I'm only going to tell you about this campground if you don't tell anyone else. It's still almost as quiet as I remember it when my kids were little. Only 6 or 7 sites, no reservations, no water (except a beautiful creek), pit toilets, carry out your own garbage, dogs don't have to be on a leash as long as they aren't bothersome, nice camphosts, wonderful hiking, giant sequoias, and best of all....drum roll please....it's FREE!
Directions: North on Highway 41 from Fresno. Continue through Oakhurst maybe 5 miles or so. Turn right at Road ___ at Sierra Sky Ranch. Go past Yosemite Bible Camp and all the houses and just keep going. You'll eventually start seeing signs for Nelder Grove Campground. Just follow them. A word of warning: the dirt road is rutted and needs grading, so you'll be traveling slowly. When you see the big hill ahead, go faster--I got stuck halfway up last time and had to back the trailer back down and around a curve and start again with more speed! It's about 45 minutes out of Oakhurst. If my directions scare you, that's okay, that way I know there'll be a place for me next week! Truly, it can't be all that bad, I was up there three weeks ago and I'm going back again Wednesday.
Maybe I'll tell you about my other favorite, again, don't tell anyone else. It's called Camp Eshom. Take 198 east out of Visalia, through Lemon Cove, turn left at the mini-mart at the end of town, go over the river and take the first right (runs along the river). Keep going through Heartland Christian Camp, and soon you'll see signs for Camp Eshom/Eshom Creek. Wonderful campground, no reservations, go left past the camphost to the far loop. Best sites are those few along the creek. There are group campsites also. Running water, pit toilets, hiking (definitely cut through the cow pasture and hike down the creek to the waterfall). Ron has been the camphost for years, nice guy, doesn't mind dogs off leash as long as they're behaved, but watch out for the ranger and keep the leash handy. You do have to pay for this one, about $18/night.
The reasons I love both these places are because they're very removed from the beaten track, there's always sites available and only the locals know about them. They have creeks, and the camphosts are awesome and so good about dogs. PM me if you need better directions or more info, and enjoy!