Sierra National Forest | Outdoorsy

Sierra National Forest
Guide

Introduction

Step outside of your box to take a drive in your RV and visit Sierra National Forest for a change of perspective in central California. Be amazed as you take in the natural wonders of this amazing national forest that earned the nicknamed of “Secret Yosemite,” due to its proximity to Yosemite National Park. Come and camp in your RV at one of the 51 campgrounds that provide first-come, first-served, and reserved spots. Travel the many trails to see the breathtaking Rancheria Falls, an amazing 150-foot waterfall. Hike the Shadow of the Giants trail to see the Giant Sequoia, the most massive tree in the world among the Nelder Grove. Get out on your horse or OHV and see the natural beauty of the Golden State. Enjoy a picnic relaxing next to a small creek or Shaver Lake surrounded by butterflies, dragonflies, and breath in the crisp, California air. Have fun with a variety of water sports like sailing on the tranquil Huntington Lake surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cast a line as you fish for salmon and trout. Drive in your motorhome across the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway or Sierra Vista Scenic Byway to capture the wild beauty of the West Coast. We've highlighted three of the top RV campgrounds at Sierra National Forest below.

Share this Guide

Camping Accommodations

25'
Max RV length
25'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Sierra National Forest

Transportation

Driving

One of the most surprising aspects of Sierra National Forest is how is the diverse terrain that you see during your camping trip. Travel in your RV over the 100 miles of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway to see unique vistas and unique rocks and cliffs through a remote area of the state. Drive the high-altitude road of the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway to take in central Sierra Nevada mountains views. This is a perfect getaway from Sacramento and Stockton since it's less than a four-hour drive, and it's under an hour from Fresno, California. Once you arrive, it is easy to see how Sierra National Forest is an absolute wonder.

Depending on the campground, you can park either pull-through or back-in your RV. Most camping sites provide paved spots, making for a more accessible parking job. To keep Sierra National Forest looking beautiful, plan to pack out everything you bring in and only leave footprints behind.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Sierra National Forest

Campsites in Sierra National Forest

First-come first-served

Soda Springs Campground

Ready to get away from it all, then head to Soda Springs Campground, which is nestled next to Chiquito Creek. This campground offers 18 different camping spots, vault toilets, and picnic tables. A pet-friendly area, make sure to bring Fido along on your next camping adventure. Make Soda Springs Campground your base when heading out for hiking, fishing, or wildlife viewing. The maximum RV length is 20 feet. This is a great base camp if you are looking for privacy and solitude to get in touch with nature.

Jackass Meadow Campground

Nothing like its name, this campground offers some of the best Sierra Nevada camping around. Clear your head as you breathe in the crisp mountain air from one of the 44 camping spots. With vault toilets, drinking water, bear-proof lockers, and picnic tables, get ready for the rural life when staying in your RV here. Convenient amenities like boat rentals and a general store are located at Florence Lake Resort, which is a half-mile away. A great destination campground, you'll find yourself connected to all that there is to see and do at Sierra National Forest! Note that Kaiser Pass Road is not recommended for large RVs. The maximum RV and trailer length is 25 feet.

Sample Meadow Campground

If rustic bliss is what you're after, head to Sample Meadow Campground. With breathtaking beauty, this cozy campground of 16 first-come, first-served sites are surrounded by some beautiful California wilderness. Toilets and picnic tables are available at these spacious spots under the brilliant blue sky. Each sites comes with a bear-proof locker, fire pit, and picnic table. This campground is better suited for smaller RVs, campers, and trailers.

Seasonal activities in Sierra National Forest

Off-Season

Mountain Biking

Come on out on your bike for some fantastic rides at Sierra National Forest. Explore the Bass Lake Ranger District and High Sierra Ranger District for some great trails. Ride down the Dinkey Creek Trail, that covers rolling hills and sights like Cowe Creek Quarry and Deer Creek. Need a challenge? Consider Mono Hot Springs in which you’ll travel up 6,700 feet along the cliffs and then relax in the hot springs after your ride.

Horseback Riding

Come and enjoy a thrilling way to see all that Sierra National Forest has to offer as you travel trails horseback riding. Plan to pack out any feed that you bring in for your horses. There are several pack stations like Shaver Lake Stables, High Sierra Pack Station, and Huntington Lake, among others that you can stop by before venturing out into the wilderness. Make plans to ride the Maxon, Rogers Ridge, and other trails during your next RV camping stay!

Snow Sports

There is nothing like getting out in the snow among the Sierra Mountains. Don’t let the winter weather keep you away from having an exciting time at Sierra National Forest. With so many options to choose from like cross country skiing, tubing, or wearing your snowshoes - get ready for a good time. Have a snowmobile? Make sure to bring it as this national forest offers over 234 miles of trail just waiting for you to explore.

In-Season

Rock Climbing

Have a sense of adventure by getting outside for some rock climbing during your next RV camping trip. There are many miles of open wilderness such as Tollhouse Rock and Courtright Reservoir. With hundreds of climbs, check out Outward Bound, which makes for excellent wilderness area and offers a climbing program. Being out in Sierra National Forest is an unforgettable way to challenge your skills while taking in some unforgettable views. An excellent activity for all different strength levels, make sure to call the ranger station before heading out to ensure that conditions are right.

Wildlife Viewing

Sierra National Forest has it all when it comes to the area’s wildlife. Grab your camera and capture shots of foxes, porcupines, mule deer, coyotes, and black bears, to name a few. Whether you are out on the trail or at the campsite, make sure to respect all wildlife and provide distance, especially if you find them on the trail, and give the animals their territory. Within this fantastic forest, you’ll find that there is no shortage of California wildlife to view during your next getaway.

Fishing

Get out on the picturesque lake and enjoy this popular outdoor pastime year-round. With Rainbow Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Germa Brown Trout among many others, anglers know that the waterways of Sierra National Forest are some of the best spots in California. Interested in freshwater stream fishing? Come and cast your line fromApril to mid-November as you make some wonderful camping memories. Make sure to get your California fishing license before arriving for your camping adventure as the ranger stations do not sell any.