US Whitewater > California > Merced River



California whitewater, Merced River

Mariposa county, Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS IV     17 miles
  The scenic beauty of Mariposa County and the cool fresh water will make you feel great. The Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir section of Merced River in California is 17 miles long and is a class IV section of whitewater according to American Whitewater. If you have the time you can make this a two day trip, so why not pack your camping stuff too. The beauty of the Central Sierra Nevada is a great plus for this river. If you're coming from Madera
    it's not a long drive at all to the starting location, if you're not familiar with the area there's a road map further down the page. The average California whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit harder to
master than those in other states, so better not forget that quite a few of the sections here are not easy. Getting some good exercise and just being out on the river for a while are sure to keep you coming back for more. The campgrounds here at Merced River are pretty good. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick.  
Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking this is an area with plenty of places for that. This river system is full of great paddling sections, the Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir section is just one of them.

Briefly about the general area:
A delightful place in close proximity to Merced River is North Fork Halls Gulch, and there are good locations to explore along the Hite Cove Trail. Whohoo, so many fun things in one place! The Central Sierra Nevada rules! You'll meet a lot of people from Midpines here, and you can go for a hike on the Pilot Ridge Trail. At this river you will never have a bad time.

Merced River, Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir 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, 7 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 17 miles long (Greeley Hill Road to Merced confluence)
Tuolumne River - South Fork, Tuolumne County, 11 miles away
      Class IV-V - 7 miles long (Highway 120 to Rainbow Pool Picnic Area)
Merced River - South Fork, Mariposa County, 11 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7.4 miles long (Snyder Gulch to Route 140 Bridge)
Merced River, Mariposa County, 11 miles away
      Class IV - 17 miles long (Red Bud to Bagby Reservoir)
Tuolumne River, Tuolumne County, 12 miles away
      Class IV-V - 18 miles long (Lumsden Campground to Wards Ferry Bridge)
Merced River, Mariposa County, 13 miles away
      Class II-V - 29 miles long (El Portal to Route 49 at Lake McClure)
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)
Clavey River, Tuolumne County, 20 miles away
      Class V+ - 8.5 miles long (Upper Bridge to Lower Bridge)
Chowchilla River, Madera County, 20 miles away
      Class III-IV - 7 miles long (Road 810 to Road 800)
 Ski Areas Near Merced River:
Badger Pass, California , 22 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 , 61 miles away, 1679 foot drop, 11 lifts, 45 runs
June Mountain, California , 62 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 , 67 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:
Willow Placer, Midpines, 3 miles away
McCabe Flat, Midpines, 3 miles away
Railroad Flat, Midpines, 3 miles away
 Trails Near Merced River:
Hite Cove Trail, Mariposa , 9 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 , 22 miles away
Stanislaus National Forest, California , 30 miles away
Columbia State Park, California , 36 miles away
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California , 40 miles away
 Lakes Near Merced River
Cherry Lake, Tuolumne , 19 miles away
Pine Mountain Lake, Tuolumne , 20 miles away

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