Camping In Fresno California - Secret Spots You've Never Heard Of (don't miss the pics)

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lazarus Realty

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.

Camp 4 on the Kings River in Fresno Ca Green Cabin Flat Campground Mill Flat Campground

These are located on the Kings River above Pine Flat Reservoir Pine Flat Reservoir

and as you can see here all of the campgrounds are at low elevation. These campgrounds have tables and fire pits Tables at the Mill Flat Campground

and toilets, Toilets

no running water, are most suited towards using a tent but I have taken a small trailer back there.

Teardrop Trailer

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.

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.

Information about the upper Kings River

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. U.S. Forest Service Rd to the Campgrounds along the Kings River in Fresno CA

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. 


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Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Lazarus Realty - Fresno, CA
Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California

Thanks Andrew,

If your ever in the area and want to go fishing - just look me up.  White Water rafting on the Kings River should start around the beginning of June. 

Mar 31, 2008 01:08 PM #1
Steven W. Monk
Exeter 1031 Exchange Services - Fresno, CA
V. P., 1031 Exchange Expert

Hi Randy, we haven't met yet, I'm from Madera and love camping.  I usually camp around Nelder Grove.  I love your rig, I'm a tent kind of guy myself.  How high up are those camp sites?   I might have to check them out.

Mar 31, 2008 05:23 PM #2
Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Lazarus Realty - Fresno, CA
Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California
Steve, uhmmm I'm thinking maybe you looked at the pics without actually reading the blog.  Please read the blog, the answer lies within.
Mar 31, 2008 06:23 PM #3

Hey Steve, I wanted to tell you that your information was exactly right on. Me and my family have been using these camp sites for a few years now. I had mixed emotions about your blog because it helped me to be able to give exact details and directions for our friends this year however I was a little sad cause I was hoping the secret wouldn't get out. :) We are planning to go up there this weekend and we hope they won't be full seeing how it's memorial day weekend and all. Anyways you where very detailed, thanks I guess. jk:)

May 19, 2008 03:56 PM #4
Scott Silva

Randy, thanks for the info. I find that spots like this tend to remain underutilized no matter if the word leaks out a little. Question: any recommendations for unpopulated camp spots higher up. We'd like to get in one more family camp this summer. Thanks, Scott.

Jul 15, 2010 02:07 PM #6

Hello, I have some questions About the campsites.

Can you drink the river water? And can you burn campfires?And is it cold at night in mid October?Is the campgrounds open all year? Is there alot of bears?Is there food storage boxes?

Thank you, Suzanne

Aug 01, 2010 01:48 PM #7
Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
Lazarus Realty - Fresno, CA
Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California


I would not drink unfiltered river water, thats not to say its undrinkable.  There are campfire pits at the campgrounds. And yes they are open year round (as far as I know).  There are no food storage boxes and I would say the bear population is not very large - but there are bears back there.  My friend saw one when he camped out there.


Aug 04, 2010 11:17 AM #8

My family owns alot of flatland past all these campsites..very beautiful

Sep 02, 2015 12:13 PM #9

Randy, would it be feasible to take a small rv out there to camp?

Sep 05, 2015 04:57 PM #10
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Randy "Lazarus" McAtee

Owner/Broker, Lazarus Realty, Fresno California
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