Tag Archives: western divide

23S16 – Sequoia NF

Sugarloaf Ridge, Greenhorn Mts
Alta Sierra, Kern River Canyon

sugarloafrd
Sugarloaf Road, above Kern River Canyon

SOUTH SIERRA: This route is located in between the Western Divide Highway and the cedar community of Alta Sierra, CA

Sequoia Camping

Sugarloaf Ridge: Forest Rd# 23S16 – Thompson Camp Spring, The Den @ Sequoia National Forest

Driving north on Sierra Hwy N of Kernville, California; Passing Fairview & the Johnsondale bridge; After the R Ranch @ Johnsondale, take the left fork on the main highway; After you climb in elevation, look for brown signs on right side of road & turn left on Forest Service Rd# 23S16. Primitive camp sites are located throughout this area along Packsaddle Creek. Do not turn left up Sugarloaf Rd. There are no good camp sites up that way (unless you wanna make one).

RV campers are very common at Thompson Camp Spring, as this road is paved up to this point. The paved road is windy & narrows after this point. It is not advised for trailers or long motorhomes past Thompson.

For the more adventurous, Bear Meadow & Packsaddle Mdw are located up the dirt road a bit on #23S64.

Vsugar

Paved Sequoia route# 23S16 continues to climb, which leads to the Speas Meadow, the Greenhorn Mountains & you best have a real good map if you are heading up this way. 20 miles of awesome open meadows, small streams, dense forest, wildflowers, some primitive camp sites & great viewpoints overlooking the Kern Canyon. All passenger car accessible! Elevations between 6000-7000′. Sugarloaf Peak has cross country skiing.

Side route #23S05 will take you to White River Campground w/ 12 spots. The paved road winds west down the mountain to Posey & eventually Glennville on Hwy 155.

Instead, to easily reach Hwy 155 – you’ll need to get on dirt for a few miles. While on 23S16, look for the Panorama Campground (@ 7400′ elevation w/ 10 sites). Take dirt road #24S15 to get back to civilization @ Alta Sierra, California.

NFSlogo

Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest MAP

Sequoia Forest Topo Atlas

 

nearby small towns are:

Vbeardrive

kernwildflowers
Kern River Wildflowers (April) w/ Sugarloaf Mountains

21S05 – Sequoia NF

the needlesThe Needles:
Forest Road# 21S05

Giant Sequoia NM

hikerFrom the small cabin community of Ponderosa, CA, continue N on the Western Divide Highway. Dirt road# 21S05 will be a right turn, a graded route that leads to a dirt parking lot for hikers.

The trailhead for the granite Needles is a favorite among rock climbers in the Southern Sierra Nevada. The easy 4.5 mile hiking trail is numbered 32E22 & leads out to a historic fire lookout tower, overseeing the Kern Canyon (& Road 22S82) below.

Needles Fire Lookout
(destroyed in structure fire 2011)

DEC-MAY: Winter road closure is common, due to snow and muddy road conditions.

Sequoia National ForestNFSlogo

bone creek
Secluded Camp w/ Waterfall on Bone Creek

camptruck

Trail of a Hundreds Giants

Balch Park, Sequoia Grove

Dome Land Wilderness

Golden Trout Wilderness

Sequoia Camping on back roads

Sequoia Campgrounds & Camping

Kern River Camping

sierra roads

nearby towns:


Coy Flat Campground

Coy Flat Camping
Giant Sequoia National Monument

Camp Nelson California

se Campground

Southern Sierra mountains and the Giant Sequoias, inside Sequoia National Forest. In the Camp Nelson area, south of the busy National Parks.

GIANT SEQUOIA HWY 190 – Western Divide Highway is the 7000′ ridge line that separates the Upper Kern River from the great Central Valley to the west.

From the San Joaquin Valley – get to Porterville or Springville, continue up the mountain on the main highway, to the paved road turn off (Road #22S94) on the right side of the highway;

After Pierpoint Springs and before Camp Nelson. This quiet campground is located off the highway more than a mile, so traffic noise will not be an issue for the light sleepers. (Unless of course, a loud 4×4 rig screams by at midnight headed to the backwoods, or a horse trailer cruises by at 5am). This camp does border the Tule River Indian Reservation.

Western Divide Campground
Western Divide Highway 190
Giant Sequoia Campground

Sequoia Road #22S94 is a loop road leading to many forest meadows, groves, primitive camps and trailhead destinations. Bear Creek and Coy Creek flow near CoyFlat Campground, which both merge north into the Middle Fork of the Tule River @ the highway.

Belknap Grove is nearby, with Black Mountain Grove a few miles further on the dirt back road (Road #22S94) as it continues to Bateman Ridge and Road #21S12, near the Tule Indian lands. Mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking and hiking all great in this region.

22S94 continues in forest to 8500′ elevation @ Windy Gap, where the Summit National Recreation Trail intersects road. Popular trail among horse riders. 22S94 connects back to Western Divide Highway, in between Ponderosa and Trail of 100 Giants. Awesome loop drive for those seeking seclusion on the dirt roads, away from the tourists and RVs. Call ahead to make sure that the dirt roads and gates are open, before you plan a weekend vacation around it.

COY FLAT CAMPGROUND camping

Elevation: 5,000′
Number of Sites: 19
Reservations: YesCoyFlat Campground Sequoia NF
Sites Available: First come, First serve
Vehicle Accessibility: Vehicle 22 ft. max.
Length of Stay: 14 Days
Water: Piped; Seasonal creek nearby
Toilet: Vault
Season: Closed for winter months
Fee: Yes
Operated By: National Forest Service
Closest Town: Camp Nelson, Califronia

Sequoia National Forest
Giant Sequoia Ranger Station
559-539-5230

Due to the spread of invasive insects, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Help protect our forests by purchasing or collecting firewood at or near your camping destination and burning it on-site.

CoyFlat Sequoia
CoyFlat Campground – Giant Sequoia


Trail of 100 Giants Sequoia Grove

seqAmigos

The Western Divide Highway, at 6000 feet elevation, connects the Kern River Valley w/ granite peaks, dome rock, aspen groves & the Giant Sequoia trees! This is one of the southernmost Sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The easy hike is more of a nature trail, wheel chair accessible & approximately 1 mile long. Large Sequoia trees, picnic grounds, near campground.

On busy weekends and holidays the rangers charge a “day use” parking fee, for those wishing to park in the paved parking lots. Avoid this fee by finding additional parking along the highway. Only a few good free parking spots along this busy 3 mile stretch of highway, and don’t forget to park all the way off the pavement.

SOUTHERN SIERRA: Great destination for camping families & sightseers traveling through the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains.

Western Divide Campgrounds

The USDA National Forest Campground across the road from the Trail of One Hundred Giants is called Redwood Meadow Campground. There is also a separate parking lot for the picnic grounds w/ a similar name.

Also nearby is Long Meadow, Long Meadow Group Camp, Peppermint Campground, Holey Meadow Group Camp and past Ponderosa. Quaking Aspen Campground and Quaking Aspen has a NFS Cabin Rental too.

Down near Camp Nelson, CA is the Coy Flat Campground.

Giant Sequoia National Monument has numerous dirt back roads for free, primitive, car camping. You’ll need a good topo map to find the best ones. Some roads may be muddy, overgrown or extremely rocky, depending on recent weather. Know you vehicles limitations. There is no tow truck service available way back here in the boonies.

Trail of 100 Giants Photos

All Redwood Groves in California

 

nearby towns –

Sequoia National Forest Map
Sequoia National Forest Map
Golden Trout Wilderness / South Sierra Map
Golden Trout Wilderness / South Sierra Map
Golden Trout Wilderness Trail Map
Golden Trout Wilderness Trail Map
Sierra Nevada Topo Map
Sierra Nevada Topo Map

Hidden Groves near Ponderosa CA

Balch Park

Balch Park / Sequoia Park

Balch Park Campground

BALCH PARK campground is on a first come basis; no campground reservations needed.

Balch Park open May to October
Park info # 559 539-3896

Hedrick Pond lined w/ Sequoia trees

Balch County Park is right in the middle of Mountain Home State Forest, which is within the bigger Sequoia National Forest (aka Giant Sequoia National Monument). But don’t let all the bureaucracy mislead you, this is an ideal park and location, well worth your trip. The campground is the most developed one within the area – with paved roads, RV spaces, flush toilets and a fee to go along with all that. Even gotta fishing pond.

  • Bears are a big deal in these neck of the woods. Please store all your food properly to avoid a un-welcomed visitor
  • A Sequoia Grove is nearby with plenty of creeks & meadows.
  • Trailers not recommended due to the long curvy road leading up the mountain.

Balch Park & Campground NOT TO BE CONFUSED with utility company residences of BALCH CAMP between Pine Flat & Blackrock Reservoirs


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Helpful Maps:

Nearby cities & towns:

campground elev. spots veg toilet water fee
Balch Park
559-539-3896
6500′ 71 pines flush piped yes no reservations
first come basis

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Dispersed Camping Sequoia

bone creek

Sequoia maps

Open Camping in Sequoia National Forest – Forest Road Camping

Seeking secluded campsites? This is one of the best areas to camp in pine forest w/ privacy, relatively close to Southern California. Plenty of primitive car camping on the dirt roads throughout this whole Sequoia & Kern River area.

nfs primitive back roads mountain biking hiking mountains

No facilities. No picnic tables, no toilet, no fees. Just a rock campfire ring & a clearing. Previously used sites have already been established usually near streams. Try to use these first, if at all possible. It takes a bit of exploring but you will find the perfect spot. Don’t even attempt to try to find these kinds of camp spots at night. They are often buried deep in the forest with no visible markers what-so-ever. But in trade, you will be lulled to sleep by your own private mini waterfall & no RV generators. Many of these back roads are closed & gated during winter months due to snow & rock slides.

No amenities are available in this neck of the woods, but plenty of seclusion & wilderness. Check official Wilderness rules for proper knowledge of the area restrictions. You must get a free camp fire permit from the ranger station in order to build a fire outside of a developed campground. A large shovel, plus bucket w/ water are a bare minimum for the privilege of camping like this. Certain dry seasons (summers into autumn) have very strict camp fire restrictions. Check with the ranger to see the latest on building campfires on the back roads. camping

A Sequoia Forest Service Map is highly advised for this area. There are so many dirt roads for dispersed primitive camping on the back roads. Due to weather & erosion, some roads may require 4×4 or high clearance, so come prepared with a plan B.

Camping Checklist to make sure you’ll have what you need. The drive up from the Los Angeles area averages 3-4 hours and is well worth the trip. Once you’ve found that perfect spot, take detailed note of it, for the next time you visit the area. Then, you will be able to get there easily in the middle of the night, if need be.

Backroad Camping Sequoia: Follow the forest road numbers with your Sequoia map to discover amazing back road camping options. Your own private stream or meadow. Secluded campsites with your own mini waterfall.

overview

see also –
Sequoia Campground Camping

monache mdw

23S64 – Sequoia NF

Sequoia Creeks

Bear Meadow: Forest Rd# 23S64 – Packsaddle Creek, Sequoia National Forest

For the more adventurous & ones seeking some seclusion, Bear Meadow is located up the dirt road a bit from Thompson Camp Spring . From Forest Road #23S16 @ Thompson Camp Spring – continue straight on the dirt road #23S64, cross over the one lane wooden bridge; within a mile, turn left into a secluded creek side camping area. Note: Bears are common here (hence the name Bear Meadow)!

Packsaddle Creek runs thru this forest. Very primitive area with rutted dirt roads & sometimes overgrown; there are several campsites back in here for the ones who seek the wild. (Yes, bears & wild animals are very common way back here). If you continue on straight on the main dirt road Packsaddle Meadow also has camping spots & small corral. The last time we were out this way (2002-ish), the dirt road does not connect with highway to the west, as indicated on the map; due to landslide.

Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest MAP

Closest small towns are:

Sierra Creeks

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

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:

Apple Days in Springville

Springville Apple Festival Images

Springville Apple Festival

The sleepy mountain foothills town on Hwy 190, Springville California, holds the Apple Festival near the Tule River & the Sierra Nevada mountains. 5k & 10k runs (Apple Run) , mountain bike races (Fat Tire Classic), free shuttle service to/from the rodeo grounds; 34+ years of small town celebration on this event.

Annual event; October
559-202-6904

SPRINGVILLE CA

springville.ocsnet.net/applefest

CONSUMERISM  #3 of 100 Stranger Critters

Golden Trout Wilderness

Golden Trout Wilderness Area

granite Upper Kern River is Mount Whitney snow melt
  • 303,511 acres
  • elevation range 1,000′ – ­13,000′
  • pine forest, chaparral
  • granite walls, domes
  • 379 miles of trail
  • summers are busy
  • snow in winter
  • best in early spring
  • wood fires may be restricted
  • portable stoves permitted
  • water plentiful
  • rock climbing & mountaineering
  • fishing
  • backpacking
  • primitive hot springs
  • waterfalls, swimming holes
  • wilderness permits required for overnight
Golden Trout Wilderness surrounds the mighty gorge of the Upper Kern Canyon, south of Mount Whitney.
Inside

TULARE COUNTY

bordering

Inyo National Forest

Sequoia National Forest

Eastern Sierra Interagency Center
760-876-6200

Golden Trout / South Sierra Wilderness Map USDA

Golden Trout Trail Map

Located in the South Sierra Nevada mountains alongside the Southern Sierra Wilderness. Inside the remote rugged peaks of a deep, granite crevasse known as the Upper Kern River with ancient Sequoia forest to the west and to the eats, some of the tallest peaks in the Sierra range. This wild land area is home to the California golden trout and is the main water flow southward from the tallest peak in the lower 48  – Mount Whitney on the Eastern Sierra front.

Sequoia National Forest
Monache Meadows
Inyo National Forest
Mountain Home State Forest
Sequoia National Park
Mineral King

Golden Trout Wilderness

Roads, campgrounds and trailheads surrounding Golden Trout Wilderness

Eastern Sierra –

Horseshoe Meadows Road (paved) leads up to high elevation meadows from the high deserts of Lone Pine, CA. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) access; Mount Whitney and John Muir Wilderness are to the north. Equestrian corrals and horse trails. Camping is limited to a one night stay at any of the 3 campgrounds up here.

Golden Trout Trailhead Campground: elevation 10,000′ / 12 walk-in sites / closed winter
Horseshoe Meadows Campground: elevation 10,000′ / 18 walk-in sites / closed winter
Cottonwood Equestrian Camp: elevation 10,000′ / 10 horse corrals / closed winter

Forks of  the Kern –

Fork of the Kern / Loyds Meadow Road #22S82 – This main paved road connects the Kern River (Sierra Hwy Road #99) to the lower elevation, granite slopes of the Western Divide, and the route dead ends at Jerky Meadow parking lot. Camp 1-6 are primitive camp areas located on dirt side roads and 4×4 might be required on some of them. Obtain a campfire permit from rangers in Kernville. Fishing, camping, waterfalls and swimming holes are popular in this region. The big developed camp along this road, is located 10 miles up, in a pine filled valley on Peppermint Creek on the west side of the street and is within the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Lower Peppermint Campground: elevation 5300′ / 17 camp sites / open year round

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.

Western Divide Highway –

Road #20S79 leads from Western Divide Hwy to Lewis trailhead.
Road #20S50 leads from Western Divide Hwy to 2 hiking trailheads.

Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers, CA –topo maps

South Fork Road leads up Kaweah River at Southfork trailhead.
Mineral King Road is only open seasonally, access to high country lakes and trailheads.

 

SEQUOIA AREA MAPS –

Golden Trout Wilderness Maps
Sequoia National Forest Map USDA
Inyo National Forest Map USDA
Mineral King Map
Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Map
NatGeo Sequoia Kings Map

Golden Trout Wilderness trailheads:

east side –
Cottonwood Trailhead (near Lone Pine)
Blackrock Trailhead (Monache Mdws)

south side –
Jerky Trailhead
Forks of the Kern Trailhead
Lewis Camp Trailhead (Western Divide)
Summit Trailhead (Western Divide)
Clicks Creek Trailhead (Western Divide)
Camp Wishon Trailhead (Western Divide)

west side –
South Fork Trailhead (Three Rivers)
Atwell Mill Trailhead (Silver City)
Franklin Pass Trailhead (Mineral King)

List of nearby towns: