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Weekend Trip: Whitewater Rafting and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

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As summer approaches, the snow pack melts and the rivers fill. So there's no better time to start planning a weekend trip to Central California realistically doable from a Friday afternoon through Sunday evening.

About 60 miles east of Fresno (about four hours drive from downtown Los Angeles), is the Kings River where Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions has one of their base camps that offers camping grounds, food service and, of course, guided rafting. The food is delicious and level of rapids are accessible to everyone, even if they are not experienced rafters.

If one leaves Friday night, spends Saturday at the river, Sunday is driving day again, but since Seqouia and Kings Canyon National Park is so close, a detour through the park with a few stops, including the largest tree in the world and Moro Rock is a good idea. Added bonus, head back to Los Angeles through the south end of the park going through Three Rivers and stop for some of the best ice cream ever at Reimer's Candies & Ice Cream.

Beyond gas, road food and an entrance fee to the National Park, most of the trip's cost will come with the whitewater rafting portion (but hey, there are internet specials).

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Previously on LAist: Three Rivers, CA