“Choose wisely and it's a great place”
||39 and 48
Had I written this review the day we arrived there would have been one star and probably a rant. However, deep breaths, cooling off and getting our priorities straight made a big difference. This is a nice campground all on its own, it's also a good place to stay if you want to visit Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP and their campgrounds are full and you don't mind driving a bit. It is clean although some people do not think that bottlecaps belong in the trash so there is some trash though nothing terrible.
We are "seniors" so our rate was $12.50-the normal rate is $25
A few notes:
1)whether coming in from the east (Rte 178 along the north side of Lake Isabella) or west (Burlando Rd) to Kernville before driving up to the campground, stop at the US Forest Service Ranger Station (105 Whitney Rd, Kernville, CA 93238) and get information about hikes and the area before you drive up. You will not be in Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP but Sequoia National Forest.
2)The NP information will be available within the park.
3) You will NOT have cell reception above Kernville. If you need to contact anyone or do 'net related tasks stop in Kernville to do it. There is a pay phone at McNally's, less than a mile from the CG.
4)Just because the website says the site can fit your rig does not mean that it is level, devoid of large potholes or that the sitting area is located to the side. Be careful positioning your stairs, if you have them, because the sites are lined with boulders.
To begin with, when you enter the campground there is no signage regarding where sites are located, so if you haven't downloaded the map you'll be left driving around looking and if you miss the slightly hidden loop you will become convinced that the "B" attached to your site number means that there is a different area altogether wherein your site resides. Here's the deal: Sites 1-10 are in the loop on your right as you enter. Some of them are on the river, and a few of them are level and big enough for a rig bigger than 25'. There is one bathroom and there are 3 water spigots in this loop. (see below about the water) What you DO need to know is that if you need water you should check the water spigot as some of them have no threads. I believe there is one (there may be 2) in that first loop that has threads but if you have a "water bandit" device you can use the other type. Just be aware that the faucet handle on these does not stay on by itself.
If you turn left when you enter, there are 2 loops with sites along the road on both sides. The first is entered on the left between the bathrooms and the large dumpster and there you'll find sites 37-52. None of these sites are on the river and the first spigot on the left as you enter is one of those funky ones. If you are in one of these sites and need to fill your tank my suggestion would be to drive to the one next to site 48-it has threads and good pressure-and then drive back to the site. Site 39-is long enough for a rig up to about 35' BUT with your slides out the table and fire wing will be inaccessible as they are behind you AND there is no way to park to avoid "stepping into the abyss" (OK, small slope) as you get out. Personally I don't think this is an appropriate motorhome site. Site 48 was wonderful-level, next to the spigot (we only used it once to add water to the tank). There are a few other sites on the loop farther along the route-as well as ones along the river and only some of them are level/long enough for a bigger rig.
That said, this is a great campground. You are surrounded by the tops of the mountains around it and the sound of the river is perfect-not too loud but a gentle background. The Camp host this year is new and excellent but on her days off-Monday and Tuesday- the management company does not see fit to have someone available or have signs that would inform you where to contact someone. In fact the signage includes a few warning about bears but the dumpsters are neither secured, closed (in one case) or emptied on schedule and the recycling bins were overflowing. The bathrooms-vault toilets-are IMMACULATE. There are a number of tent campers and the place is full on weekends but the toilets stayed clean.
Even when full the campground was quiet by 10pm. This area is and can get very dry so if you plan to cook on a grill only gas type or solar grills will be allowed if fire restrictions are in place as they were when we were there (mid June). There is a restaurant less than a mile away with decent prices (and they allow a couple to share a meal-1 main but 2 sides- for an extra $10) should you need a cooked meal. They also have a hamburger stand opened during the day.
There is lots to do from here-the drive up to Trail of 100 Giants (basically the first Sequoia NP site you'll get to) is about 1/2 hour of windey, twisty roads but well worth it. ($5 parking charge) From there you can continue further into the park.
The Kern River is a sportsman's dream with fishing, rafting and floating trips available or on your own. There are a number of outfitters.
One other suggestion-our experience here with maps was not great. The ones we got were commercially produced and not a lot of attention seemed to be paid to detail. Pick up maps from the Ranger Station or download your own before you go.
There is no dump at Fairview-there are two in Kernville-Tillie Creek (on the left off Wofford Rd between Rtes 155 and 178-if you're headed west) or Campground 9 (on the north side of Lake Isabella on Rte 178). There is a $10 fee at each but we were unable to find the camphost when we went to Tillie Creek so simply left the money with a note.
This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com