Merced River

The Merced River tumbles over the cascading Nevada and Vernal Falls of Yosemite National Park. The river meanders along the valley floor through Yosemite and builds into a river of pure whitewater.

With its' steep gradient, sweeping bends, and few obstacles to negotiate the Merced provides long straight forward rapids with big rolling waves. This Class IV river is an excellent step up into the realm of advanced California whitewater rafting.

Wild and Scenic, the Merced is a free flowing river and only runs in the spring from April to July depending on winter snowpack. The Merced has 2 sections of river, both are excellent California whitewater rafting run's, with plenty of Class IV whitewater. There are several camping options along the river if you chose to string both sections together for a 2-day trip. Otherwise there are other camping options with a close proximity to the river. River Shuttles to the different access points are fairly straight forward.
From Red Bud picnic area the river meanders its' way 29 miles down to Bagby through a grassy, mid-sierran canyon. Come early spring, the hillsides come alive with vibrant colors from golden poppies, wild iris and purple lupine. Within this 29 mile stretch of river, the mighty Merced provides 9 major Class IV rapids, numerous Class II - III rapids and one portage around North Fork Falls (mile 22.6). Commercial whitewater rafting outfitters run trips on the Merced on a permit basis.

The upper, runs from Red Bud Picnic Area down to Briceburg. The lower section runs from Briceburg down to Bagby.

O.A.R.S. - California
Angels Camp, CA * Lotus, CA
California (Angels Camp): California whitewater rafting since 1969 - Based in the Sierra Foothills, O.A.R.S. offers a variety of 1-day and multi-day white water rafting options. This includes Tuolumne River rafting and Merced River rafting near Yosemite National Park, rafting on the North Fork of the Stanislaus River near Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Klamath River Rafting in Northern California not far from Mount Shasta.

California (Coloma): American River whitewater rafting since 1969--Based out of Lotus on the South Fork of the American River, O.A.R.S. offers American River white water rafting near Sacramento & Lake Tahoe. Trip options include 1-day and multi-day rafting adventures from easy to extreme on the South Fork American, Middle Fork American and the North Fork of the American River in northern California.
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American River Recreation
Lotus, CA
Offering high quality whitewater river adventures on California's best rivers. 1/4 day floats to 4-day trips with all meals, shuttles and expert river guides. Over 34 years experence we trips suited for everyone from mild to wild.
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