Travel by Private Car
Depending on which direction you approach from, there are two access routes to Lodgepole. 1) From Fresno and points north (e.g. San Francisco), the best route is State Highway 180, east from Fresno. From Fresno, proceed approximately 60 miles (95 km) on 180 until you reach a fork in the road. Highway 180 is the left fork, which continues into Kings Canyon National Park. To reach Lodgepole, take the right fork, Highway 198 (Generals Highway) and follow obvious signs to Sequoia National Park. Lodgepole is approximately 20 miles (30 km) from the fork. 2) From points south (e.g. Los Angeles), take Highway 198 west from the city of Visalia. Simply follow 198 until you reach Lodgepole, approximately 65 miles (100 km) later.
Both highway 180 and 198 are snow-plowed during winter months. Still, you are required by law to carry tire chains, regardless of current conditions
Unfortunately, public transportation options are scant. To quote GORP, "Public transportation to the parks is limited to small tour companies outside the parks. Air, bus, Amtrak (train) and rental cars are available in Fresno and Visalia."
If you drive a private car into the park, you must adhere to strict regulations on the storage of food, because black bears in the park have grown accustomed to "liberating" stored food from vehicles, at any time of the day or night. If a bear breaks into your car to steal food (even candy-bar wrappers constitute "food"), you are liable for $500 or more in fines.
Generally, backcountry camping is permitted anywhere in the wilderness, i.e., more than a mile from the nearest paved road. Wilderness permits (free, issued at Lodgepole Visitors Center), required for any overnight stay in the backcountry are issued on a quota basis, however, so you may not be able to camp in the most popular areas once the quota for those areas fills. Along the more popular trails, special backcountry campgrounds exist. Sometimes these campgrounds have water (important during summer in dry regions), and they almost always have secure bear storage boxes. This can save you carrying the weight of a heavy bear-proof food container. In regions without bear boxes, a canister may be required, depending on the area. Canisters can be rented at wilderness permit stations.
The new Wuksachi Village/Lodge, located roughly 2 miles toward Fresno/Highway 180 from Lodgepole, boasts excellent food and comfortable accomodations. Here is some general information, rate information, and dining information from visitsequoia.com. Additional information can be attained by contacting the park headquarters at Ash Mountain Visitor Center at (559) 565-4212.