This article is your guide to where to stay in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, plus the best nearby options.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are gorgeous road trip destinations, and each has several lodging options.
I stayed in this area last summer and learned so much about staying there.
Many national parks have rustic lodges and standard campgrounds, and these two Sierra gems are no different. Each park has gorgeous mountain lodges, bucolic cabins, and many campgrounds.
I’ve put together a guide on where to stay in Sequoia National Park, including all the park lodges, cabins, and campgrounds.
There are great reasons to stay at all these locations, but I’ve narrowed down the top reasons so you can easily make the best choice.
Plus, if you don’t want to stay in Sequoia National Park or Kings Canyon, I’ve picked the best options to stay near Sequoia National Park.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Map of the Best Areas to Stay in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
Where to Stay in Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon
#1 Wuksachi Lodge
Who’s it for: Those who want a premier lodging experience.
Park: Sequoia National Park
Nearby attractions: General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest, Moro Rock
Amenities: Limited wi-fi, restaurant (temporarily closed), gift shop, special event venue, free parking, and pet-friendly rooms.
The premier Sequoia National Park lodge is the Wuksachi Lodge. The park touts Wuksachi as one of the best hotels for several reasons.
This modern hotel was built in 1999 as part of a massive reconfiguration of the Giant Forest complex. To protect the endangered giant sequoia roots, the park moved many structures out of the forest and into nearby areas.
Wuksachi Lodge is only a short drive from big-name attractions like the Giant Forest, the General Sherman tree, Moro Rock, and the Wolverton recreation area.
Wuksachi is the closest lodge to the Ash Mountain Entrance near Three Rivers, California, and is also near the Lodgepole Visitor Center and the market.
Hiking trails are easily accessible in summer, and in winter, you’ll also have access to cross-country ski trails. The Big Trees Trail and Crescent Meadow are two popular nearby trails.
Each room has standard amenities like private baths, microwaves, mini-fridges, coffee makers, hair dryers, a flat-screen TV, and limited wi fi.
There is no wi-fi in the parks. Even the premier lodge can only offer limited connectivity. You can check email and flight info but do not plan on streaming.
The lodge offers free parking and central heating in each room, but air conditioning comes at an extra cost. You’ll need to book a Superior room for AC. However, all standard rooms come with a fan and a window fan.
#2 Montecito Sequoia Lodge
Who’s it for: Families
Park: Giant Sequoia National Monument
Nearby Attractions: Grant Grove Village, Sequoia National Park
Amenities: Meals, daily seasonal activities, hot tub, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, limited wi-fi
If you have young kids and didn’t snag a stay in Sequoia National Park, check out Montecito Sequoia Lodge.
The Montecito Sequoia Lodge is the best place to stay near Sequoia National Park with kids. The lodge is in Giant Sequoia National Monument, which, confusingly, is different from Sequoia National Park.
The giant Sequoia National Monument is between the two parks in Sequoia National Forest (also technically different from Sequoia National Park).
Montecito Lodge was originally a prestigious girls’ camp in the 1970s, and much of the space retains that campy, rustic charm with family rooms that include a queen bed and bunk beds.
Most of the cabins are older, except for the new Forest Cabins. None of the cabins or rooms have TV, phones, or cell service, but some areas have limited wi-fi.
There is a satellite phone for emergencies and a communal TV room with family-friendly programming.
Montecito Sequoia Lodge is open year-round, but their Summer Family Camp is their biggest claim to fame.
I’m not going to lie, it looks like fun, and I can see why Summer Family Camp has become a tradition for many families.
The price of your stay at Montecito includes meals. The camp serves communal, “California fresh” buffet-style meals, and established social hours foster a sense of community.
You can grab trail lunches, and there’s a 24/7 snack bar.
Family-friendly activities at Montecito include a horse program, archery, social events, water sports, hiking, and more. On-site counselors provide up to six hours of child care daily. A seasonal outdoor swimming pool rounds out the roster of summer fun.
Although I rate Montecito as one of the best family-friendly places to stay near Sequoia National Park, you should know that it is pretty expensive.
#3 John Muir Lodge
Who’s it for: Summer visitors coming from Yosemite National Park
Park: Kings Canyon National Park
Nearby attractions: Grant Grove of giant sequoias, Sequoia National Forest Restaurant
The John Muir Lodge is the Kings Canyon equivalent, albeit seasonal, to the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park.
Note that the John Muir is only open between March and October and, along with the other Grant Grove lodging options, is the closest option if you’re coming from Yosemite or northern California.
The Muir Lodge was constructed in 1998 and is a modern hotel with a rustic lodge feel. Traditional furnishings like a stone fireplace with a redwood mantel (repurposed from a historic cabin) adorn the great room, where you can play board games with your family.
The 36 rooms at the John Muir emphasize natural light, and each room features wood furniture, keeping with the rustic vibes.
Each room also offers a private bath, a flatscreen TV, a mini fridge, a hair dryer, a coffee maker, a phone, and central heat. Enjoy your morning coffee on one of the public balconies overlooking the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The John Muir Lodge is within walking distance of the Kings Canyon Visitor Center and is very close to the Grant Grove of giant sequoias.
The Grant Grove is home to the General Grant tree, the second-largest tree in the world behind General Sherman in Sequoia National Park.
The lodge is a great jumping-off spot to reach the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon and the Sequoia National Park entrance (22 mins away).
The John Muir Lodge is pet-friendly (for a $25/night fee), and while the national park trails are pet-free, nearby Sequoia National Forest does allow pets on some trails.
#4 Cedar Grove Lodge
Who’s it for: Guests who want to get away from it all
Park: King Canyon National Park
Nearby attractions: North Dome, Zumwalt Meadow, Roaring Falls, Muir Rock
Amenities: Heating and AC, private baths, phones, gift shop and market, restaurant
The Cedar Grove Lodge is the most remote lodging option on my list. This area of Kings Canyon is 35 miles away from the central Grant Grove hub, and it took us almost an hour to drive there from Grant Grove.
This lodge is not exactly near Sequoia National Park either. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes to the closest Sequoia National Park entrance and two and a half hours to the Ash Mountain entrance.
The isolation is the draw to this area, which is only open in the summer season.
It’s deep in the heart of the park, a steep-sided glacially carved granite canyon. The lodge sits right on the banks of the South Fork of the Kings River, a peaceful place to relax.
The lodge offers the fewest amenities of the other park lodges but provides the benefit of placing you near many beautiful attractions.
Cedar Grove would be a great place to book after a backpacking trip in the canyon.
Each room has heating and air conditioning, a private bathroom, and a phone. There’s a small restaurant/snack bar on site, plus a small market and gift shop.
All the rooms here are similar; the main difference is that some have patios and others don’t.
Like all Sequoia and Kings Canyon lodging options, Cedar Grove Lodge does not have cell service. This lodge is open seasonally between May and October.
#5 Grant Grove Cabins
Who’s it for: Summer visitors who want a rustic park stay
Park: Kings Canyon National Park
Nearby attractions: Grant Grove of giant sequoias, Sequoia National Forest, Kings Canyon Visitor Center
Amenities: Wooden and canvas tent-style cabins,
The Grant Grove Cabins offer a rustic lodging experience and are some of the most popular lodging options in the park. They’re open between March (or May for the canvas tents) and October.
The Cabins are across from the Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village.
There are three main types of cabins: bath, rustic, and tent. Bath cabins come with two double beds, a private bathroom, a clock radio, a coffeemaker, heating, and electricity.
The rustic cabins differ from the bath cabins in that the bathroom is a central bathhouse, but they still have electricity, heating, two double beds, and a wood stove.
The tent cabins are the most basic. They’re still wooden cabins, but they have a canvas roof. Tent cabins don’t have heat or electricity, and the bathroom is in the central bathhouse. They also have two double beds, a picnic table, and wood flooring.
The most famous cabin is the Honeymoon Cabin, cabin #9. It’s the oldest building in all of Grant Grove and dates back to 1910. It’s called the Honeymoon Cabin because it only has one queen-sized bed rather than two double beds.
The cabins are pet friendly (with a $25/night fee).
Much like the John Muir, these cabins are a great base camp to explore the Grant Grove of giant sequoias, or to pop over to Sequoia National Park, less than 30 minutes away.
Campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Looking for where to stay in Sequoia or Kings but don’t want a hotel room? Camp in the natural beauty of Sequoia and Kings Canyon at one of their stunning campgrounds.
Where to camp in Sequoia National Park
The Lodgepole Campground is in the Lodgepole district of Sequoia National Park. It has 214 sites for traditional camping but no RV sites.
We stayed here in the summer of 2022, and the sites lacked privacy, but we enjoyed the ranger program in the amphitheater nearby.
Cold Springs Campground
Cold Springs Campground is in the Mineral King District of Sequoia National Park. It has 40 sites and can accommodate RVs.
The Mineral King district is far from major attractions like the Giant Forest Museum and the General Sherman Tree. Still, it is less crowded and closer to the pristine national park backcountry.
Atwell Mill Campground
Atwell Mill is also in Mineral King, with 21 sites. This small campground does not have RV spots, and both Mineral King campgrounds have vault toilets only.
Buckeye Flat campground in the Foothills district has 27 sites. Along with Potwisha and South Fork Campground, it’s a good choice for winter camping. Note that the Foothills campgrounds can be very hot in summer.
Potwisha Campground in the Foothills district is one of two campgrounds with an RV dump station. It has 42 sites and flush toilets.
South Fork Campground
South Fork Campground in the Foothills district has just ten sites and vault toilets. It cannot accommodate RVs.
Dorst Creek Campground
Dorst Creek was closed in 2022 but is typically a huge and popular campground in the Lodgepole district. It has 222 sites with flush toilets, group sites, and RV spots.
Where to Camp in Kings Canyon National Park
Azalea Campground is in the Grant Grove district with 110 sites, flush toilets, and RV spots. Azalea is a beautiful spot, but all three Grant Grove campgrounds are close together and offer equal access and scenery.
Crystal Springs Campground
Crystal Springs Campground is in Grant Grove with 50 sites, group sites, flush toilets, and RV sites.
Sunset Campground is also in Grant Grove, and it has 158 sites, including group and RV sites. We stayed in Sunset last year; it’s very green and within walking distance of the General Grant Tree.
Sheep Creek Campground
Sheep Creek Campground is in the Cedar Grove district with 111 campsites, including RV sites. The campgrounds here are close together and offer equal access to the Cedar Grove area.
Sentinel Campground has 82 sites, including RV sites.
Moraine Campground has 121 sites, including RV sites.
Canyon View Campground
Canyon View Campground is the smallest campground in this district, with just 16 sites. It cannot accommodate RVs but does have group sites.
Where to Stay Near Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon
#1 Three Rivers, CA
Who’s it for: Anyone coming from Southern California
Distance from Park: 5.8 mi (11 mins) to Ash Mountain entrance of Sequoia National Park, 22.3 mi (52 mins) from Giant Forest Museum
Why we recommend it: It’s very near Sequoia National Park (Ash Mountain entrance)
Three Rivers is a small settlement near Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We passed through briefly, but it would undoubtedly be my first pick of places to stay outside Sequoia.
Three Rivers is an artsy little community with lots of lodging options and, yes, three rivers. Staying here is a good option if you come from anywhere south of Visalia, California.
Keep in mind that the highway into the park from Three Rivers is exceptionally steep and windy. If carsickness is a problem in your family, try to book lodging in the park.
Sequoia Motel and Cabins: The Sequoia Motel and Cabins is a popular place to stay in Three Rivers. It has an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, and WiFi.
The River Island: This giant vacation rental in Three Rivers has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a patio and river access. There’s a playground in the neighborhood and a bike rental service nearby too.
Comfort Inn and Suites: The Comfort Inn and Suites, Three Rivers, is a great budget option providing a summer shuttle to Sequoia, free parking, a hot tub, a fitness center, and laundry facilities.
Bear Hollow: This whole-home vacation rental sleeps six. The home has wi-fi, free parking at a private lot, a cute patio, and a hot tub.
The Shady Knoll: This four-person vacation rental with two bedrooms and two bathrooms is just two miles from the Sequoia park entrance and features gorgeous mountain views.
Note that one place I don’t recommend in Three Rivers is the Sierra Lodge–too many bad reviews!
Who’s it for: Anyone who needs a “real” city
Distance from Park: 34.6 mi (45 mins) from Ash Mountain entrance of Sequoia; 55.8 mi (1.15 hrs) from Grant Grove Village
Why we recommend it: It’s the biggest city nearby.
Visalia calls itself the “Gateway to the Sequoias” and is halfway between Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park.
Visalia is in the central valley, so it’s not a vacation destination in its own right.
However, if you need access to more modern amenities or are coming from afar and need a place to land before the last leg of the road trip, Visalia is an excellent option.
Visalia to Sequoia National Park is under an hour, which I still consider near Sequoia National Park, as this is rural California.
Holiday Inn Express: The Holiday Inn Express in Visalia has a complimentary breakfast, AC, an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, and a fitness center.
Comfort Suites Visalia: The Comfort Inn and Suites is known for spacious rooms with all the amenities you expect from a major hotel chain.
Club Tulare Guest Cottage: This cute little guest cottage sleeps two and includes a full kitchen and private patio.
Who’s it for: Anyone interested in high-quality, unique stays
Distance from Park: 28 mi (37 mins) to Ash Mountain entrance in Sequoia; 46.5 mi (1 hr 20 mins hrs) to Grant Grove Village in Kings Canyon
Why we recommend it: It’s a great halfway spot between Visalia and Three Rivers
Exeter is a small town between Visalia and Three Rivers with several exceptional lodging options.
This town is the most southerly locale on my list. If you’re coming from Isabella Lake or Kernville, this would be a good stopping place.
Gateway Retreat: This is a three-bedroom villa with two bathrooms, air conditioning, and a full kitchen.
Sierra Nevada Mountain Retreat: With this stay, you can sleep on a real citrus farm with two bedrooms and one bathroom.
Uniqueamp Modern Cottage: This two-bedroom home is pet-friendly and has AC and free parking.
Sequoia vs. Kings Canyon: Which Park Should You Stay in or Near?
Overall, I recommend staying in Kings Canyon National Park because it’s quieter. Our stay in Sequoia National park’s Sunset Campground was peaceful, with reasonable distance between our neighbors.
Our stay in Lodgepole Campground was, dare I say, chaotic? There was no space between sites, and there were people everywhere.
Sequoia National Park
- If you’re interested in exploring the Giant Forest (seriously, one of the best features of the two parks, IMO) stay in Sequoia National Park.
- Many accommodations have free parking, and you don’t have to keep driving up and down the windy highways in and out of the park
- The Wuksachi is open year-round and is the premier lodging destination
- Sequoia National Park is extremely busy
- Campsites may lack privacy (they did at the Lodgepole Campground)
- Lacks cell service and fast wi fi
King Canyon National Park
- Quieter campgrounds
- The trees equally beautiful as the ones in Sequoia National Park
- Includes two lodges plus the cabins at Grant Grove
- Options to stay near Sequoia National Park
- No cell service or wifi
Outside the Park
- Many lodging options include camping, hotels, Air BnBs, and luxury accommodations.
- Options for more modern amenities like cell service, fast wi-fi, hot tubs, swimming pool access, and fitness centers.
- More options for places to eat and drink
- Even at the best places to stay near the parks, you will have to spend time (possibly an hour or more each way) getting into and out of the parks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chef’s kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!
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