Merced River Recreation Management Area

Bureau of Land Management, California.

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY.

NOTICE:  Merced River recreation sites are CLOSED to all public access.

The temporary closure, in response to the presence of toxic algal blooms in the Merced River, will remain in effect until Sept. 17, 2021. The BLM may modify the length of the closure if conditions change.  See: Temporary Closure Information

Campgrounds, Trailheads and Day-Use Areas:

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).

NOTE: It is NOT recommended for trailers over 18 feet and large RV's to cross over the suspension bridge.

Overview

The Merced River Recreation Management Area is a very special place just downstream from Yosemite. It is well known for excellent whitewater boating, wildflower viewing, camping, swimming, and recreational gold panning/prospecting. 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. 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 Trail continues on downstream from the end of the Briceburg River Road and brings hikers or bikers to the North Fork of the Merced River and beyond. The Burma Grade road is another popular route to explore on foot, bike, or high-clearance automobile. This scenic backroad climbs steeply out of the Merced River Canyon and eventually leads to Greely Hill or Buck Meadows (Highway 120).

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Nearby Activities


Directions

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).

NOTE: Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.

Additional Information

Photo Gallery