A lot of people make the time to get to Sequoia National Park, home of the giant trees, but bypass Kings Canyon on the way to Yosemite or elsewhere. If you make it all the way to Sequoia, do not pass up Kings Canyon. We experienced these parks together, one right after the other. The two are so close together they actually touch in most areas. They have a lot of similarities and are yet so different. And, as this point will show you, camping between the two can be extremely convenient.
Find more information on how to explore Sequoia National Park here.
Find more information on how to explore Kings Canyon National Park here.
We camped at Stony Creek Campground, halfway between the main entrance to Sequoia and the main entrance to Kings Canyon. This worked great because we entered through the Sequoia entrance “Ash Mountain” early in the morning, spent the entire day slowly making our way up the Generals Highway, got to our campsite around supper time, and set up camp. The next morning we continued the drive up Generals Highway into Kings Canyon and finished the drive through Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.
Stony Creek is a quiet, well-kept campground. It is right on the road that connects Sequoia and King’s Canyon but it is actually on National Forest land. Even so, you can make reservations at recreation.gov. Definitely make reservations. These may not be the busiest National Parks, but reservations still fill up fast.
Each tent site comes equipped with a bear box, a sturdy picnic table, and a campfire ring with a big grate. There is potable well water as well as bathrooms with flush toilets. The potable water does not taste great (actually, it tastes really bad) so you might want to consider bringing your own for drinking.
The campground host sells firewood but since you are in National Forest you can also gather fallen branches, sticks, and kindling. We gathered a lot but we actually bought our firewood at the General Store in Three Rivers, the last town before entering Sequoia. It was a little difficult to get it started but once it caught fire it burned hot and it burned forever!
Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 pm and the campground really does stay pretty quiet during those hours. Our only downside was that we ended up camping right next to the Campground Host (he was in site 1, we were in site 3) and he ran his generator right up until 10 pm and started it again shortly after 6 am. We are early to bed people and enjoy the peace and quiet of early mornings when we are camping so this was a little obnoxious.
Stony Creek Village is just 5 minutes north of the campground. Stony Creek Village has a little market with ice, some snack food, cold drinks, a gift shop, and liquor. You can buy gas at Stony Creek and the prices were surprisingly reasonable for being located in the middle of nowhere. It also has $5 public showers and a pay laundry. The showers are set up as an individual, private stall and the $5 pays for 10 minutes of continuous water. Since the stalls were private, Kenon and I just shared a shower, showered very quickly, and saved ourselves some money.
I would recommend Stony Creek Campground to anyone looking to camp near Sequoia and Kings Canyon. It is calm, a little isolated, and right in the center of everything.