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Camping Off Beaten Path-High Sierra-Free

Free and Near Fresno Camping-slide0
Lucinda Roth

We know the typical hiking trails and jogging trails in Fresno area. However there are options to really get off the beaten path and explore where many do not. One such option is to go hiking is the High Sierra on Kaiser Pass Road. This is out of this world in that unlike many Fresno area site there are very few hikers or even people there. The area also has camping areas.

Avoid Fresno Crowds
Avoid Fresno Crowds
Lucinda Roth

The amazing this is that typically you can go camping and hiking for free, unlike the condition in other parts. The hiking area is manager by the High Sierra Ranger District which can be contacted by calling five five nine eight five five five three five five. There are no reservations available for the free camping options, instead it is first come first serve. Luckily there are very few people who ever come to this hiking area so you typically can get one of the free sites. The free sites are the dispersed camping sites which have no restrooms and no showers and absolutely no amenities. However you can pay for showers or a mineral bath if your would like at the resort. However since you are camping and hiking it may not be worth it. As a backup plan you can go camping in the campgrounds or stay at the resort. Unfortunately these areas do charge, unlike the dispersed site.

The benefit of the paid areas is facilities. The resort has flush toilets. The campgrounds have vault toilets. The free sites are bring your own and pack it out. Also the paid areas do have showers. Regardless of which one option you choose the parking is unlimited and free for the dispersed site. There may be permits elsewhere. Something to think about is that although the dispersed sites are free they do require a campfire permit if you desire a campfire. This can add cost.

The amenities in the area are three camp stores and a couple restaurants, although there is no gas so you definitely want to fuel up well before going. It is typically year round except when snow makes driving dangerous.

This free area is located at the end of kaiser pass Road just past Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake. It is about 2 hours from east Fresno. A good car is needed because the road is thin, poorly maintained in spots, and in spots it is one lane despite cars driving both ways which requires very very careful driving to make sure you do not crash. However the drive is out of this world beautiful and the area is about 20 degrees cooler than Fresno most times which makes for a great reason to go in the summer.