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

Lake Isabella attracts visitors from far and wide to its broad, sparkling waters and to the recreation available in the area.

Key Campground Regulations

  1. Water is in short supply during California's drought.
  2. Fire permits: Campfire permits required for campfires, barbecues, and camp stoves.

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. The campground also has a Group Campsite.

Campground Basics
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 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
Nearby attractions: Cannell Meadow National Recreation Trailhead, Kern River, Riverkern Beach Picnic Area, Lake Isabella for fishing and boating, North Fork Marina with store and boat rentals; mountain biking, hiking, Lake Isabella Visitor Center, Trail of 100 Giants is 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 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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