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Attention: Due to severe drought conditions that there will be no showers and that the number of faucets are being reduced. That there is to be NO BATHING OR DISH WASHING AT FAUCETS. FILL A POT AND WASH DISHES AT YOUR OWN SITE.
Attention: During December 2014 and January 2015, there will be no water available at Headquarters Campground. Visitors must bring their own water. Portable restrooms will be provided during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

HEADQUARTERS, CA

part ofSequoia National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: HEADQUARTERS
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

Overview

Headquarters Campground is situated along the Kern River, 6 miles north of the town of Kernville. Hiking, fishing, kayaking and rafting are popular activities.

Natural Features:

The campground sits within Sequoia National Forest at an elevation of 2,800 feet in an open area overlooking the Kern Wild and Scenic River. Some sites overlook the river and lie in the shade of oak, juniper and cottonwood trees. Sites sitting further from the river are more open and have little to no shade.

Sequoia National Forest, located at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada in central California, is named for the giant sequoia, the world's largest tree, which grows in more than 30 groves on the forest's lower slopes.

The forest comprises about 1.1 million acres. Elevations range from about 1,000 to 12,000 feet, creating precipitous canyons and mountain streams with spectacular waterfalls such as Salmon Creek Falls and Grizzly Falls.

Recreation:

Hiking, fishing, kayaking and rafting are popular activities in the Upper Kern River area. Click here to learn more about the area, including safety and permitting requirements and a listing of local outfitters.

Facilities:

Headquarters Campground offers a mix of standard, RV and tent-only sites. Picnic tables and campfire rings are provided, as are vault toilets and drinking water.

Nearby Attractions:

The Cannell Meadow National Recreation Trail begins just north of Kernville. The trail stretches 11.5 miles as it climbs through mixed pine and fir forest to Cannell Meadow and a historic Forest Service cabin built between 1904 and 1909. Hikers are awarded beautiful views of the Kern River Valley along the trip.

Visitors enjoy making day trips to Sequoia National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Host
  • Pets Allowed
  • Vault Toilets
  • Water
Within 10 Miles
  • Rafting
Know Before You Go
  • Six people per site including children
  • Additional $2/day fee charged for stays on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends
  • In accordance with standard industry practices, Sequoia Recreation will be assessing a $ 7 additional vehicle fee on the 'second vehicle' in each single family campsite, and on the 'third and fourth vehicle' in any double family campsite, provided these vehicles are not joined to the first vehicle by a hitch and towed onto the site. In the case of motorcycles, the first two are considered to be one vehicle and the third and fourth are also considered to be one vehicle. No additional vehicle fees are collected for bicycles.
  • No hookups or showers available
  • Swimming in the river is not recommended due to strong currents
  • No off-road vehicle use allowed in the campground


Due to the spread of invasive insects, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Help protect our forests by purchasing or collecting firewood at or near your camping destination and burning it on-site. Click here for more information.

This facility is operated by Sequoia Recreation, a division of California Land Management and comments are welcome; comment forms are available from campground hosts or online.
  • Fire restrictions may be imposed at any time due to hot, dry weather conditions, at which time campfires and charcoal fires may not be allowed. For current fire conditions or weather closures contact the Kern River Ranger District (760) 376-3781.
    • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.

    Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    35.79583, -118.45111
    35°47'45"N, 118°27'4"W

    From Bakersfield, take Highway 178 East to Lake Isabella. From Lake Isabella, take Highway 155 around the west side of the lake to the town of Kernville. From Kernville, go 4 miles north on Sierra Way (Mountain 99) to the campground.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    HEADQUARTERS
    PO BOX 1640
    KERNVILLE CA 93238

    Phone Number:

    Information: (760)376-1815
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    Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
    Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

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