August 21, 2009

Sequoia National Park - Lodgepole Campground

We are back from 3 nights camping at the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park. Lodgepole, and all of Sequoia can be reached from either Fresno via Highway 180 or from Visalia via Highway 198. If your driving an RV, beware that there is a 16 mile section if coming from Visalia that the maximum vehicle length is 22 feet, so you should enter the park from Highway 180. Lodgepole campground has around 200 campsites for RV's or tents. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring, with flush toilets nearby. The campground is large and spread out. The 151-214 loop seemed very crowded to us. We were staying in the 1-22 loop, in which the campsites were more spread out, but it was mostly RV's in the loop. Sites 69-144 are tent only and there are a few really nice sites right along the river. Despite the size of the campground it was amazingly quiet most of the time. And I admit I loved being able to run over to the market and grab some ice cream for dessert.
Right next to the campground is the Lodgepole visitor center and market for last minute groceries and gifts. In the same building as the market there is a snack bar with pizza and hot dogs, and a deli that also sold ice cream, a laundromat and the showers. Showers are coin-op and require $3 which gets you 10 minutes. Showers are open 8am to 8pm, but are closed from 1pm to 3pm for cleaning. We usually headed to the showers around 4pm and there was a line every time.
There is a nature center in the middle of the campground. From there or the front of the visitor center you can jump on the Sequoia Shuttle. The Shuttle takes you to the Sherman Tree, Wuksachi Lodge and Giant Forest Museum. At the museum you can transfer to a smaller shuttle and visit Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow.
Down by the bridge inside the campground is a trailhead that leads into the Sequoia backcountry and the trailhead for Tokopah Falls. Tokopah Falls is 1.7mile hike from the campground. Unfortunetly at this time a year the falls was more of a trickle. But there was still just enough water under the bridge in the campground to hop in to cool off.

General Sherman Tree

Sequoia Shuttle

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