wildflowers here are wonderful in Spring (April-May). Please pick up litter & keep this place beautiful.

West of Kernville & Lake Isabella, CA
along Kern River in the Lower Kern Canyon Gorge, Southern Sierra Nevada mountainsSequoia Kern Hot Springs

Remington primitive hot springs are located inside the lower Kern Canyon, southwestern part of Sequoia National Forest. Take Highway 178 east to the 4 lane portion, look for Borel Road right turn which climbs a steep hill up to Old Kern Canyon Road. At this stop sign you will see a sign for Remington Trail (3.5 miles) pointing to the right.

Sequoia Kern River

Remington Trailhead (signed) & dirt parking lot across from trail, is located on Old Kern Canyon Rd, which runs parallel to the 4-laner  Hwy. 178 on the opposite side of the Kern River. The well known Kern Canyon Road is also labeled as “Cort 214” on GoogleMaps.

Remington Ridge Trail #32E51 – Mountain bike, hike and horseback trail

lower Kern hikes

clothing optional is the norm

Ardell’s Tip: Remington is one of the few spots in California that you can fish a major river from a hot tub.

Best Naked Fishing

click on the photo for more

lodging in nearby townsRiver Path

Minimal camping spots & very little privacy at the main parking lot at Remington Hot Springs. The best tent camping is located down on the trails, so you may choose to hike-in to the secluded oak and beach camps below. No facilities at Remington, no tables, no toilets, so come very prepared to “rough it”.

Sandy Flat Campground and Hobo Campground are a few miles to the east, on the same Kern Cyn Road; Breckenridge Campground is on a tall pine ridge just to the south, but requires a long drive around the mountains, or a rugged vehicle for a steep dirt road.

Folks seeking more seclusion can choose to primitive camp along the narrow paved road leading to the west. Motorhome campers like the option of road side boondocking with great views; several level pullouts can accommodate most any camper. 4×4 camping is closer to Lake Isabella @ Keyesville or BLM River Camping. Primitive camp spots on numerous dirt roads are located in this Lower Kern River area, but you will need to check with Sequoia National Forest ranger for gate closures, fire permit & fire current restrictions.


View Remington Hot Springs in a larger map