Other Whitewater Trips on the Merced River

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Paddlesports Schools:

Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School
Located in:
Forks of Salmon, CA

More Details
Our Website
Otter Bar offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction based out of our wilderness lodge on California's pristine Salmo (more...)
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South Fork Merced River Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Merced River

South Fork Merced River Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Wawona
Take Out:  Highway 140
Difficulty:  Class V + , Portage
Gradient:  110 fpm
Run Length:  23 miles
Good Level:  500 - 1,500 cfs
Streamflow Comments:  There is no gauge for this section of river. Look for about 2,500 to 4,500 cfs on the Merced River near Briceburg gauge
Season Comments:  March, April, May, June, July, August
Primary Season:  This section of river runs in the spring and summer during normal snowmelt
Permit:  None presently required
Character/Similar To:  Lots of pool drop class IV+ rapids. There are many class V rapids that can be portaged easily.
Hazards:  This run is very remote and should only be attempted by expert kayakers.
Water Craft:  kayak,raft
Land Ownership:  Public
Wilderness:  No
Location:  In the Pacific Region (CA), 164 miles (2 hours 59 minutes) Southeast of Sacramento
Shuttle Logistics: 

Take Out: The take out is on Route 140 at the confluence of the Main and South Fork Merced river. It is about 10 downriver from El Portal.

Put In: From the take out drive to Yosemite Park, take Highway 41 toward Fresno. Follow this road until you reach the put in at the Wawona area.

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • American River Conservancy
  • American River Watershed Group
  • Disabled Adventure Outfitters' (DAO)-
  • Protect American River Canyons
  • Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign
  • South Yuba River Citizens League
  • Pacific Coast Kayak Clubs
  • California Floaters Society
  • California Kayak Friends
  • Hydraulic Hooligans
  • River City Whitewater Club
  • Sequoia Paddling Club
  • Shasta Paddlers
  • Sierra Club San Francisco Bay RTS
  • Stanford Kayak Club
  • Western Waters Canoe Club
  • Paddling Sites
  • California Whitewater Rafting
  • Dreamflows
  • Travel Guides
  • California Vacation & Travel Guide