The Kaweah River is one of the series of rivers that flow west from the Sierra Nevada of California. It is near the southern end of the range, and drains areas north and west of the Kern River and south of the Kings River. It does not drain as large an area as many of the Sierra rivers, because the Kern River to its east drains the water coming off the crest. Thus, although it is capable of nasty floods, it dries to a trickle during the summer in dry years. Its respective reservour, Lake Kaweah, also shrinks greatly in the summer. This river does not drain to the ocean - it once drained into the series of huge, shallow lakes that filled the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. Now these lakes are gone, and all that is left is the farm fields, which this and other rivers keep alive.

This river drains much of Sequoia National Park and its tributaries meander between the huge Sequoias themselves. Its southern fork emerges from Mineral King Valley, a valley known for dramatic, stark scenery, craggy peaks, cascades, and marmots which eat rubber out of cars. This valley was nearly destroyed by Disney in the past, but was saved by the Sierra Club and added to the national park.

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