This section probably does not get paddled very much as it was discouraged / not allowed by Yosemite National Park, until 2014. The first descent, described in Holbeck and Stanley was enabled by Yosemite local Tom Meagher who arranged special permission. Other parties have descended the river, and by modern standards it may be comparable to other very difficult rivers now commontly run. It is likely that numerous portages remain for even the best boaters.
Starting in 2014, up to 10 boaters a day may register to paddle this section.
Put in: Elevation = 3820 feet.
Alternate Access Points: The road is close to the river over much of this section though it climbs away below Arch Rock entrance station. There are numerous potential alternate access points. In the area near Cascade Creek the gradient and difficulty on the Merced is moderate. However, the park service may establish restrictions or protocols for access sites in order to protect riparian habitat.
Take out: Highway 140 comes back down to river level at the park boundary. There are two large turnouts for parking upstream of the motels. Elevation = 2120 feet.
The total drop in this section is about 1700 feet over 7 miles for an average gradient of 240 feet per mile.
Other Information Sources:Yosemite National ParkYosemite Water Activities
Merced & SF Merced Planning Process:
Yosemite National Park released their Merced Wild and Scenic Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, and we're very pleased to announce that the Park Service has improved and enhanced opportunities to enjoy Yosemite via kayak, canoe and raft. The new plan places paddling on equal footing with other activities in the Park by managing visitor numbers similar to hiking and other backcountry uses. The plan considers river segments as "water trails" or backcountry routes
The gauge shown above is at Pohono Bridge, which is about a mile upstream of the highway 140 / 120 junction.
NOAA Flow predictions
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
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If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Earlier today, Yosemite National Park released their Merced Wild and Scenic Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. The new plan places paddling on equal footing with other activities in the Park, and we're very pleased to announce that the Park Service has improved and enhanced opportunities to enjoy Yosemite via kayak, canoe and raft.
Thanks to everyone who submitted comments for the Tuolumne River Plan last month! Now is your chance to weigh in on how the Wild and Scenic Merced River in Yosemite National Park will be managed in the future–comments are due April 18th. With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening this stunning and amazing river to the public!
Yosemite National Park is currently seeking the public's input on how the Wild and Scenic Merced and Tuolumne Rivers will be managed in the future, including the question of whether to open them up to paddling. While we're pleased to see the park is considering lifing the ban in some areas, the preferred alternative for both rivers keeps the long-standing prohibition on paddling in place for the Tuolumne and on sections of the Merced. With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening these stunning and amazing rivers to the public!
Yosemite National Park is currently seeking your input as they develop alternatives for the Merced Wild and Scenic River Management Plan. Boating is currently banned throughout most of the Park, and we are pleased to see that it is being considered on additional stretches of the river. Your comments can help support opening the entire length of the Wild and Scenic Merced River within the Park to canoes, kayaks and rafts! Participate in public workshops and/or log in to a Webinar an April 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 (Pacific time) at yose.webex.com
Yosemite National Park is starting fresh with a new river planning process for the Wild and Scenic Merced River and tributaries. The public can tell the park what they want studied in the plan by submitting comments before February 4, 2010. Yosemite severely limits whitewater boating in the park, so this is your chance to ask the planners to increase whitewater boating opportunities.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!