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“Needs better management.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Azalea Campground

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Azalea Campground
Grant Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
N. Ft. Myers, FL
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Needs better management.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We stayed in site 1 from 6/31 to 7/6 2013. Our site was fabulous. Although it is close to the entrance to the campground and the road that leads to Grant tree it was surprisingly quiet. It is a large site with decent elevation in case it rains. We had a doe visit us two times while we were camping and she didn't seem to mind us. It is close to the bathrooms, has a water spigot and it's own bear box.

When we first arrived the campground had many open spaces. We were actually surprised how empty it was. I thought being the week of July 4th it would be a mad dash to get any kind of a site. As the week went on it was a different story. It seemed every rule was being broken and no one of authority enforced them. The 6 people to a site and 2 tents was a joke. My husband and I took a walk around the entire campground and found 6+ areas that included multiple sites that large groups had occupied with lots of tents. A 3 site area had 8 tents (not an exaggeration). Even in the middle of the night (3am) you could expect to wait to use the bathroom. The number of people in each site was not enforced. It was miserable with that many people. The bathrooms would run out of toilet paper and get filthy and the dishes sink was always in use and disgusting.

Our family learned how to camp among bears last year and we are very careful to follow the rules of nothing scented in the tent, no food left out, no doing dishes or washing things in our site. That did not seem to be the practice of everyone else in the campground though. I watched our neighbors washing dishes in their site and dump the soap water in the fire ring. 75% of sites had their bear boxes open and/or food items, etc. laying all over their site. I watched the rangers and the "bear patrol" drive through and say nothing to these campers. I was so disappointed to hear that a young bear wandered into camp and was said to not be afraid of people. While we were there an adult bear was seen just outside of the campground too. I realize holidays bring out the weekend warrior type camper. Had the camp host or the rangers handed out a few fines, word would have spread and everyone would have been more diligent about following the rules. It's not just about human safety, it's about protecting the wildlife!

Quiet time was a joke. You could hear partying every night at 2-3am. We had a large group (about 20+) looking at the site next to us and I quickly went to registration to pay for it to be empty. The number of people per site was WAY more than 6!

An rv was parked in the "tent only" section. A ranger visited them and they did pull out the next day but were allowed to stay overnight.

I believe there is only one campground host and they were located in the upper section near the registration station. This campground is spread out and needs a host in each section.

This campground is close to Grant Village and centrally located within the park.

If it weren't for the holiday camper twits, this would have been a great campground! Better management is definitely a must here.

Room Tip: Try to avoid 4th of July!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Grand Terrace, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

DH and I decided to go to Sequoia/Kings Canyon over the Fourth of July weekend. Since we've never been there we were worried about getting a first-come / first-served site so we went up early Wednesday the third. We arrived about 9:30am and had lots of sites to choose from although we were a bit limited due to the size of our tent (10' X 16'). We picked out site 58 and it is great! Very large and private with nobody behind us and way off the road. The first night there was nobody in the site right in front of us (site 56, I think, which is rather small and right on the road) which was ideal. But even with people in that site it was far enough away that it didn't really bother us. The only downside to this site is it is really far from the bathrooms.

Speaking of the bathrooms...as others have noted, there is only cold water and no hand soap. Two stalls in the woman's and one stall and a urinal in the men's. Showers are across the road at Grant. The showers are $1.00 for three minutes (quarters only). On the busy weekend there was usually a line. They are advertised as available from 9am - 4pm but we were able to go much later than 4pm. The showers were cold if multiple people were using them and there is no way to adjust the temperature.

Other reviewers have said that you must have exact cash to pay as they don't take credit cards. This is NOT true. Once you pick your site you fill out a little envelope and you have the option of putting cash or check inside ($18 per night) or filling out your credit card info and dropping it in the drop box.

The campgrounds are about 30ish miles from Kings Canyon in one direction and the same distance to General Sherman's Tree, Moro Rock, Big Tree Trail and Crescent Meadow in the other direction. Allow a good hour to drive the beautiful, windy roads and allow more time for stops along the way.

We are already counting the days until we can go again and will definitely stay in Azalea and hopefully get site 58 again. In fact, the day before we left an older gentleman with an Airstream asked us if he could have the spot when we left. He and his wife have been coming here every year for over 20 years and they always try to get #58. Of course they have an advantage of having their own bathroom!

Oh, one final tip: on the fourth the campgrounds were full and stayed that way until the fifth. However, even when people started leaving the Full sign stayed up quite a long time afterwards so I would say don't see the full sign and believe it. It is probably worth it to drive through and check for yourself if it really is full. That same couple that wanted our site said the same thing...never believe the full sign.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We tent camped 3 nights at Azalea. We had site 58 which was very large, but was far from the bathrooms. We had our pick from several sites since the campground was not very crowded. You can't make reservations it is first come first serve and you just put your money in an envelope and drop it in a box at the campground. You will need exact cash($18 per night) or you can write a check. You do have to drive over to Grant Grove to get a shower. They tell you the shower hours are from 11 am - 4 pm but you can go whenever you want. The shower is $1 for 3 minutes, my water was never hot but it wasn't cold either. The campground is at a great locaation for easy access to Kings Canyon or Sequoia.

Room Tip: Sites 60 & 65 looked to be the best in the campground but they were already taken.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Our trip was a quick getaway for a birthday in April 2013. We arrived Friday late afternoon. The spots we wanted were already occupied and a section of the campsite was closed. But, after a few rounds and a few "discussions", we found a perfect spot. Site 65. It sits on a hill, but there are leveled out sections that were perfect for our tents. Lots of privacy since there is only one neighboring site. Our neighboring site, Site 64, was very spacious and had a beautiful view. Plenty of trees that provided plenty of shade during the day.

First come first serve. No showers, but they are a walk/drive away (though they were not open when we went). Fire pit, picnic bench, and bear box at each site. Fill up your tank before you drive in...gas is cheaper in the surrounding towns which is about an hour away. Campsite pay station dropbox takes cash only. Campsite is in the National Park, so there is an entrance fee of $20/car. The entrance ticket is valid for 7 days and must be shown upon exit.

We loved this campsite and will be coming back...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights at the end of May 2013. We arrived on Friday around noon on May 24th and stayed until Monday the 27th. It was $18 per night. Make sure to bring the correct amount of CASH because you cannot pay for this campsite with a credit card like some others. Also, note that some guidebooks (Fodor's) state that Azalea has showers. This is NOT true - as I discovered after driving around the campground and asking around like an idiot! There are showers in the nearby Grant Grove village area, but they are ONLY open to the public from 11am-4pm which didn't work for me. One night we drove down to Stony Creek (25 minutes away) to use their showers (hours 8am-8pm) $4 for 10 minutes.

My husband and I set up our tent in between three trees which was quite lovely. We stayed in site #95 near the meadow which was really pretty! The meadow has a shallow pool of water (as all the meadows in the parks do) so it's not great to play in, although I saw some college-aged kids throwing a football around in the meadow. I wouldn't encourage adults or children to play in the meadow because, although their are no signs, meadows are delicate environments which shouldn't be disturbed - also you never know what animals lurk within.

The park rangers were not very attentive to the campground, as compared to Potwisha where we stayed our first night. At Azalea, I didn't see a ranger on the way in and only saw them once or twice driving around in their vehicle. This is in contrast to Potwisha where the ranger made rounds on foot twice daily.

It was COLD when I was there in May - 42 degrees in the mornings. The water in the bathrooms is NOT warm - it was freezing! BRRR. They did have a sink to wash dishes in.

In terms of neighbors - we had some loud college-aged kids on one side and some screaming children on the other but people seemed to go to bed early so there were no quiet hour violations. Also the campsites were far enough away from one another that it wasn't very disruptive.

Overall recommended. I had a nice stay :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canandaigua
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 3 nights and were ecstatic with the location. No one was here! After the crowded campsites in Yosemite, we couldn't believe our good luck. First, let me say that this campground is for both RV's and tents. The website wasn't clear. Also, we tried to make reservations by phone and by Internet, but were unable to because our arrival date was within 2 days of our attempt. We decided to take our chances and found there were many sites open, only about 25% were occupied (keep in mind that this was mid-week, last week in April). The sites were first come, first serve, and self registered but this may not be the case during peak season. Check ahead. As stated, we were thrilled with the privacy, the large sites, and the solitude that we had been hoping for. Another writer said that site 60 was the campsite against which future sites would be measured, and they were right, although this site is for tents only. Someone was happily occupying this magnificent site with a sign that read, 'Zen Tent'. The last input I have is that there were no showers open at this time of year. Also no gas in the park except at Hume Lake and this is quite a drive although lake and hike around it are nice. Gas here is pricey at $5 per gallon and it cost us $122 to fill up.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Mar, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Fretting that most of the campsites would be closed this time of year, we decided to drive the long way up from San Diego, bypass the 198 and go to the 180 and get a campsite at Azalea (as per the ranger that picked up the phone at the visitor center's suggestion.) I have to say I prefer Azalea now. It is much more secluded, sites are farther away from each other than at Lodgepole and the feeling of "being in the wilderness" is much more here. We arrived Friday at 8pm at night in the dense fog so we had a bit of trouble driving through Azalea and determining which site to pick and which was available. We found site 38 and we chose it because it was as far off the driving path as we could find. When we woke up, it was really fantastic with a view down the canyon. Close enough to walk to the bathrooms but very private. I didn't hear a car drive "the loop" looking for sites all weekend. Even though Dorth was closed, we walked down to the campsite and took pictures of the sites here we want for next summer. Dorth or Azalea in my mind is the way to go if you want the feel of being in the woods without all the other campers. :)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Azalea Campground

Address: Grant Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Specialty lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A scenic campground surrounded by sequoia trees and good hiking trails. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Azalea Campground Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park

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