How many tents per campsite in US national parks?

I’m planning to stay at the Dorst Creek Campground at Sequoia National Park 2 weeks from now. I made a reservation (through www.recreation.gov) for a campsite.

The offical site says that six people per campsite is allowed. I have six people in my party… that’s 3 couples, so we may have as many as 3 tents. And each of those tents may be a 4-person-sized tent, like this one. Is this ok? Is there a limit to how many tents there can be at a campsite?

I haven’t been camping in 20 years or so, so color me a camping newbie. For what it’s worth, I reserved a “standard nonelectric” site, which means it’s suitable for both tents and RVs.

Answer

It’s been several years since I’ve been to Dorst Creek, but based on what I remember…

It really comes down to which campsite you have booked. Several of the camp sites in this ground are actually fairly small – much smaller than you’d normally expect in a National Park campground. Other campsites are much larger, especially those on the outsides of the loops.

Depending on the exact site you have booked, 3 tents may be, at best, a stretch – especially if the sites next to you have more than one tent on them.

You can find a map of the campground here which will give you some idea of how large your campsite might be.

If you find that one of your tents doesn’t fit, then I would suggest asking nicely at a few nearby sites (especially the larger ones) to see if they would be willing to share. Officially this is not allowed, but given that you are already staying in the campground you likely won’t have too much trouble finding another site that would be willing to let you put up one tent. Also, keep an eye out on recreation.gov for available sites – people do cancel, and it’s not uncommon to be able to snag something in the week or so beforehand.

Enjoy Sequoia (and if you get the chance, Kings Canyon) – they are a great pair of parks. If they weren’t so far away I’d be there every few months 🙂

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