ARTA River Trips - Image Art

The Merced River

Not just another day in the Park.

For right-brained people

Whitewater rafting on the Merced River near Yosemite National ParkAfter plunging more than 1,400 feet over Yosemite Falls and winding gently through Yosemite Valley, the Merced River still has something left for us: namely, great whitewater. This is a free-flowing river and it feels like it; the water is cold, the rapids are frisky, and the river and rapids change daily as the snow melts. When the flow is high (mid-May to mid-June), there is no better day of whitewater rafting: all-forward, straight-shot lines through big, roller-coaster waves. All day. Super fun. (so much fun that the RVs pull off the highway to watch us go through the rapids). When the water isn’t high, the rapids are still fun, just a bit tamer; like a little roller-coaster, (and the RVs still pull over). If you've got plans to visit Yosemite National Park, you should spice up your vacation with a day of whitewater rafting on the Merced.

"Best guide I've ever had and I've rafted rivers all across the country. Thanks for your work to preserve the rivers of the west."

Rob Nixon

For left-brained people:

  • The Merced River in one word:
  • Free-flowing
  • In another word:
  • Roller-coaster
  • Best known for:
  • Proximity to Yosemite
  • No other trip has:
  • Honking RVs
  • Expect to:
  • Get wet
  • You can also:
  • Hike Half Dome
  • Signature Rapid:
  • Split Rock
  • Types of boats:
  • Paddle
  • Meeting Place:
  • Midpines, CA
  • Length in days: 1
  • Length in miles: 20
  • Overall difficulty: IV-
  • Highest difficulty (#): IV(3)
  • Rapids/day: ~ 15
  • Gradient: 32 feet/mile
  • Rapids:spacer4 1/2 stars
  • Scenery:spacer3 stars
  • Wilderness: 1 stars
  • Swimming:spacer1 1/2 stars
  • Hiking:spacer1 stars
  • Campsites:spacerN/A
  • Wildlife:spacer1 stars
  • Fishing:spacer1 star
  • Sockeye Salmon

    California Quail -
    (Callipepla californica) - California’s official state bird, with a little crown to boot. The topknot is actually a cluster of six individual feathers, a little more regal (and pompous) on the male and little more subtle (and appropriate) on the female. The chicks are precocial, meaning they can move about and feed themselves immediately after hatching.