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“Great Campground”

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Hungry Gulch Campground
Reviewed September 7, 2011

We went to Lake Isabella & Kern River over Labor Day weekend. I made reservations for Hungry Gulch Campground, and loved it there. I emailed two other trip advisors based on their helpful reviews to ask what campsite they loved so much.... both wrote back saying Site #30. I agreed, it was the most private! Though, we ended up choosing Site #72 because it had more shade, and huge boulders for our kids to play on. Our fire pit was surrounded by these boulders so it felt very private, too. There was a water spout in our site and the bathroom with shower was very close to Site #72. I never had to wait for a shower, no lines, the camp hosts explained that being in the back it doesn't get as busy as the shower in the front.....and this was a holiday weekend. Showers were $1.25 for 10 minutes or $.50 for just 4 minutes. One surprise was that there was no bear lockers. They don't have a bear problem I understood, but I was expecting to have one to store my food....the squirrel got my hot dog buns within 5 minutes of arriving - haha. Huge compliment to the camp hosts, they were very friendly and helpful with tips or suggestions. Julia and Bob helped to make our trip that much better. FYI: Both French Gulch Marina and North Fork Marina were very close driving distance if you wanted to rent a boat/jet skis. We did - it was so much fun! Great 5 days spent there. Will definitely go back there again!

Room Tip: Site #30 or Site #72!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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11  Thank M3LODI3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 11 of 12 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2011

OK OK - so honestly have to admit that having done many years of traveling I have actually never camped...you know outside, in a tent, on the ground, only a sleeping bag and the supplies you remembered to pack...so when my boyfriend pressured me into going camping with him (basically a "test"), I agreed with a few requirements. The most important being it had to have a "working" bathroom and shower in a pleasant livable environment.
After many hours searching around California state parks sites, he found this location "Hungry Gulch" and since it was free during our weekend in July, he booked it. So glad he did. Right off the bat, we met the great Camp Hosts (I have their names written down somewhere :() who told us to go scope out the sites and pick one, so we did, and they were just a great pleasant laid back couple. We did a little searching and found the perfect spot - up on the hill - almost the farthest back in the camp you can go and secluded from most of the other sites - it had a great working pit, picnic table, nice clear spot with two trees that help create a great little camp site for myself and my BF. Our camp host informed us later that afternoon that we had chosen the site they had termed "honeymooners" which sounded perfect to me as we just wanted a nice quiet weekend.
Few Bad things to note - farther from most bathrooms then most sites but not a big deal - there was a large family there that weekend who stayed up to 2am making noise (I slept thru it but my BF had a hard time) - not alot of trees for shade so this site got a little hot in the mid-day.
Great Things to Note - HOT showers that felt great, clean bathrooms, newly painted bathrooms, great camp hosts (as I said already), quiet private location that was separated from most other sites.
My boyfriend and I drove around the entire lake and looked at most of the other camping sites in Lake Isabella, we both agreed Hungry Gulch was the best campground with the best facilities - I would definitely go camping again if I got lucky with another one like this.

Room Tip: The earlier you get there the better chance to pick a good spot.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank tcfiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2010

The campground was spacious, enough space between each site. Some shade during the day, beautifully nestled among the mountains. Nice hike starting at the campsite. We had one night with noisy neighbors but the rest of the time was quiet where we were. Big families with music but never after hours. The bathrooms/showers left a lot to be desired, though, with cobwebs and critters, toilet paper on the floor and a very old and decrepit shower that could not be turned off when there was still money left in the machine. Trashcan that attracts rodents as door opener! The easy access to the lake through Boulder gulch was a definite plus though. Nothing for sale on campsite, the nearest store is about 1 mile down the road. All in all it was a great trip, everyone had a great time!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank c1domrep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

This was our first camping trip of the year so we were really looking forward to it. The campground was packed, there was no privacy at all and people next to us had a generator going the entire day and night. They had an inflatable bouncy castle, an inflatable huge projector screen where they played movies the entire night and rock concert speakers so the entire campground had to listen to their music. Their dog was barking the entire night and when we asked the camp hosts to do something about it they did absolutely NOTHING. Despite all of this, we had a nice time at the lake Isabella. However, we would never go back to this campground.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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6  Thank TRAV1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

We definitely lucked out when we decided to camp here for memorial day weekend. Hungry Gulch turned out to be one of the best camp sites that we have ever been too. It smelled amazing and it was clean. We got the most incredible site, secluded from all other campers. It was higher then the other sites, which gave us breath taking views and our site seemed larger than most of other sites. If you walk closer towards the entrace of the park, you can find a fantastic view of Lake Isabella.

I posted 7 Pictures of hungry gulch, including our site, views from our site, views of lake isabella, and the kern river

The bathrooms were decent, but there always seemed to be crowds of girls waiting in line to take showers; at least 9 girls standing there every single time I went to the bathroom, which was annoying. There were HUGE spiders in the corners of the stalls, but the rangers came by and killed them each day, which was good.

The sites themselves were great. There were scattered pine trees all over, flat surfaces, with great views of the mountains, and a ton of blue jays.

Overall our experience was excellent. We will be coming back for sure.

Best of all the Kern river was close by, and we were able to hike to some amazing spots and cool off in the water.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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5  Thank Jewhoodlum18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

The campground itself is really good. Very clean. The sites are good size and the campground itself has a lot of space so if it is not a busy weekend you can have some privacy. The bathrooms were campground bathrooms but better than a lot I have seen. The hot water never ran out and we never had to wait in line. There were little critters in the bathrooms (scorpions) so I wouldn't let the kids in alone. The caretaker allowed us to pick our spot and then came around to check us in. Not sure if that is typical but according to website it didn't seem to be so. There are spots along the road that will be noisy early am. We didn't realize that the road is a pretty major secondary highway. Nearby town has Vons, Rite Aid, various fast food places. In the other direction is Kernville with smaller grocery store and much more pictureseque town. The Kern River is beautiful and there are also campgrounds that follow the river. Those seem pretty popular but don't have bathrooms (portapotties & bring your own shower). To get to the Trail of One Hundred Giants it is about 45 minutes from Hungry Gulch. Well worth the drive. Lake Isabella is a good place to cool off with lots of inlets/beaches to choose from. You can drive into most and park beachside. The fish were biting and the kids had a blast. Not sure how clean the lake is though.
All in all it was a great weekend. Hungry Gulch is a great campground for families. Just be sure that you are aware of the locals--rattlesnakes and Mtn. Lions. Luckily, we just missed Mama Mtn. Lion (she was sniffing around 2 days prior) and with 2 families with young children we must be pretty loud because we never saw a snake either. Whew!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank Mamas_got_to_getaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Lancaster, Ca
157
Reviewed August 25, 2003

Lake Isabella, Ca nestled in the southern part of the Sequoia National Forest is an awsome beauty to partake. The outstanding views from any where on or around the lake and the Kern River are so breathtaking! The State campgrounds there are so accomodating! Hungry Gulch was the BEST! Hot water showers close by and I've Never been to a campground where the bathrooms were so clean! On top of that we didn't even have reservations but we were able to pick not just one but two great tenting sites. There were plenty of trees and shade and peace and quiet. There's grocery stores and gas stations.....even motels available all within 5 miles in either direction. This entire region is such a vacation paradise if you love the great outdoors....boating..(rentals available) plenty of campgrounds to choose from and lots of great spots to drive down by the water side to......!!! Hungry Gulch closes on Sept 15th but there's a few more campgrounds just up the road that stay open later in the year and year round! Totally awesome! Our party of 12 enjoyed all three nights we stayed!

57  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 Hungry Gulch Campground

Address: Sequoia National Forest, Lake Isabella, CA
Location: United States > California > Lake Isabella
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Lake Isabella
Number of rooms: 70
Also Known As:
Hungry Gulch Campground Hotel Lake Isabella

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