Park. Head North, and you will soon enter Kings Canyon, but soon exit the park boundary and stumble upon Princess Campground, located only 4 short miles from Hume Lake. Continue along Highway 180 and you will enter, once again, Kings Canyon National Park's east unit.. I highly recommend a visit to this eastern portion, as there are several campgrounds, hiking areas, waterfalls, and a scenic drive in.
Princess Campground is located at about 6,000 feet in elevation, making summer days and nights delightful. The campground closes in winter due to weather. There are three loops in the campground (Shining Cloud, Yellow Moon, and Morning Star), all of which provide similar sites. Most sites have paved pads, although a few in the Shining Cloud loop do not. Spurs are clearly marked and all sites have campfire rings, picnic tables, bear lockers, and trees to provide shade and scenery. Camp hosts during our stay were always present, making sure campers were following campground etiquette and checking in and out in a timely fashion. Firewood was not available for sale during our stay, but we were allowed to collect downed wood.
We discovered Princess Campground while scouring the state for somewhere to camp during the coronavirus pandemic in late spring 2020. We found this this campground, operated by California Land Management, was open when most other state parks, National Forest campgrounds, and all National Park campgrounds in the area were still closed. As a result, our visit to the National Parks was amazing as we had them all to ourselves, making navigating park roads, parking lots and trails a cinch in our rig with no crowds. The campground was full during our stay, but quiet and peaceful. The only downside was that our site (43) was severely unlevel, and seemed to be the only site to be this way, so we never quite got properly leveled. Campsitephotos.com listed our site as one of the "best sites" to snag; we felt differently. A few sites are first come, first served. Additionally, the sites along the highway in the Yellow Moon loop are slightly noisier than those further from the road. All sites in the Shining Cloud loop were quiet. The recreation.gov website claims that some sites have views of Hume Lake, which is not true. Indian Basin Grove, a beautiful clearing adjacent to the campground has a small babbling creek and marshy area, but Hume Lake is not visible. There area couple of short, easy walking trails around Indian Basin Grove that originate from camp and offer interpretive signs about the history of logging, homesteading, geology, and plants/trees in the area. Pit toilets, water spigots and a dump station with water fill are available.
Poor Sites: 43, 55, 56, 70, 71, 73, 75
Potable Water: Yes
Dump Within Facility: Yes ($)