More than any other town in California, Three Rivers, though a small village, hosts millions of visitors year-round! Tourists from out of state and even from other countries flock to Three Rivers because it is the gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Strategically located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, this quaint community, dotted with charming shops, family-owned restaurants, and offering fun-packed activities, is a perfect base camp for national park goers from Los Angeles, around the world as well as a destination for locals like me seeking a gratifying day trip.

How to Get There

By Road – It’s only a 3h 30m drive from Los Angeles, about 200 miles. A weekend road trip is definitely interesting with a group of friends and family. The road trip from San Francisco to Three Rivers is about a 4-hour drive, about 250 miles, so another doable weekend trip can be considered.

By Air – There are daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to the nearest Yosemite International Airport in Fresno. Three Rivers is only 70 miles, about 90 minutes away from Fresno. Renting a car is available at the airport, so getting a car for the weekend getaway trip is not bad.

Best Time to Visit

Three Rivers boasts a pleasant climate throughout the year with a slim chance of rain or snow. June is the most populated time, followed by July and August. It is when hotel rates will skyrocket. If you are like me and want an entire place to yourself, your best bet is November to March.

Planning a Trip?

Here is a few affiliate links that may help plan a perfect trip while staying within budget.

Top Things To Do In Three Rivers

Visit Three Rivers Historical Museum

Whether or not you’re an enthusiast of museums, this should be your first stop to get acquainted with the town. There is a Visitor Center inside where brochures, maps, etc., are free to grab. However, do not miss the impressive giant statue of Paul Bunyan, which was sculpted by a local artist using only a hammer and chisel from a single, fallen 3,000-year-old sequoia tree weighing thirty tons!

Three Rivers Historical Museum, California - Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
Three Rivers Historical Museum, California – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque

Be Awed at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

The Sequoia National Park, home of thousands of years old giant Sequoia trees, and the Kings Canyon National Park, where the most surreal canyons one could ever marvel will astonish you never like before! Indeed, your stop-over at Three Rivers is incomplete without seeing these two magnificent parks (if that is not your purpose in the first place). Both parks offer many activities and must-see sights, therefore, deserve a blog of their own.

Hiking in Three Rivers

Three Rivers sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Ladybug Trail is my recommendation for families with (complaining) pre-teens. It is a doable 3.5-mile hike, back trafficked with beautiful mountain peaks and riverbeds, making it extremely enjoyable. The stunning waterfalls and river at the end of the trail will mesmerize even the most jaded participant, and the reluctant hiker in the group will thank you for tagging them along!

Three Rivers, CA
Hiking and camping in Three Rivers, Photo Credit – May G. Lemque

Send A Postcard To Your Friends from Kaweah Post Office

This twelve-by-fifteen building constructed from local cedar and redwood in 1910 is the tiniest operating post office in the United States! So if you want to impress your friends, do not post a photo of this historic landmark on Facebook; instead, send your friends a postcard right from the Kaweah Post Office!

Historical Kaweah Post Office in Three Rivers, Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
Historical Kaweah Post Office in Three Rivers, Photo Credit – May G. Lemque

Pay a Visit to Reimers Candies & Shop

This 50-year-old candy factory, ice cream parlor, souvenir shop, and river view spot will entice all travelers and convert anyone into a sweet-tooth addict. Score on their world-famous Stollen Bread in November. Have I mentioned that they make their waffle cone right before your eyes?

Visit Reimers Candies & Shop – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
Visit Reimers Candies & Shop – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque

Exciting River Rafting at Kaweah River

This is one of the steepest rivers in the country, dropping at 85 feet per mile in its first few miles. However, there are available lessons from intermediate and expert water rafters. Those with no previous paddling experience but want the adrenalin rush; you can still do so by watching the guys as they cross the river over the Kaweah Bridge.

River Rafting at Kaweah River in Three Rivers, CA – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
River Rafting at Kaweah River in Three Rivers, CA – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
River Rafting at Kaweah River in Three Rivers, CA
River Rafting at Kaweah River in Three Rivers

Where to Rest Your Back

Rent a houseboat from Kaweah Marina for an hour or an overnight stay for the family or just you and your significant other. The lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains, is such a peaceful, relaxing, and romantic place. Over the hilltop, one can watch the sun setting comfortably on the benches or your car.

The lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains in Three Rivers – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
The lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains in Three Rivers – Photo Credit – May G. Lemque
Three Rivers, CA
A View From The lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains

Where to Eat

Brunch at Buckaroo Diner – The restaurant’s best asset, aside from its food specialty, is its location. While sipping a glass of house-made Cara-Cara Orange Basil Juice, the roaring sound of the Kaweah River beneath the hills will soothe even a starving tummy and restless soul.

Where to stay in Sequoia NP/Three Rivers, California

Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Three Rivers

Each room is uniquely styled in lavish period decor at Plantation B&B—French doors open to a private, furnished balcony in select rooms.
Fresh local fruit, baked goods, an alternating main course, homemade granola, and other free breakfast items are prepared daily for guests. Breakfast is served daily by appointment at Plantation Bed & Breakfast-The Parks Inn. Bravo Lake is 6.2 mi away. Sequoia National Park is 25 minute drive to Plantation Bed & Breakfast-The Parks Inn.

Sequoia Lodge: Mountain View, Open Kitchen

Featuring a terrace, Sequoia Lodge: Mountain View, Open Kitchen, 30 feet to Sequoia + Shops provides accommodations in Three Rivers with free WiFi and mountain views. This self-catered vacation home features a garden and free private parking. The air-conditioned vacation home consists of 3 bedrooms, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and a coffee machine. The nearest airport is Visalia Municipal Airport, 37 miles from the vacation home.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Three Rivers, California? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Three Rivers, California, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit California.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. JccExCadet

    Excellent post, really interesting reading it!

    1. DZTraveler

      Hello JeeExCadet, I am so glad that you liked reading the post, appreciate it!

    2. May Lemque

      Thank you for your comment. I hope this blog is helpful!

  2. Luzviminda sia

    Wow! It’s a beautiful place to visit and i enjoyed reading it..

    1. DZTraveler

      Thank you Luzviminda for your nice comment, very glad that you enjoyed reading it!!

  3. Rhea

    Wow! Hindi ba pwedeng maglike or pusuan ang mga pictures ate May? 😃😃

    1. DZTraveler

      Rhea, thank you for the comment and visiting our travel blog, I am responding on behalf of May.

  4. Teresita Vigan

    Such a vivid and picturesque description of a tourist spot. Will add this up to my bucket list.

    1. DZTraveler

      Hello Ms. Vigan, appreciate your comment on the post. Good to hear that are adding this to your bucket list. I am sure you will enjoy this trip!!

  5. Ed

    Though a small and quiet town, this is a great staging point for many activities. Will be visiting this town more often now and explore more on its uniqueness.

    1. DZTraveler

      Hi Ed, many thanks for the comment and glad to know that you will visit this place and explore more often. Enjoy your trips!

  6. Bless

    This makes me pack up and visit Three Rivers asap! it is what travel guides should be – written not only to inform and instruct, but also to inspire. It vividly describes the place, not just from what can be seen, its colors and physical beauty, but also how the place pleases our sense of touch, hearing, and the palate. wonderfully written!!! More of this, please.

    1. pasyandoraCMay

      We’re glad that we’ve inspired you to pack your bag and visit Three Rivers in California! Thank you, Bless for reading!

  7. Jack

    Well written post, very helpful !

    1. pasyandoraCMay

      Jack, thank you for visiting the site and reading this post! We’re glad you find it very helpful.

  8. Jason

    Very helpful and interesting. I am planning a trip so this post will definitely help me going forward. Thank you for sharing!

    1. pasyandoraCMay

      Hi, Jason!
      You’re very welcome, and we thank you as well for reading. We are delighted this post will help you in your plans to visit the place. Let us know how your visit went! ~

  9. Mickey

    I never heard about this place – even though I must have driven close by going from Kings Canyon to Seqouia. Maybe I go next time May 🙂

  10. Armand Garcia

    magnificent place, interesting story and eye-catching photographs. but what interests me more are the antique wood carving, the floating (hopefully safe) accommodation, and the old post office, not to underestimate the mail boxes huh. bravo!

    1. pasyandoraCMay

      Thank you again, Armand for the comment! I hope you pack your bags soon and visit us here in the US!

  11. Betty Jones

    Is the drive to three rivers dangerous like mineral king.

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