A Travellerspoint blog

Mariposa to Three Rivers

Seeing Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

After a fantastic week in the small township (some referred to it as a village) of Mariposa, we travelled firstly via Fresno and more specifically via Kingsburg to visit the Bravo Cheese Factory. This deli/restaurant/amusement area was recommended on a website we are using for Areas of Interest and it was well worth the stop. Here Alyssa played in the 7 storey tree house and we marveled at their collection of antiques and locally made cubby houses.20150122_B..Traver__15_.jpg

Our next accommodation stop is at Three Rivers, an even smaller village than Mariposa. We decided on Three Rivers due to its location to Sequoia National Park, where the entrance gates are only 5 minutes drive up the road. That leads me to an interesting point. You have to pay an entrance fee to each National Park you visit. It is essentially $30 for the car and is valid for 7 days. Though we have opted for the Annual pass of $80 which allows us access to all the National Parks for obviously the next 12 months. Money well spent I say.

Our accommodation for 4 nights in Three Rivers is the Lazy J Ranch, a motel of around 15 units, of which we were 1 of only 3 units booked. Winter is the quiet season here, kids are back in school, parents are working and most would prefer to stay indoors or at least away for colder climates. Hence one of the main reasons we wanted to visit the National Parks during winter...low crowd numbers.

Sequoia National Park is home to the world's largest tree by volume, the General Sherman and is over 2,200 years old. The sequoia are absolutely amazing to see. Although they 'only' grow to around 300 feet high, they continue to grow in girth. The General is nearly 103 feet in circumference at ground level and grows enough new wood in a year to produce a 60 foot tall tree. Also, the Sequoia have chemicals in the wood and bark which provide resistance to insects and fungi and their thick bark insulates them from most fires.20150123_Sequoia_NP__1_.jpg

After a lay day where Alyssa hit the school books, we travelled to Kings Canyon, a little further at 1.5 hours drive away, but equally as impressive. King's Canyon is also home to many Sequoia including the General Grant, the second largest tree. Unfortunately at this elevation (over 6,000 feet) many of the roads are closed, however the road down to Hume Lake was open and suggested by the ranger for its views down into Kings Canyon. Here Alyssa had a long play in some fairly recent snow fall. 20150125_Kings_Canyon__2_.jpg

Our last night in Three Rivers we decided to dine at the Ol' Buckeroo, an outdoor diner where the kitchen is operated from a refurbished caravan. Thankfully we sat near an outdoor heater as the temperature was around 6C but everything about the place was spot on. The location, overlooking the Kaweah river, the ambiance and the food was fantastic. Alyssa had a chocolate mouse with a salted caramel topping that was absolutely wonderful.20150125_Three_Rivers.jpg

Posted by V3USA 17:04

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Did you manage to get to a Walmart and buy a Rand McNally?

by Peter

WOW - looks and sounds amazing! You all look far too happy... :)

by Lisa

Looks amazing. Sooo jealous. It is so freaking hot here the idea of snow sounds amazing!!!!!! Loving all the pics and updates! Xoxoxo k

by Karlisa

Peter, we have heaps of maps and books as well as Google and had been to a few information centres. We have a pretty good idea of where to go and how to get there, especially since we are finding some nice gems away from the interstates. The plan is to be in New Orleans in early March.

by V3USA

Enjoying watching your journey, thanks for sharing.

by Peter

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