Well they wont be secret spots for long because I am going to share them with you. If you like to camp and if you like to get out in the early spring when the poppies are in bloom and hills are alive with color and if you enjoy relative seclusion and privacy (but still want a campground with a commode), I have a few spots to share with you that I KNOW are underutilized at this time of year. (How do I know they are underutilized? I visited each of them the other day and there wasn't a single camper at any of these three campgrounds.) They are all in the Sequoia National Forest about a hour and forty five minutes drive from central Fresno. These campgrounds are:
(click the pic to enlarge)
--------Camp 4 -------------- Green Cabin Flat------and Mill Flat.
These are located on the Kings River above Pine Flat Reservoir
and as you can see here all of the campgrounds are at low elevation. These campgrounds have tables and fire pits
no running water, are most suited towards using a tent but I have taken a small trailer back there.
Best of all: NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED AND NO FEES. In the early spring these low elevation campgrounds are ideal because its much colder at the higher elevations. This is really the ideal time of year for low elevation camping. The poppies and wildflowers are in bloom and the hills are brilliant green from the rains. Take advantage of these now and then in the summer you can go to the higher elevations sites.
HOW TO GET THERE: Easy. Go East on Belmont Ave. Belmont Ave will turn into Trimmer Springs Road. You will know when you're there because you'll be on the Kings River and there is a little general store off to the right: Doyles. That is where you're going to want to get your bait if you plan on fishing. Of course, if you're a hard core fisherman going up that way you'll have flies - so no need for bait. Now all you do is follow Trimmer Springs Road all the way around Pine Flat Lake. It's approx 30 miles and its all well paved. You will cross a couple bridges and then you'll come to this STEEL BRIDGE.
Do NOT cross the bridge. From this bride on up the river is a habitat for wild trout. The limit is two and you have to use a barbless hook. Of course catch and release is encouraged. These wild trout are NOT easy to catch nor are they as abundant as the man-fed, stocked trout on the lower river. Translation: this is a fly fisherman's paradise! There is some info just to the right of the bridge about the area. You cant miss it. Here is a picture of it.
Now just to the south of the bridge (right of these signs) is a U.S Forest Service Road that runs along the south side of the Kings River. You can't miss it either. Here is a picture of it - note that it has the sign telling you the distance to each of the campsites mentioned above.
In case you can't read it - its 2 miles to Camp 4, 2 1/2 miles to Green Cabin Flat, and 3 Miles to Mill Flat Campground. Last year the Forest Service re-graveled the road so its fairly decent and you can go back there with two wheel drive without any problem. I should mention that Camp 4 1/2 cabin is also on that sign and its only a mile down the road and is also a great place to camp. This site has a place for horses and we met some folks who brought their horses with them to camp so they could ride them. How cool is that? The cabins used to be for Forest Service rangers but are no longer used by the Forest Service so if you call them you can rent them and they have all the amenities. I was up there the other day and it didn't look like anyone was taking advantage of them :(
I hope you enjoyed this little photo tour. © Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
ps... I know of rare creekside acreage available in this area if you are interested.