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Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

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Miami, Florida
posts: 3
Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

I will be traveling in a 19 foot RV from LA to Lodgepole. It's a compact RV, but I am a bit worried about maneuvering the general's hwy from 198. I know the length restriction during construction is 22ft, so I am within the restriction guidelines. Wondering if I should drive all the way to 180, near Fresno, and enter through there. Any recommendations? Also, does anyone know what the approx. distance and driving times are for each of those routes?

Monterey, California
posts: 1,028
reviews: 22
1. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground


News regarding road construction and delays on 198.

Though its a shorter distance to Lodgepole via 198 I wouldn't do it in an RV of any length.

I80 is a much easier entrance and gradual climb up to Grant's Grove of Kings Canyon National Park and then the General's Hwy to Lodgepole would take about 45 minutes at the most.

Miami, Florida
posts: 3
2. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

Thank you for your reply. We are now seriously considering driving the extra distance North in order to enter via 180. We would also like to go to crystal cave, but haven't been able to find a shuttle which goes there. That section of the generals hwy seems a bit easier to maneuver than the entrance at 198. Any thoughts/suggestions?

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 34,328
reviews: 738
3. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

A 19 foot Class B motorhome is actually *shorter* than a full length crew cab pickup and it's just a foot or two longer than a full size SUV.

You'll be just *fine* whichever road you choose. Felicia.

When people see the word "RV" they think "big box" if they aren't familiar with motorhomes!

Your van will drive just like a larger SUV and you can easily go everywhere the big motorhomes cannot. Have fun :-)

Edited: 6:39 pm, May 27, 2012
Ventura, California
posts: 68
reviews: 3
4. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

Just my two cents....I drove up the 198 in a Nissan 350Z a couple years back and loved it (literally tossed my cookies). It was a blast in a sports car because there are quite a few hairpin turns. However, it may not be any fun at all for passengers that are constantly rolling around in the back of your RV. I also own a 32 foot RV and would never take it through there, but I have no doubt that it can definitely be done safely in a 19 foot "RV". Would I recommend it? Sure, if you are comfortable with your equipment, but also take into consideration that the length is not the only factor. The weight and how the suspension reacts to that weight and its distribution will probably be a bit interesting on the 198. Those curves just didn't ever seem to stop coming.

Ventura, California
posts: 68
reviews: 3
5. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

One other thing...While the distance on the 198 may be shorter, you will be travelling between 10 mph (on hairpins) and 25 mph once you enter the park's winding roads. Going north to 180 and then across, you will be traveling at freeway, then higway speeds most of the way. Approaching Lodgepole from the 180 entrance, you will find that the roads are much less curvy and may even have a higher speed limit as well.

Sequoia National...
posts: 463
6. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

I've never driven an RV before, but having made the trip up 198 many times, I second the advice to use 180. Technically the drive up 198 can be done in a 19 foot long vehicle. When I was a kid my family drove a Chevy Suburban that was just over 18 feet long and we managed to make it, but I never envied my father driving us up 198 in that beast.

Another thing to take into consideration is the construction zone larryjohn mentioned just below Giant Forest as you're coming up 198. Depending on the day and time you go through that area, you could be delayed anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, and from Sunday through Thursday it closes down completely from 9pm to 6am with only one chance to pass through at 11:30pm.

If it was me I would take 180 just for the sake of making the trip easier, and as the last poster remarked, it might even be faster in the long run.

Miami, Florida
posts: 3
7. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions. I have already returned from the trip. I ended up taking the 198 route. The maneuvering was fine, and I actually enjoyed driving it very much. However, my husband was a bit nervous during the drive. Also, my son is a bit prone to motion sickness, and I had to move him to the front seat, so he would feel better. The scenery was gorgeous, even though it was starting to get dark. Unfortunately, we just missed the 9pm pass through and had to wait until 11:30 for the nightly pass through. It really didn't make much of a difference to us, as we used the time to stretch out our legs in a parking lot, and then we situated our stuff in the RV. We new we would get to Lodgepole at night, we just got there a bit later. Lodgepole was terrific, I wish I had allotted more time to staying there!!!

Sequoia National...
posts: 463
8. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

Thanks for letting us know you made it ok! Sorry about the construction delay, but I'm glad to hear it didn't ruin your trip.

9. Re: Best driving route to Lodgepole campground

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