MERCED RIVER CAMPING INFORMATION
There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars to complement a day of rafting! Although we don’t operate our own base camp at the Merced River like we do on the Kings River, there are several great campgrounds in the area for pre or post trip camping, many of them right on the river’s edge. The campgrounds featured here are open year-round.
Zephyr’s Merced River rafting trips meet at the Indian Flat Campground in El Portal, just outside Yosemite’s Arch Rock Entrance on Highway 140. Indian Flat has 25 RV sites, 25 tent sites, and a few tent cabins, all walking distance from our meeting spot. These sites can be reserved here. Across the river from our meeting spot are the Dry Gulch and Dirt Flat campgrounds, operated by the United States Forest Service. These sites can be reserved online at www.recreation.gov. Both campgrounds tend to fill up early, so we recommend booking well before your visit.
Additionally, there are three first come, first serve campgrounds operated by the Bureau of Land Management downstream from Briceburg (located about half way between Mariposa and El Portal). McCabe Flat, Willow Placer, and Railroad Flat Campgrounds are all a fantastic value – just $10 per site per night, for up to 8 people. These river-view walk in campsites feature restrooms, picnic tables, and a shaded parking area. However, there is no drinking water available, so make sure your group stocks up on water before heading to claim your site. To access these sites, turn off highway 140 at the BLM Information Center in Briceburg. Cross the bridge and proceed downstream. The road leading to the sites should be fine for most vehicles, but it is not suitable for large RVs or trailers.
If you will be traveling with your RV, not to worry – the County Fairgrounds in Mariposa can accommodate you. There are sites for tent camping here as well. Click here for Fairgrounds camping information or call: 209-966-2432.