Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Three Rivers, CA

  • Published 2021/12/15

Three Rivers is usually just the small town you pass by when visiting the Sequoia National Park.

People only know this place as the gateway to the Sequoia National Park without realizing the hidden gems waiting for you to discover.

Despite its quaint and very sleepy town appeal, Three Rivers is as beautiful as the Sequoia National Park.

Its attractions aren’t necessarily found on its streets, but they’re found on its lakes, rivers, and parks.

Three Rivers is an unincorporated community that is part of California’s Tulare County.

Being in the foothills of the famous Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Three Rivers is gifted with a wonderful lake and river.

With that in mind, waterborne activities are the most popular things to do there, as well as hiking and nature viewing.

Three Rivers is perfect for families, friends, groups, water sports enthusiasts, and history buffs.

If Three Rivers is on your list of places to visit, you can drive three and a half hours from Los Angeles or about 200 miles east.

Meanwhile, if you’re from San Francisco, it takes about four hours and 250 miles to reach this place.

Three Rivers’ pleasant climate year-round makes it an ideal vacation destination.

So, here is a list of the 15 best things to do in Three Rivers, CA:

Tour Sequoia National Park with the Sequoia Parks Conservancy

View of Sequoia National Park

Autumn’s Memories /

Exploring the massive Sequoia National Park is overwhelming for an average tourist.

So, it would be better to schedule a guided tour with park experts.

The Sequoia Parks Conservancy offers outdoor guided tours around Sequoia National Park and the nearby Kings Canyon National Parks.

View of Sequoia National Park

Toms Auzins /

They won’t just let you get closer to the giant Sequoia trees, but they will take you on an outdoor adventure to the wilderness.

To join the Sequoia Parks Conservancy’s public guided tours, visit their office at 47050 Generals Hwy # 10, Three Rivers, CA.

View of Sequoia National Park

Jorge Argazkiak /

Eat Delicious Mexican Food at the Quesadilla Gorilla

Quesadilla Gorilla is a fast-growing Mexican restaurant popular among locals and visitors in Three Rivers.

It has three locations in Fresno, Hanford, and Three Rivers.

They specialize in a wide array of popular Mexican dishes like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and other flavorful gourmet offerings.

Three Rivers, in particular, has very few restaurants to choose from, so it would be great to head to the ones that serve the best food in a town like the Quesadilla Gorilla.

So, after a whole day touring around Three Rivers and its state parks, stop for a quick bite at the Quesadilla Gorilla at 41119 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271.

Spend the Night at the Sequoia Campground and Lodge

If you’re looking for a cozy place near the Sequoia National Park and Three Rivers’ attractions, head to the Sequoia Campground and Lodge.

It is perfectly nestled in the entrance of the Sequoia National Park’s foothills, and it’s a stone’s throw away from the Kaweah River.

It is truly a camper’s paradise sprawling on a 25-acre land facing the Kaweah River, where you can enjoy numerous waterborne activities during the day.

The campground itself is teeming with outdoor activities like horseback riding, trailblazing, whitewater rafting, fishing, and swimming.

If you’re planning to camp at this place, it is located at 40457 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA.

Fish on a Kayak at Lake Kaweah

View of Lake Kaweah

Luc Mena /

Visit the scenic Lake Kaweah to start your Three Rivers travel adventure.

Lake Kaweah is not just your typical lake.

The lake also serves as Tulare County’s reservoir formed through the Terminus Dam that holds water streaming down from the Sierra Nevada mountains.

View of Lake Kaweah

Klimamarina /

The Lake has a total area of 185,000 acres.

In 2004, it underwent a renovation to improve its flood control capability in protexting the towns and agricultural lands downstream.

Aside from its great purpose, Lake Kaweah is a popular outdoor destination for waterborne activities like fishing, kayaking, or boating.

Stop by at the Three Rivers Historical Museum

Visit the Three Rivers Historical Museum to get acquainted with the town’s history and culture.

Regardless of whether you’re a history buff or not, there is a lot of useful information and an interesting back story of Three Rivers that awaits you there.

You can roam around its exhibits and galleries, which feature memorabilia and artifacts of the pioneers who lived in the town.

Plus, you can take pictures with the huge statue of the famous lumberjack, Paul Bunyan, outside the museum.

The Three Rivers Historical Museum has been open to the public since 1991, so you should spend some time visiting this place.

The Three Rivers Historical Museum is at 42268 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA, and its open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Explore the Foothills Visitor Center Sequoia National Park

The Foothills Visitor Center serves as a first stop before entering the Sequoia National Park’s south entrance.

This place offers you all the needed information to enjoy the national park.

There, you’re provided park-related stuff to use while roaming inside the national park.

Plus, the visitor center has a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs to bring back home.

The center’s free exhibit room displays foothills’ ecology and human history.

There is also a picnic area to relax with your family before entering the national park.

The Foothills Visitor Center is at 47050 Generals Hwy, Three Rivers, CA, and it is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm.

Check Out the Sequoia National Park Ash Mountain Entrance Sign

Sequoia National Park Ash Mountain Entrance Sign

Ovidiu Hrubaru /

The Ash Mountain Entrance to the Sequoia National Park offers you a unique way to get welcomed into this famous national park.

Many tourists visit this place to signify that they’ve been to the Sequoia National Park by posing for photos at its prominent signage.

In 1935, Harold G. Fowler, Sequoia National Park’s resident landscape architect, designed the signage to welcome visitors.

Sequoia National Park Ash Mountain Entrance Sign

Logan Bush /

He tasked the Civilian Conservation Corps to build the famous signage as a tourist landmark in Three Rivers.

The signage has a carved face of a Native American made from the famous Sequoia Redwood Tree.

It is fastened sturdily with metal brackets to keep it standing.

So, before you head inside the Sequoia National Park, make sure you’ve finished taking photos with the famous Ash Mountain Entrance sign.

Watch Roping Events at the Three Rivers Lions Team Roping

The origins of this famous rodeo event in Three Rivers can be traced way back to the 1880s during the time of local ranchers, cattlemen, and cowboys who looked for fun and competition.

Today, it has grown into a major roping tournament that draws the best roping contenders in the United States.

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience watching cowboys tackle bulls and cows using their superb roping skills.

Regular competitions are held every month, so there’s a better chance you can catch up with one.

Or perhaps witness the prestigious Annual Three Rivers Lion’s Roping competition happening every April.

Visit the Three Rivers Lions Club Roping Arena at 42490 North Kaweah River Drive, Three Rivers, California, to watch this exciting sports event.

Spoil Yourself with Sweets at the Reimers Candies and Gifts

Three Rivers has a hidden gem that will surely bring out the child in you.

The Reimers Candies and Gifts at 42375 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA, is famous for its wide array of sweet treats.

The store, which originates in the neighboring Visalia, started selling in Three Rivers, featuring its famous sweet treats at its iconic little red gingerbread house.

There are more than 80 sweet treats varieties you can choose from in the store, including chews, sours, ice cream, chocolates, candies, and their famous peanut brittle.

Instead of the usual handicrafts bought at gift shops, you can bring home delicious treats from your Three Rivers travel adventure.

Reimers Candies and Gifts is open daily, from 10 am to 6 pm.

Swim at the Slick Rock Recreation Area

View of Slick Rock Recreation Area

Tami Crawford /

The Slick Rock Recreation Area has multiple access points to the Kaweah River.

It’s where you can find the best swimming holes along the Kaweah River.

This place is a popular swimming area in Three Rivers, which is usually packed with people during weekends, especially during summer.

Nevertheless, it’s wide enough to fit everyone where they can enjoy the cold water streaming down from the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges.

In addition, this attraction is also near the camping grounds and lodging areas in town.

The Slick Rock Recreation Area is 39883 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA.

Conquer the Kaweah River’s Whitewater Rafting

Three Rivers becomes a primary destination for whitewater rafting from April to June along the Kaweah River.

So, it makes whitewater rafting a must-do outdoor activity when you’re in Three Rivers.

During spring, the Kaweah River creates strong rapids that go to level five since snow is rapidly melting on the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges at that time of the year.

However, there are calmer stretches along the river, perfect for beginners and families who want to enjoy whitewater rafting.

To experience whitewater rafting, you can hook up with companies that offer whitewater rafting tours in Three Rivers.

You can choose between the Sequoia Adventures Whitewater Rafting and the Mountain Descents.

They have professional guides who take you on a safe and fun-filled whitewater rafting tour.

You can choose from intermediate to advanced level whitewater rafting or choose with the family-friendly level, which is open for kids ages seven and up.

You can visit their respective websites or go to their office for more information about their service.

The Mountain Descents office is at 41667 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers, CA.

Meanwhile, Sequoia Adventure’s office is located at 43365 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA.

Join the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA) Tours

Compared to other outdoor guided tours around Three Rivers and the Sequoia National Park, the SNHA offers visitors a more historical and educational approach with their tours.

You’ll further understand valuable information and history about the Sequoia National Park, Lake Kaweah, Kaweah River, Kings Canyon National Parks, and other attractions nearby Three Rivers.

If you plan to join one of Sequoia Natural History Association’s tours, visit their office at 47050 Generals Hwy # 10, Three Rivers, CA.

Enjoy Horseback Riding at Three Rivers’ Trails

View of Three Rivers’ Trails

Vickytoria /

Three Rivers’ rolling hills have trails perfect not just for hiking but also for horseback riding.

Enjoy the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountains as the backdrop while enjoying a horseback riding tour with Wood n Horse Stable, the horse experts in town.

They offer guided tours on horseback around Three Rivers, perfect for the entire family.

Wood n Horse has been in business since 1982, with renowned horse trainer Christy Wood leading her team.

Aside from their horseback guided tour, they train people who want to learn horseback riding.

You can visit their stable at 42846 North Fork Dr, Three Rivers, CA, if you want to tour Three Rivers on horseback.

Stay at the Buckeye Tree Lodge & Cabins

Another place you can stay near the Sequoia National Park and Three Rivers’ attractions is the Buckeye Tree Lodge & Cabins at 46000 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA.

This lodge is a quarter-mile away from Sequoia National Park’s entrance.

It offers more than a dozen eco-friendly cabins with picturesque views of the Kaweah River.

Buckeye Tree Lodge & Cabin also offers different outdoor activities like yoga classes, massage, guided tours, and stargazing during nighttime.

It’s a perfect place to take a rest after a whole day touring around Three Rivers.

Celebrate History at the Kaweah Post Office

This compact post office in Three Rivers is packed with a rich history.

Constructed way back in 1910, it is still in service as a volunteer post office.

From a tourist’s perspective, it’s a historical place worthy of a visit.

Before the General’s Highway was constructed back in 1926, the Kaweah Post Office also served as a mini-mart for locals who look for essentials and snacks for tourists who enter the Sequoia National Park.

Today, the historic post office celebrates more than 120 years of service to the Three Rivers community.

This historic landmark in Three Rivers is located at 43795 N Fork Dr, Three Rivers, CA.

Final Thoughts

After reading this post, you might finally realize that Three Rivers is not just the gateway to the famous Sequoia National Park.

It’s is bursting with natural attractions and exciting outdoor activities.

Suppose the national park is too much for you.

In that case, Three Rivers is the best alternative for a weekend vacation, especially during summer, where you’ll enjoy waterborne activities on the Kaweah River.

If you found this post somewhat useful, it would be a pleasure to share it with your friends or family who also love to travel.

Don’t forget to bookmark this post so you can have an instant itinerary for your Three Rivers travel adventure!

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