US Whitewater > California > Merced River



California whitewater, Merced River

Mariposa county, El Portal to Route 49 at Lake McClure section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-V     29 miles
  The starting location is a reasonable drive from Madera, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you wonít get lost. This stretch of Merced River is 29 miles long and has been rated as a class II-V section by American Whitewater. A bit of exercise and spending some quality time in nature will have you coming back for more. There arenít any hotels right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no
    problem but if you donít have reservations you might end up sleeping in your car. And of course, there are campgrounds nearby. The rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking here in California are often tougher than in other
states, so you'd better keep in mind that many runs in this state are not easy. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way there are lots of good rivers for that around here. The beautiful scenery of Mariposa County and the playfulness of the water beats anything. When you're paddling down a Central Sierra Nevada river like this one you always get great scenery along the way too. This is not the only paddling section  
in this river system, there are others too. If you hurry you can run this stretch in a day but why not make it an overnighter, so pack your camp stove.

Briefly about the general area:
Near Merced River you locate the Hite Cove Trail which is a good hiking trail; if you're visiting from Midpines, you won't be the only one. Now, you may feel that's a heap but there's even more entertaining stuff to do here in the Central Sierra Nevada. Going for a hike on the Pilot Ridge Trail is always a glorious adventure. A common amount of rain falls here at Merced River. Most of the rain falls during January; July is the month with the least moisture.

Merced River, El Portal to Route 49 at Lake McClure road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Merced River.
 Whitewater Near Merced River:
Merced River - North Fork, Mariposa County, 8 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 17 miles long (Greeley Hill Road to Merced confluence)
Merced River - South Fork, Mariposa County, 10 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7.4 miles long (Snyder Gulch to Route 140 Bridge)
Merced River, Mariposa County, 10 miles away
      Class IV - 17 miles long (Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir)
Tuolumne River - South Fork, Tuolumne County, 10 miles away
      Class IV-V - 7 miles long (Highway 120 to Rainbow Pool Picnic Area)
Merced River, Mariposa County, 12 miles away
      Class II-V - 29 miles long (El Portal to Route 49 at Lake McClure)
Tuolumne River, Tuolumne County, 12 miles away
      Class IV-V - 18 miles long (Lumsden Campground to Wards Ferry Bridge)
Tuolumne River, Tuolumne County, 14 miles away
      Class IV-V+ - 9 miles long (Cherry Creek to Meral's Pool)
Clavey River, Tuolumne County, 16 miles away
      Class V+ - 20.8 miles long (Lower Bridge to Ward's Ferry)
Chowchilla River, Madera County, 19 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7 miles long (Road 810 to Road 800)
Clavey River, Tuolumne County, 20 miles away
      Class V+ - 8.5 miles long (Upper Bridge to Lower Bridge)
 Ski Areas Near Merced River:
Badger Pass, California , 21 miles away, 540 foot drop, 5 lifts, 10 runs
Dodge Ridge, California , 30 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 10 lifts, 59 runs
Bear Valley, California , 47 miles away, 1900 foot drop, 11 lifts, 67 runs
Kirkwood, California , 57 miles away, 2000 foot drop, 15 lifts, 65 runs
Sierra Summit, California , 60 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
June Mountain, California , 61 miles away, 2580 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Sierra at Tahoe, California , 64 miles away, 2212 foot drop, 12 lifts, 46 runs
Mammoth Mountain, California , 66 miles away, 3100 foot drop, 27 lifts, 156 runs
Heavenly, California , 71 miles away, 3500 foot drop, 31 lifts, 94 runs
Homewood, California , 80 miles away, 1650 foot drop, 8 lifts, 56 runs
 Hotels Near Merced River:
Yosemite Bed And Breakfast, Mariposa , 8 miles away
Americas Best Value Inn Mariposa Lodge, Mariposa , 9 miles away
Comfort Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway, Mariposa , 9 miles away
Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel, Mariposa , 9 miles away
Z-TO BE DELETED - Little Valle, Mariposa , 13 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Merced River:
Montgomery Gulch, Midpines, 3 miles away
Willow Placer, Midpines, 4 miles away
McCabe Flat, Midpines, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Merced River:
Hite Cove Trail, Mariposa , 8 miles away,  14.4 hiking miles, 1185 feet elevation difference
Pilot Ridge Trail, Mariposa , 10 miles away, 2.1 hiking miles, 1023 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Merced River:
Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park - CA , 21 miles away
Stanislaus National Forest, California , 30 miles away
Columbia State Park, California , 37 miles away
Millerton Lake State Park, California , 40 miles away
 Lakes Near Merced River
Cherry Lake, Tuolumne , 19 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.