Open Year-round
Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
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Thunderbird Group Campground has 3 camp sites perched along the Kern River about a 5.2 mile drive north of the town of Kernville.

The campground has minimal amenities - with sites having picnic tables and fire pits and sandy flats for setting up tents. There is no water in the campground, however there are several outhouse bathrooms.

Of the three sites, Site 1 is the largest, being able to hold up to 30 people. It contains several more tables than other sites, including several under a shade structure. The fee for Site 1 is $120 nightly.

Sites 2 and 3 can each hold up to 12 people per night, and are each priced at $48 nightly. 

Site 3 has the most shade and tent options, while retaining the most privacy from neighboring sites. It sits down a short path surrounded by a wall of shrubs. The other two sites sit in the open with wide views of the neighboring mountains. 

Adjacent to the campground is the Thunderbird Day Use area, a popular launch point for those rafting or kayaking down the Kern River.

The campground sits off of a hard packed dirt driveway that should usually be accessible to passenger vehicles. Cars are unable to drive up immediately to the sites, so campers will need to carry gear the close distance between the parking area and the camp sites.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)



Frequently full

Parking Pass

Camping fee

Open from

May 13 to September 17

Price per night (basic site)

48.00 $ (40.30 €)


Spacious campgrounds. Easy access to river.


No water or showers.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

Forest Service

Reservation phone number

1 (877) 444-6777


Vault toilet
Big vistas
Family friendly
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Covered picnic areas



Total number of sites


Lodging type

Rustic cabin



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