Merced River 1/2-day trips
We offer both morning and afternoon 1/2 day trips. Our morning trips meet at 8:00 a.m. and end about 12:30 p.m.. Our afternoon trips meet at 1:30 p.m. and end around 6:00 p.m.. During our main season (April-July depending on snowpack), this trip covers 11 miles but does not include lunch.
Later in the season, as water levels slowly drop, we migrate these trips to the Merced river Gorge. These “Late Season” half day trips are mostly Class 2-3, and great for families with kids as young as 7. (See a write up on these trips with a photo at the bottom of this page).
Minimum age: 8-12 (main season), 7 (late season), depending on water levels.
Merced 1/2 Day 2023 Trip Dates
Daily from April into July or early August depending on snow-pack
Main Season – 11 miles
Late Season – 5 miles (as water levels lower)
Both morning (8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) and afternoon (1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) trips are available daily
Merced 1/2 Day Pricing
|Group Price (12+)|
- Prices are per person and subject to an 8% Government access/service fee
- 5% discount for groups of 6-11.
- Group rates apply for 12 or more, plus 1 free trip with 24 or more
- Meet either at 8:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m sharp at the Zephyr office:
6940 Highway 140, MidPines, Ca 95345.
- Park cars, do paperwork and fit wetsuits if needed
- Safety talk, paddle instruction, shuttle to river, and then we start rafting
- NOTE: The 4.5 hour window for each trip includes car parking, bus shuttle, a safety talk, etc. Actual “on-water” time varies depending on how high or how low the water levels are at trip time.
- Wet suits and/or paddle jackets if needed
- All river gear including helmets and life jackets
- Cold beverages at the end of the trip
- Parking and round trip bus shuttle to and from river
- Lunch is not included on our 1/2 day trips
On the River
Logistics, Directions & Accomodations
Late Season 1/2 day trips during lower water
When the normal 11-mile 1/2 day trip section of the Merced river becomes too low to raft as the snow melt slows, we move our 1/2 day trips down to “the Gorge”…a 5-mile narrow, scenic section of the river from Briceburg to Railroad Flat. The water is warmer, the air temperature hot, and the lower water rapids are fun and technical. We stop at a calm area for swimming, and kids love jumping off “Jump Rock”
If you are looking for a high water Class 3-4 trip, this is not it! But if your fancy is fun family rafting with warm temperatures, fun lower water class 2-3 rapids, and scenic floating and swimming, this trip can’t be beat.
Because of the slower pace (although still providing for fun, technical rapids…you still wear your helmet!) and fun water play activities associated with this trip, we have had clients say that this trip offered more family fun than our higher water trips. Minimum age is 7-9 depending on the swimming ability of your kids and water levels.