Camp 3 Campground

Kern River - Sequoia National Forest


Kern River at Headquarters Campground


Camp 3 Campground, Kern River, CA

Camp 3 Campground

Lake Isabella
Attractions and Activities

While Lake Isabella attracts visitors from far and wide, upstream of the lake the Kern River flows through a winding canyon. Visitors at Camp 3 Campground are along the Kern River not far from Kernville.

  • Enjoy fishing in the Kern River.
  • At Lake Isabella try waterskiing and wakeboarding.
  • You can rent a boat from one of the lake's two marinas, or launch your own.
  • Anglers at the lake fish for bass, rainbow and brown trout, crappie, kokanee salmon, and catfish.
  • Stop by the Kern Valley Museum.
  • Sign up for a white-water rafting trip on the Kern River.
  • Get in a round of golf at the Kern Valley Golf Course.
  • Explore Silver City Ghost Town.
  • Visit the Kern River Fish Hatchery.

Key Camp 3 Campground Regulations

  1. No ATVs or OHVs are permitted anywhere around Lake Isabella or in Kern River campground.
  2. Water may still be in short supply after California's drought.
  3. Campfires must be at least 25 feet from the water's edge.

Camp 3 Campground

Camp 3 Campground is located along the Kern River in the Sequoia National Forest, 4½ miles upstream from Kernville. The campground is 9 miles from Lake Isabella. Visitors to the campground enjoy fishing and whitewater rafting in the Kern River. Swimming in the river is very dangerous because of strong currents. Nearby Lake Isabella has boating, waterskiing, windsurfing, and fishing. The Kern River canyon can be quite hot in the summer.

Camp 3 Campground has 52 campsites. One campsite is a walk-in tent site. The remainder can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. Campsites have some shade. Boulders of various sizes are spread about the campground. Many campsites are close to the river. Camp 3 Campground also has a Group Campsite.

Camp 3 Campground Basics
Camp 3 Campground Location: Sierra Way/Mountain 99, 4½ miles north of Kernville
Elevation: 2,800 feet
Mileage from Gateway City: Bakersfield - 55 miles
Number of Sites: 52
Open - Closed: May - September
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: On leash, always attended
Campground Information: (760) 376-1815
Kern River Ranger District: (760) 379-5646

Reservations at Camp 3 Campground
Reservations available: whenever campground is open
Booking Window: Reservations can be made from 3 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 30 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $25 per night ($27 on holiday weekends)
Reservations: Camp 3 Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out Noon

Camp 3 Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring with grill; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Campground Map: Camp 3 Campground Map
Dump station: No
Attractions near Camp 3 Campground: Head out from Cannell Meadow National Recreation Trailhead. Enjoy the Kern River at Riverkern Beach Picnic Area. Head down to Lake Isabella for fishing and boating. Visit the North Fork Marina with store and boat rentals. Try mountain biking or hiking. Tour the Lake Isabella Visitor Center. Drive north to the Trail of 100 Giants, an accessible walk through Long Meadow Grove of Giant Sequoias.

General Camping Information for
Sequoia National Forest

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, firewood should be obtained locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

Camp 3 Group Campground, Kern River, CA

Camp 3 Group Campsite #3

Camp 3 Group Campsites

Camp 3 Campground has 3 group campsites which can accommodate up to 30 people and 5 vehicles. (The reservatiion website only shows 1 group campsite, so it may be worth a call to be sure you get the site you want. Kern River Ranger District: (760) 379-5646)) The campsites have picnic tables, a fire ring, vault toilets, and piped water. Shade is limited. Campsite #3, shown above, has new tables and fire rings, but is next to the highway. The other two sites are closer to the river. The group sites are open mid-May through mid-September. Reservations can be made from 3 days up to 12 months in advance of arrival date.
Fees: $105 per night
Reservations: Camp 3 Group Campsite Reservations

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