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Stealth Camping near Sequoia National Park

Original Post
Jordan King · · North Hollywood, CA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Heading to Sequoia this weekend to climb and just need to crash for a night. All the campsites have been reserved for days. Anyone got any pull-offs or dirt roads they've crashed at? Sleeping in my car and waking up early in the morning for the alpine start.

Tyler S · · Kings Canyon National Park, Ca · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 115

Enter the park and drive past the Lodgepole and Wuksachi turnoffs on 198 (also called Generals Highway). Keep driving until you enter the National Forest and you can camp at a pullout legally for up to 14 days. If you drive into Kings Canyon NP then you’ve driven too far. You can buy an area map or look online if you want to look up National Forest area before you show up.

Curious, what climb are ya planning to do?

Wesley Neill · · Sequoia National Park, CA · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 578

Tyler's advice is good. Look for the sign that says "National Forest Organizational Camps, San Joaquin Far Horizons". There are good dispersed sites down at the end of the road. It is also where Crystal Wall and Chimney Rocks Spire is, which has tons of good climbing. 

Paul Webber · · Three Rivers, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 142

Chimney rocks is currently closed for falcon nesting, don’t climb there.

However, there are plenty of places to stay for free on national forest land between the two national parks. If big meadows road is open, there’s lots of nice sites along it, and it gets you a little ways off of generals highway. You could also bivy near Lake Kaweah or in Three Rivers.

Wesley Neill · · Sequoia National Park, CA · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 578

Hi Paul,

I checked the official closure listing and did not see anything for Chimney Rock. In fact, after an hour of searching I can't find an official closure after 2015. I did see your comment that you spoke to the resident biologist and that it is "closed". I was under the impression that it takes more than the authority of a single ranger to close an entire section of the park, and that closures were posted, signed documents accessible to the public. Any idea where I can hunt down more information?

Here are the official listings for closures for both the national park and the forest:
https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/climbingclosures.htm
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sequoia/alerts-notices

Thanks in advance.
Wes

Paul Webber · · Three Rivers, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 142

I talked to the guy in charge of falcon closures for the Chimney Rocks area over the phone. He told me there are falcons up there, but that he will open up once the birds leave. I haven’t been out there this year, but I imagine the gate is locked and likely has some signage on it. 

Sequoia is kind of obscure and low key.... not everything makes it to the internet around here. Sometimes you have to make some phone calls or go and see for yourself.

Anyways, to the OP,
Hopefully you found a good bivy spot. I think I saw your party below us on Moro Rock. It was a busy day for Moro... 3 parties on the south face and 1 on the west face. 

Jordan King · · North Hollywood, CA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks everyone for the advice! We just slept in the Lodgepole parking lot since we were in our cars and we left early by 5am.

And yeah Paul we saw you up there! Pretty fun day, and even though there were lots of parties, we never really had to wait!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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