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Camp Nelson

Camp Nelson Sign on Tree

Camp Nelson is the largest and oldest of the six mountain communities. At 4,900’ elevation, it gets less snow than the higher communities but is still cool in the summer. Most of the 500 or so cabins in Camp Nelson are located just off Highway 190, built around the heart of the community containing the Meadow, Nelson’s Tavern (bar & grill, but it is closed at the moment, soon to reopen as the Slate Mountain Saloon), the Camp Nelson General Store (food, supplies & hardware) , the Camp Nelson Fire Station, and the Camp Nelson Lodge.


Camp Nelson hosts hiking trails through Giant Sequoia groves, two Forest Service campgrounds, Camp Nelson RV Park, easy access to the Tule River, and the annual Camp Nelson Mountain Festival held in the Meadow in early August. Other community activities include the Volunteer Fire Dept Pancake Breakfast over Memorial Day and BBQ over 4th of July, a 4th of July Parade, and a cabin decorating contest in December.


Roads in Camp Nelson are county maintained and plowed in the winter, although there is much less snow than in the higher communities. There is a community water system and satellite and cable TV and Internet are available.

To get to Camp Nelson, take Hwy 190 from Porterville, through Springville, and watch for a right turn a few minutes past the Pierpoint Bar & Grill.

Camp Nelson is conveniently located to many cities in California, for example:

  • 45 minutes from Porterville 

  • 1 1/4 hours from Visalia

  • 1 1/2 hours from Bakersfield

  • 2 hours from Fresno

  • 3 1/2 hours from Los Angeles or the Central Coast

  • 5 hours from San Francisco

Camp Nelson Community Map
Click the main photo in the gallery above to view full-size photos
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