Dorst Creek Campground – Sequoia National Park

Campsite:  DORST CREEK CAMPGROUND

Geographic Location:  SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

Type of Campground: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Experience Level: SOME EXPERIENCE IN BEAR COUNTRY RECOMMENDED- GOOD FOR FAMILIES

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(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(3) SORT OF – WHILE THE CAMPGROUND ITSELF IS PET FRIENDLY, DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON TRAILS IN NATIONAL PARKS, SO YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO ENJOY ALL SEQUOIA HAS TO OFFER WITH YOUR POOCH

Family Friendly:(4) SURE IS- KIDS LOVE TO SEE GIANT TREES, RIGHT? THE CAMPGROUND DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING SPECIAL TO OFFER FOR KIDS, BUT IT IS A NATIONAL PARK WITH LOTS OF FUN SIGHTS TO SEE AND SOME NEARBY CREEKS TO SWIM IN

Cleanliness: (4) IT WAS OKAY. NOT MUCH ELSE TO SAY HERE. NOT THE CLEANEST WE HAVE SEEN BUT VERY ACCEPTABLE.

Noise Level: (4) THERE ARE SOME FAMILIES, BUT OVERALL IT IS NICE AND QUIET AND YOU CAN HEAR NATURE AT NIGHT. THE ONLY REASON IT IS NOT A 5 IS BECAUSE IT IS A PRETTY DENSELY PACKED CAMPGROUND, SO IF YOU HAVE A SPOT CLOSE TO NEIGHBORS YOU CAN PROBABLY  HEAR THEM.

Restrooms: (3.5) RESTROOMS WITH FLUSH TOILETS AND RUNNING WATER. THERE WAS ALSO A SEPARATE ADA ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM. DURING 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND THE RESTROOMS DIDN’T STAY SUPER CLEAN THOUGH…

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Campsite Space: (3) WE GOT LUCKY! WHEN WE BOOKED THERE WERE ONLY 2 SITES LEFT TO PICK FROM, AND I THINK WE GOT ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST PRIVATE SPOTS IN THE CAMPGROUND. THAT BEING SAID, BASED ON SEEING ALL OF THE OTHER HUNDREDS OF SPOTS, MOST SPOTS WERE ON THE SMALLER SIDE AND CLOSE TO NEIGHBORS. IF YOU WANT A GOOD SPOT, LOOK FOR SITE 10.

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CAMPSITE 10 HAD PLENTY OF ROOM FOR OUR 2 TENTS PLUS IT WAS FAR FROM NEIGHBORS

Shade/Sun: (4) CONSIDERING IT IS IN A NATIONAL PARK KNOWN FOR ITS LARGE TREES, THIS CAMPGROUND HAD MORE SHADE TO OFFER THAN MOST CAMPGROUNDS. OF COURSE, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHICH SPOT YOU PICK THOUGH. OVERALL, GOOD SHADE.

Ground: (3) DIRT & WEEDS – SOME SLOPE, BUT FLAT AREAS FOR TENTS

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (3) TYPICAL SIERRAS – THERE CAN BE SOME MOSQUITOES, AND OTHER CREEPY CRAWLERS. THIS IS ALSO PRIME BEAR COUNTRY SO USE THE LOCKERS!  WE ALSO HAD A DEER WONDER THROUGH OUR SITE.

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Amenities:

  • FLUSH TOILETS
  • ADA ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM
  • FIRE PITS WITH GRILL
  • WOODEN PICNIC BENCHES – A LITTLE ON THE WORN SIDE
  • GREAT HIKING TRAIL FROM CAMPGROUND (MUIR GROVE)
  • INSIDE THE NATIONAL PARK!
  • 2 SHUTTLE STOPS INSIDE THE CAMPGROUND TO PICK YOU UP AND TAKE YOU TO ALL THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THE PARK
  • COLLECT YOUR OWN FREE FIRE WOOD (ANYTHING DEAD ON THE GROUND IS FAIR GAME)
  • BEAR LOCKERS
  • WATER SPIGOT
  • BOTTLE RECYCLING
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MUIR GROVE TRAIL HEAD IS IN THE CAMPGROUND. AN AWESOME, FLAT 5 MILE R/T HIKE WITH ONE OF THE BEST SEQUOIA GROVES TO REWARD YOU

Comments from the “Chix”

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Our overall impression was that this was a beautiful campground with its big draw being that is is actually inside the National Park. There are lots of gorgeous trees and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. There are some nice amenities like the shuttle and flush toilets, however the campground is huge and densely packed. But, a great place to stay in the park. One thing that we really enjoyed was collecting our own firewood. Any dead wood on the ground is allowed to be collected and burned in the fire pits. That meant some great sequoia on pine and it was easy to find. That saved us like $12 and the wood burned nicely.
Pros: The biggest pro is the location, you cannot beat it. Being in the National Park is great and you can leave your car at your campsite and take the shuttle to crowded places like General Sherman. All of the nice amenities were there, like fire pits, picnic tables, bear lockers and flush toilets. The staff were also very friendly and helpful in recommending some great hikes. Speaking of which, the trail head to Muir Grove is in the back of the campground. That was a really nice and rewarding hike. The campground also had nice shade.
Cons: It can get really crowded. We were  here the busiest weekend of the year (4th of July) and the campground was full. It is densely packed and some spots are small or just really close to a lot of neighbors. There are some great spots though, like site 10! Also, the evil mosquitoes got us, so bring bug spray!
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Now that is how you cook an American feast! Celebrating America through campfire food!
Tips: Bring bug spray and use the bear lockers! Seriously, bears are known to go though this campground a lot in late Spring/early Summer. Also, bring a tablecloth for the older wooden bench.
Another fun tip, there are a lot of “walk-up” sites. However, we noticed the parking for them was very close and these spots were mostly pretty nice. Don’t be afraid of these pots as long as you can haul your stuff 100 feet. These sites don’t book as fast, so it might be your opportunity to get to stay here on a  prime weekend.

Link to reserve your spot at Dorst Creek Campground

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OH RIDGE CAMPGROUND (JUNE LAKE)

Campsite:  OH RIDGE CAMPGROUND

Geographic Location:  EASTERN SIERRAS – BETWEEN MAMMOTH AND MONO LAKE

Type of Campground: STATE CAMPGROUND

Experience Level: GREAT FOR BEGINNERS AND FAMILIES

(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(5) YES – DOGS CAN SWIM IN THE LAKE!

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Stella taking a potty break
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Stella properly enjoying the lake

Family Friendly:(4) SURE IS- LOTS OF FAMILY ACTIVITIES AS WELL AS STORES AND RESTAURANTS NEAR BY JUST IN CASE

Cleanliness: (4) CAMPGROUND IS CLEAN AND RESTROOMS WERE FINE. FELT LIKE PRESTINE NATURE AT THE LAKE BEACH

Noise Level: (5) THERE ARE SOME FAMILIES, BUT OVERALL IT IS NICE AND QUIET AND YOU CAN HEAR NATURE AT NIGHT

Restrooms: (3.5) RESTROOMS WITH FLUSH TOILETS AND RUNNING WATER. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?

Campsite Space: (4) OFTEN SPACIOUS CAMPSITES WITH ROOM FOR SEVERAL TENTS.

Shade/Sun: (3) NOT A LOT OF TREES FOR SHADE AND CAN GET HOT DURING SUMMER

Ground: (4) DIRT – VERY FLAT

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (4) TYPICAL SIERRAS – THERE CAN BE SOME MOSQUITOES, WHICH CAN GET BAD AT CERTAIN TIMES OF THE YEAR. THIS IS ALSO BEAR COUNTRY SO USE THE LOCKERS.

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The campground has some serious beauty, but not a lot of shade

Amenities:

  • FLUSH TOILETS
  • WATER SPIGOTS THROUGHOUT CAMPGROUND
  • FIRE PITS 
  • WOODEN PICNIC BENCHES
  • LAKE ACCESS
  • BBQ GRILLS
  • PAVED ROADS  
  • 2 MARINAS WITH BOAT RENTALS AND FISHING NEARBY
  • WALKING DISTANCE TO SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS IN TOWN
  • BEAR LOCKERS
  • A SHORT ROAD TRIP AWAY TO MANY COOL SITES LIKE MONO LAKE AND CAN DAY TRIP TO YOSEMITE AS WELL
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Enjoying a hike at nearby Panum Crater

Comments from the “Chix”

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Our overall impression of this campground was that the big draw to this campground was the pristine lake. It can get hot during summer so having a lake with boating, fishing, swimming and dog-friendly swimming is great. It is also conveniently situated sort of in the middle of the Eastern Sierra attractions with Mammoth to the south and Mono Lake and the entrance to Yosemite to the north. This, combined with the nearby amenities, makes it a great family-friendly and pet-friendly option in the area.
Pros: This campground tends to have more availability than other campgrounds so you can snag a spot on last-minute trips. It also has flush toilets and drinking water, as well as shops and restaurants a walk away for when you need a break from nature. The biggest pro is the lake and the recreation that comes with it. Its beautiful, its dog-friendly and you can swim, fish or boat.
Cons: It can get hot here during summer! Oh and it snows during winter. I think the lack of shade is what makes it less popular than other nearby campgrounds, but at least there is refuge in the water.
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Stella trying to find shade
Tips: Bring some sort of shade with you if you can. Also bring a bathing suit and fishing gear if you have it. And of course, as always, use those bear lockers!
Again thanks to Andy Orr for some of these photos!

Link to reserve your spot at Oh Ridge Campground

Convict Lake (Eastern Sierras) 2011

Campsite: CONVICT LAKE CAMPGROUND

Geographic Location: EASTERN SIERRAS – BETWEEN BISHOP AND MAMMOTH

Type of Campground: STATE CAMPGROUND

Experience Level: GREAT FOR MODERATELY EXPERIENCED CAMPERS LOOKING TO GET BACK TO NATURE

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Beautiful views from the camp site
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Enjoying breakfast

(All ratings are based on a 1-5 system. 1=Horrible 5=Amazing)

Pet Friendly:(5) YES – CHECK OUT THE PICTURES OF OUR DOG ENJOYING THE LAKE

Family Friendly:(3) FAMILY FRIENDLY FOR MODERATELY EXPERIENCED CAMPERS.

Cleanliness: (5) VERY

Noise Level: (5) PEACEFUL AND QUIET, JUST LIKE BEING IN NATURE SHOULD BE. YOU CAN HEAR ANIMALS AT NIGHT SOMETIMES.

Restrooms: (5) FLUSH TOILETS – VERY CLEAN

Campsite Space: (4) SOME SITES ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS, BUT WE HAD ENOUGH ROOM FOR 2 TENTS

Shade/Sun: (3) NOT A LOT OF SHADE AT MANY SITES

Ground: (4) DIRT- RELATIVELY FLAT, BUT VARIES FROM SITE TO SITE

Bugs/Critters/Wildlife: (3) ITS THE SIERRAS, AND ITS A LAKE…SO THERE WERE SOME MOSQUITOES. ALSO NOT UNCOMMON FOR A BLACK BEAR TO VISIT OR FOR DEER TO WONDER THROUGH YOUR SPOT. USE THOSE BEAR LOCKERS!

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Dogs can go explore the lake!
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A deer saying “hi”

Amenities: 

  •  RESTROOMS WITH FLUSH TOILETS, SINKS,HAND SOAP AND TRASHCAN IN EACH STALL
  • COIN OPERATED SHOWERS
  • BEAR LOCKERS AT EACH SITE
  • WATER SPIGOTS THROUGHOUT CAMPGROUND
  • TALL FIRE PITS WITH GRILLS CHAINED ON
  • WOODEN PICNIC BENCHES
  • FLAT GROUND WITH BRUSH CLEARED
  • BEAUTIFUL LAKE WITH WALKING PATH AT CAMPGROUND
  • AMAZING HIKING TRAIL STARTS NEXT TO CAMPGROUND
  • OMG THE AMAZING VIEWS!!!!!!!!
  • SECRET HOT SPRINGS ARE JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY (RIGHT ACROSS THE HIGHWAY)
  • LOTS OF GREAT SIGHTSEEING IN THE AREA
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Convict Lake Trail head
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The beautiful hike around the lake

Comments from the “Chix”

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Our overall impression of this campground was that it is a great campground for nature lovers. This is a personal favorite campground, and we’d camp here all the time if it was closer. The views are out of this world, and the hiking is amazing. They have hiking for all levels. You can stroll around the lake or take a serious like to reach the peak (and see 3 more lakes along the way).

Pros: The real highlight, as mentioned before, is the beauty. But what is great, is you get that rustic, back to nature feel, but still have the conveniences of a nice campground like flush toilets, showers with hot water, a nice spot to pitch a tent, fire pit and picnic table. Dogs will love this place as well as you can get away with letting them explore off-leash.

Cons: It can get hot during summer and there isn’t a lot of shade. Also, if you are a little scared of animals, you may encounter a bear. Another disappointment was that although we reserved our spot online, when we got to the campground our spot had someone else’s name on it. The campground host apologized and was able to find another spot for us.

Tips: Use the bear lockers please! Also, please go hiking, the hiking is great! For a fun bonus check out the hot springs near by. Link about the hot springs

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And many thanks to Andy Orr for some of the great photographs seen on this page.
Link to book your spot at Convict Lake Campground