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“rangers are rude!!”
Review of Dorst Campground

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Dorst Campground
Reviewed August 30, 2008

The campground is nice, but when we were at our site last weekend. A macho ranger screamed at me because I did not respond to him quickly. There were other campers all around us
and I did not know that he was speaking to us at first. He was about 30 ft from everyone shouting from his truck, and screamed out "respond when I am speaking to you!!!" He had no reason to scream, my husband that was with me is a retired firefighter and we are well aware of fire safety. Anyways, it was a 8 hr trip and that ruined our vacation.

Stayed: August 2008
3  Thank blueishfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 - 71 of 73 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2008

Dorst Campground was surprisingly great. Don't let weather reports fool you (most websites stated the temperature at the base of the mountain range, which is in the 100's F during the day), but at Dorst it was 25 degrees cooler.
You are in good proximity to several of Sequoia National Park's Sites, like Crystal Cave or the Giant Forest, plus there are several hiking trail heads directly from the campground. One thing to note, if you want to visit Crystal Cave, go early--on the weekends, mid-day and evening visits are booked up with groups as big as 50, and with all large groups of tourists, it's very annoying.
We saw a lot of wildlife on the way into the park and while staying at our campsite. The rangers are very strict and lecture everyone entering the campground about bears and mountain lions. Contrary to IsgCalifornia's claim that they did not do enough to protect campers, I personally saw them touring the entire grounds hourly, sometimes every 30 minutes. They would scold and cite campers that were lazy and left food out or left their bear boxes open. I think they did a good job, considering they had to deal with annoying novice campers.
There was a lot of wildlife (deer, bears, etc) near the campgrounds, but if you store your food in the locker, they will not bug you. IsgCalifornia over-exaggerated the danger, and it's safe for young children. The bears seemed more afraid of the campers than you'd expect. Follow the rangers advice and don't leave anything in your car or tent. It's pretty simple.
The elevation of the site is over 6000 feet, so be prepared for a lot less oxygen. You can feel a bit out of breath occasionally. Also, if you want to see something interesting, buy a bag of potato chips (prior to ascending the mountain), do not open it and leave it on your dash.
Some downsides: Like most campsites that provide water and flush toilets, the clientèle is comprised of mostly (about 60%) of weekend-campers that have little regard for their neighbors. It wasn't uncommon to hear a car alarm booming, radio blasting, generator growling, or offensive drunken conversation from your neighbors. It would be nice if they reserved a portion of the campground to be "quiet;" i.e. no radio, no generators, no loud discussions.
Also, the sites are only a few dozen feet apart, so you feel a bit like sardines. There is no under-growth, so a camper can see everyone else's site.

Other than that, I'd recommend Dorst.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank genscripter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2008

My friend and I stayed at Dorst campground in Sequoia National Park recently (in 7/08). Between the two of us, we have 4 children, ranging in ages from 7 to 10. While the campground is beautiful and convienent (halfway between Lodgepole and Grant's Grove) we had bears in our campsite each night, even though we stored our food and other provisions in the bear proof lockers. We followed the rules and didn't leave out our food and trash, but campers in other campsites did not follow the rules, so we had bears coming through our campsite to access the messy ones. I don't feel the rangers at Dorst did enough to enforce the campground rules, and let some campers get away with repeatedly breaking them, which put everyone camping at Dorst in danger from the bears. In my opinion, some of the campers should have been asked to leave after repeatedly breaking the rules regarding storing their trash and food items. Also, not mentioned in the National Park website, there is a mountain lion that is currently making it's home in or near the Dorst campground. Along with the 10 minute bear talk, we were also informed about the mountain lion when we checked in at the ranger station at Dorst. The mountain lion was spotted every day while we were staying at Dorst. We were warned to keep our children very close, not to let them go exploring near our campsite because of this mountain lion. The bears in our campsite each and every night were unsettling enough. The mountain lion was just too much. We had a reservation for 4 nights, but left one day early because of the problems with the wildlife. I would definitely visit Sequioa again with my children, but I would not camp there -- the bears have learned that humans are a source of easy food and is just not safe to camp there any longer. I should mention that I have camped extensively, including camping in Sequioa many years ago, when bears were not such a big problem. The bear problem is so bad now that it really ruins the experience.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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15  Thank lsgCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2008

I really enjoyed Dorst Campground. We stayed at site 156. It was really huge. We had an RV and two tents. The spot was near an embankment that went down to a small creek. One of the guys we went with went fishing in the creek and caught some small fish. There was not a whole lot of shade during the day, but some closer near the trees. The first morning we were there deer wandered through our campsite! Check out the campground map, and you will be able to pick out a great campsite. Some of them are really close together. 160 looked nice too, it would be big enough for a tent and car, but not much else.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank red-headtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2007

My family and I stayed at Dorst for three days and we had absolutely no complaints. It was great all the way through. There are a few creeks and hiking trails and there isn't a dull sight around, everywhere you look it's absolutely gorgeous. When you get there the rangers give you a good ten min bear safety talk becasue Dorst does have many black bears. We did see one bear just outside of our camp at about eleven p.m. but as soon as we made a noise the bear took off. Just take care of your things and follow the rules and you won't have a problem. I highly reccomend this camp, i've been there twice and it's easily one of my favorite camp sites i've ever been too. Great people, great wilderness, great camping!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank eyeamjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
la verne, california
179
Reviewed December 19, 2003

Dorst Creek, Sequoia is the place to go if you're looking for peace and quiet. The sites are pleasant with many trees. Wildlife is abundant with lots of deer, and of course, it wouldn't be real camping if you don't come across your typical, sweet-toothed California bear once in a while. If this happens, just bang some pots and pans and yell LOUD! The park rangers are there in no time to chase the bear back into the woods. Don't be afraid...Remember, we're hangin' on their territory.
Besides, they're just a little hungry (for food that is - not people).
Just remember to keep your food locked in the metal bear boxes. The only thing is, if you want to shower, you have to take a 20 minute drive to Lodgepole campground. But, the scenery on the drive is absolutely breath-taking that I didn't even care! I would rather stay at the calming & relaxing Dorst Creek than at the very congested Lodgepole any time. Sincerely, A Very Happy Camper

79  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Dinuba Ca
1106
Reviewed March 4, 2003

If youre going to Sequoia Park, skip Lodgepole and stay at Dorst Creek instead. Campgrounds are generally larger with more space between campers. The creek isnt much but it makes up for it with wildlife. On any given weekend here, you should spot deer which will wander through cmapground in morning hours, bear, marmot, and a host of birds, squirrels and other creatures. This is my favorite cmapground in the parks and a soothing balm to the soul.

106  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dorst Campground

Address: Seven-and-a-half miles northwest of Lodgepole Visitor Center, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dorst Campground has 204 campsites. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dorst Campground Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park

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