Destination: Azalea Campground, Kings Canyon National Park
We love big trees. That’s why Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort is one of our favorite local RV parks. But a giant sequoia tree is the mother of all big trees. They are the living dinosaurs of the plant world and something that everyone should see (or hug) once in their life. Well we found the best campground for visiting these beautiful giants, Azalea Campground located in King’s Canyon National Park. This year-around campground located in the national park is a little less than 4 hours away from our San Jose garage. Since this is a campground there are no hook-ups so be prepared for some dry-camping. There are dumping stations open during the summer months (though we don’t know how accessible they are since we went during the autumn). Also there are some tight turns within the campground so we advise all Airstreamers to be extra careful when driving through the campground.
The campground has 110 sites, which are all first come first serve basis. Sites 54-58 are popular spots because it’s a bit away from the rest of the campsites. But we were in campsite 37 and still felt pretty secluded (see map at the bottom of the page here). If not being able to make a reservation during peak season makes you nervous, then you can reserve sites at the neighboring Sunset Campground, which has 157 reservable sites open from May to September. Both campgrounds are within King’s Canyon National Park and close to each other and Grant Grove Village where the Grant Grove Market and King’s Canyon Visitors Center are located.
The Grant Grove Market has groceries, beer/wine, firewood, and any other supplies you might have forgotten for your trip. The Grant Grove Village also includes a restaurant and post office. So you may be in a remote national park, but you’ll want for nothing!
The best part of Azalea Campground is that it is within walking distance (0.8 miles or a 3 minute car ride) to the main attraction at King’s Canyon National Park: General Grant Grove, home to the General Grant Tree. The General Grant Tree is the second largest tree in the world (we’ll get to the largest tree in a minute here) and is estimated to be 1,657 years old. There are also several other hikes around General Grant Grove, which you can find listed here.
Another great thing about Azalea Campground is that it is only 40 minutes away from Sequoia National Park so you can visit 2 national parks in one day if you were so inclined (the entrance fee to Kings Canyon is also good for Sequioa National Park). Sequoia National Park is home to the largest living tree in the world, the General Sherman tree. Also in the area is the Lodgepole Visitor Center and the Giant Tree Museum. There are also quite a few hiking trails in the area, that are listed here.
And if you wanted to make your Airstream road trip a National Parks tour, then the south entrance of Yosemite is about 2.5 hours away from King’s Canyon National Park. There’s a lot of beauty on this side of California!
So if you’re looking for some big beautiful trees or to check off some National Parks from your bucket list, then Azalea Campground is the place to go!