Onion Valley Campground
Onion Valley Campground is at the end of Onion Valley Road in the Inyo National Forest, 14 miles west of Independence. Many who choose Onion Valley Campground enjoy photography, fishing, and simply soaking in the magnificent scenery.
Onion Valley Campground has 30 campsites. Most of the sites have good privacy and shade from trees. Nearly every site has wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. Two campsites are designated for tents-only and another 7 are walk-in campsites. The remainder can accommodate small RVs, tent trailers, and tents. Large vehicles are not recommended. Most sites can be reserved ahead of time. Some are designated as Management, which means that the reservation is not site-specific. For those reservations, a specific campsite will be assigned upon arrival. Other campsites are available for site-specific reservations.
With the main trailhead only yards from the campground, it is popular with those planning to hike into the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park. After hiking a little more than a mile, visitors begin to pass a series of scenic lakes such Gilbert Lake (shown above). The trail continues over 11,800-foot Kearsarge Pass into Kings Canyon National Park, connecting with the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Thru hikers on those trails often make the 7.6-mile hike out from the trail over Kearsarge Pass to pick up supplies in nearby Independence. (Use the PCT button to find information about the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail at Onion Valley Campground.)
General Camping Information
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite. Purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading pests.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.
Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail Information
The two trails are essentially one and the same through Kings Canyon National Park. The Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass trail meets the PCT/JMT just north of the Charlotte Lake trail junction.
Trail Miles Northbound from PCT/JMT Trail Junction
- Glen Pass - 2 miles
- Rae Lakes campsite - 4.4 miles
- Dollar Lake - 6.7 miles
- Woods Creek suspension bridge - 10.7 miles
- Canada Border - 1,860.9 miles
Trail Miles Southbound from PCT/JMT Trail Junction
- Cedar Grove Trail Junction. - 1.8 miles
- Upper Vidette Meadow - 3 miles
- Forester Pass - 9.6 miles
- Mexican Border - 789.1 miles
Independence - 13 miles east of Onion Valley Campground on Highway 395
Post Office, restaurants, mini-mart, lodging, public transportation (Eastern Sierra Transit)
Always confirm mileages and directions with a reliable PCT source such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association's The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America's Wilderness Trail.