Bureau of Land Management, California.
The Merced River Campgrounds have no reservation system in place. The campsites are on a first-come-first-serve basis only. Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands.
Visitors will have plenty to do in the Merced River RMA during every season. Springtime comes early to the Merced River Canyon and by March the wildflower season is well on its way lasting into May. Easy access, un-damned flows, and excellent whitewater boating attract rafters and kayakers during the spring runoff (April through July). Commercial rafting trips are available from BLM permitted outfitters.
The Merced River is a very popular swimming destination during the hot California foothill summers with some of the clearest swimming hole around. Gold panning and prospecting have never fallen out of favor since the 1850’s when this canyon had a large mining population. In autumn the crowds subside and the Merced River Recreation Area provides more solitude while still offering most of the appeal and activities as earlier in the year. By winter, true solitude can be found. The weather is usually quite warm and sunny between storms. Daytime highs in the 60’s and overnight lows in the 30’s are common.
While some activities are best in specific seasons, there are many things to do all year long. Bird watching is good throughout the area most of the year. Fishing is popular for trout and bass along the entire river. Biking along the gravel roads and trails is popular with families and experienced mountain bikers alike. Hiking is great anytime of the year.
The Merced River Trail continues on downstream from the end of the Briceburg River Road and brings hikers or bikers to the North Fork of the Merced and beyond. The Burma Grade is another popular route to explore on foot, bike, or high-clearance automobile. This scenic backroad climbs steeply out of the Merced Canyon and eventually leads to Greely Hill or Buck Meadows (Highway 120).
In order to comply with the Mariposa County Interim Guidelines for Campgrounds, the following procedures are put in place:
Please help keep these campgrounds open by adhering to these guidelines. Bureau of Land Management staff will be working hard to meet the new guidelines established to keep visitors and workers safe. Visitors should bring all of their own personal hygiene supplies and practice CDC recommended hand washing practices, social distancing, etc. Original Source: Mariposa County Interim Guidelines for Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
There are three (3) developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the unpaved Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade).
Please Note: Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.
HOURS: Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 9 am - 5 pm
PHONE: Briceburg Visitor Center (209) 379-9414
LOCATION: Where the highway meets the river ... Hwy 140 at the Merced Wild & Scenic River. Twelve (12) miles east on Highway 140 from the Mariposa Visitor Bureau stop sign.
Recreation Passes: America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
Return To: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office
From the city of Merced, located on U.S. Highway 99, travel 40 miles east on State Highway 140 to the town of Mariposa. Then travel another 15 miles along Highway 140 to the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Merced Wild & Scenic River.
There are three developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the unpaved Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade). Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.