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A week in Three Rivers?

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N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
A week in Three Rivers?

We are looking to spend a week in Kings canyon and Sequoia National Park. We will be traveling with our family of five and my parents. We would fly into LA and drive in two rental cars. I see some houses we could rent in the Three Rivers are for a week but I'm not sure if we would want to split our stay between two different areas or not. From what I am reading (and having never visited here before) I can see that we will have a steep and narrow road once we go through the entrance from Three Rivers. I see that it can take up to an hour (ore more depending on weather/traffic) to get to the trees and visitor center. How much further from there to King's Canyon?

I am trying to decide if we would better to split our time between two different spots in order to enjoy both Kings Canyon and Sequoia. If we did, where would you recommend we stay besides Three Rivers?

Thanks so much.

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
11. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

Thank larryjohn. I am hoping to still have a great time. We don't need to drive up to Giant Forest every single day. The house we are renting has a pool and with the lake where we can rent a boat, the river, and some lower elevation hikes we can hit early in the morning - I think we can still have a great time. Plus we can cook in our house since there aren't a ton of eating options. We were also thinking we might enjoy the Farmer's Market in Visalia - and if there are some farm stands or farm tours.

Monterey, California
posts: 1,071
reviews: 22
12. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

http://www.mk-webcam.net/

www.humelake.org/webcams/

Here are a couple of webcams.......Last year there was almost 10 feet of snow in the MIneral King valley.

I still would suggest an ALL day trip to King's Canyon one day. The drive into the canyon is one of the most spectacular drives to do in the Sierra.

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
13. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

We do want to take an all Day trip to King's canyon. The three hour drive is fine - we can leave early in the morning and pack a picnic lunch. I have read about Hume Luke - not sure how far that is. What time of the year were you there? I am thinking we won't have a snow issue in late August - more of a heat issue! :-)

Monterey, California
posts: 1,071
reviews: 22
14. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

flickr.com/photos/…

flickr.com/photos/…

I've posted hundreds of photos on flickr if you click around....

The weather can be very hot in King's Canyon in August. Should be perfect in the Giant Forest. Probably won't be any snow anywhere this summer even at higher elevations.

I would also go to King's Canyon via the General's Hwy instead the foothills since there is so many great places to stop along the way for sightseeing, picnicing and hiking.

I'll be up there my usual May visit which I"ve been doing annually since 1978 and I never get tired of it..........

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
15. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

OH - Just saw this message with the picture link. Thanks so much! Sorry I didn't spot it back in February!

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
16. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

OH my - look at the snow, greens, and bears. I'm sure it will look quite different in late August - not so green and no snow at all. You have some lovely pictures.

Coppell, Texas
posts: 8
reviews: 1
17. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

How did your trip go? I am about to make reservations in THree Rivers for our family for just under a week. Did it work out well? STaying in the park would be ideal, but we like staying in house rentals and the reviews of the units in the parks are not great. We are not able to camp.

Thanks for any advice or info you have!

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
18. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

We loved our full week in Three Rivers and had plenty of time to really enjoy the park. We spent one day driving to King's Canyon and one day in Mineral King. The rest of the time was spent with the giant trees, hiking, and exploring a cave. We packed picnic luches each day. There were not a lot of places to eat in Three Rivers so we ate our four nights and grilled the other nights. The little grocery store in town actually had some nice local beef and other meats.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,311
reviews: 87
19. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

Well, it is not dissimilar to the drive from Cody to Yellowstone, actually (when last there, there was tremendous road construction and it's not exactly a straight road). If you like driving winding mountain roads for 2 hours or more per day while traveling (and getting back to your lodgings in time for dinner), then kudos on being able to get everyone on board for that. My family would totally mutiny. And we did that drive between Cody and Yellowstone one time, would not want to do it every day for any reason.

That being said, of course, Cody is an actual town, unlike Three Rivers, which is sort of not a town. It is stretched out along about 6 miles of road, with a teensy town center and two gas stations forming the heart of the Three Rivers experience. There is a grocery store. It is about as expensive as the one in the park - but better stocked.

It's too bad you won't get the night time experience of being in the Sierras, though, which is one of the things my kids have enjoyed the most (the bears, the bats, the night birds including owls, the deer). Campfires and ranger programs. Night walks, star gazing (it's amazing up there). Silence a lot of the time.

Three Rivers is hot, dusty and very small. It is not like Cody. Cody has a wonderful museum, many restaurants, a sort of town center, its own interpretive programs and so forth. It is a real city with a Western history and a destination in its own right.

Three Rivers is a place where people stop for gas and a few hardy locals hang on to tiny businesses. Let us know how it goes for you, though. You may well discover something about Three Rivers (we just never stop at the Russian doll store, maybe it's interesting; and the little place with the miniature golf course that my kids wanted to stop at was never, ever open - not once, in 29 years of taking the kids up there). I think it has actually been returned to being a cow pasture, but that the remains of the place still make it appear as if it might be a golf course.

I will say that the We Three Bakery has great stuff and maybe we were starving, but we thought it had great hamburgers. The restaurant right at the bridge is...interesting. It can be very adult-oriented or it can be family-oriented, depending on who else is there...

N.J.
posts: 120
reviews: 36
20. Re: A week in Three Rivers?

I think a lot depends on your house rental. Our house rental had gorgeous 360 degree views - with mountains and the south fork of the Kaweah River and Lake Kaweah. We ate breakfast outside each morning and watched the deer in the backyard. The sunsets at night were simply amazing. Our rental house had a gorgeous pool overlooking those views plus deck and grill and chairs and gliders and even a fire pit. King's Canyon is still pretty far from Three Rivers - that was a full day of driving and we went a back way that someone had told us about to cut out some of the time. As I mentioned, there were not a lot of places to eat but having a rental took care of that. We did not need nightly entertainment as we had everything at our rental. We swam, watched sunsets, played board games.......... The drive up to the Trees was steep and gorgeous. By leaving early in the morning and bringing along snacks, water, and lunch we could take our time and really enjoy everything before we made our way down to relax in our rental.

I would NEVER want to spend a full week there in a hotel room. That would be AWFUL!

My family had such a great time that the boys are begging to go back there.

And I can tell you which places were the best to eat if interested - (and there was a delicious bakery too)