On This Page
The following whitewater rafting information should answer your logistical questions concerning your Merced river whitewater rafting trip. If you still have questions after reviewing this material, please feel free to call our office.
Meeting Time & Place
PLEASE NOTE: OUR MEETING LOCATION FOR ALL 2019 MERCED TRIPS IS CHANGING. OUR NEW LOCATION WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY DECEMBER 31.
Morning 1/2-day trips meet at 8:30 a.m sharp!
Afternoon 1/2-day trips meet at 2:00 p.m sharp!
PLEASE NOTE: OUR MEETING SPOT FOR ALL 2019 MERCED RIVER TRIPS IS CHANGING TO ANOTHER LOCATION IN THE EL PORTAL/MIDPINES AREA. OUR NEW MEETING LOCATION WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY DECEMBER 31, AND WE WILL BE POSTING UPDATED DETAILED DRIVING DIRECTIONS.
Please note that the Highways in and around Yosemite can be confusing, and summer traffic can add driving time to the estimates below. It is important that you key into where you are staying, and are clear on your driving directions. It is your responsibility to get to our meeting location ON TIME. If you are late, you will miss your trip and there are no refunds for missed trips!
From Yosemite Valley:
From Tenaya Lodge/Fishcamp:
From Bass Lake/Oakhurst:
From Mammoth/Mono Lake:
Full-day trips include a deli-lunch served on the river. Half-day trips do not include lunch. All trips include cold beverages prior to boarding our bus for the ride back to your cars.
As a service to our clients, Zephyr provides wet suits and paddle jackets free of charge. Wetsuits are recommended on all trips through about mid June, depending on previous winter snowpack. The wetsuits are designed for whitewater rafting, and are very comfortable. The suit is a full-length “farmer-john” style, with sleeveless tops. We also provide an optional nylon paddle jacket which can be worn over the suit when necessary. You are welcome to provide your own suit if you wish.
What to Bring
On the river
- Shorts/swim suit
- Tennis shoes or river sandals (no flip flops please!)
- Sunglasses with tie-on
- Camera (see above) Note: There is a professional photographer that will be taking photos along the way, and these photos will be available for you to see and purchase if you desire when the trip is over.
- Light Windbreaker/wool sweater (spring trips only)
- T-shirt or long-sleeve shirt
- Hat/Visor with tie-on. Note: On the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, you will be wearing a helmet, and you will need a baseball style hat that can be worn underneath the helmet. and still screen you from the sun.
- Wetsuit if you have one. Ours are provided at no charge, and include a nylon paddle jacket.
Cool weather or high water items
- Polypro or wool long underwear
- Wool or pile pants
- Wool or polypro sweater/jacket
- Wool hat/Wool gloves
The closest motels to Mariposa are:
- Mariposa Lodge – (209) 966-3607 (800) 341-8000
- Mother Lode Lodge – (209) 966-2521 (800) 396-9770
- Miners Inn Motel – (209) 742-7777 (800) 237-7277
- Comfort Inn – (209) 966-4344 (800) 321-5261
- Best Western – (209) 966-7545 (800) 321-5261
- Sierra View – (209) 966-5793 (800) 627-8439
- Yosemite Motels – a series of 6 great motels in the Yosemite area.
- Yosemite Bug Hostel – a unique low cost hostel with camping, dorm type rooms, private rooms, and a great restaurant, and only 30 minutes from our meeting spot. Located in Midpines, only 8 miles from Mariposa on the way to Yosemite
- Miners Inn Motel – in the heart of Mariposa, this motel is very convenient and has a good restaurant as well.
- Cedar Lodge – (209) 379-2612 (800) 321-5261
- Yosemite View Lodge – (209) 379-2681 (800) 321-5261
- Yosemite Valley – (801) 559-5000
If you plan on staying in the Oakhurst or Fishcamp areas:
- Narrow Gauge Inn in Fishcamp, charming and great food. For reservations, call (888) 644-9050.
- Tenaya Lodge, also in Fishcamp, is a wonderful resort hotel with great restaurants and both indoor and outdoor pools.
- Chateau du Sureau is a 5 star, 5 diamond inn near Oakhurst.
- Hounds Tooth Inn is an excellent Bed and Breakfast near Oakhurst and the Southern entrance to Yosemite.
- Homestead Cottages offers rest and relaxation near Oakhurst.
- Sierra Mountain Lodge B&B is located in Ahwahnee, just 10 minutes from Oakhurst.
- Yosemite Southgate Hotel and Suites is located in the heart of Oakhurst.
For vacation home rentals inside Yosemite:
- Yosemite Vacation Homes is an excellent link.
- Yosemite Scenic Wonders provides cabin, home, and condominium rentals inside historic Yosemite.
- Redwoods in Yosemite offers year-round vacation home rentals.
- SierraScape Vacation Rentals offers several vacation rentals in Mariposa.
For lodging between Groveland and Yosemite:
- Evergreen Lodge is located just north of Yosemite off Highway 120, and offers a rustic, historical stay in its recently remodeled cabins. The food is excellent and the ambiance relaxing. Very close to Hetch Hetchy reservoir.
Bed & Breakfast Inns
- Indian Peak Ranch Mountain Top Hideaway is an excellent choice just south of Mariposa on 122 beautiful acres.
- Little Valley Inn also in Mariposa is close to restaurants and services.
- Indian Flat Campground
- Yosemite – a list of campgrounds inside Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley is 40 minutes from our meeting spot.
- Merced River camping map for BLM and USFS camp sites right on the river.
Breakfast the morning of the trip is your responsibility. There are many good restaurants in the Mariposa area, and if you are staying at either the Cedar Lodge or Yosemite View Lodge or camping at Indian Flat Campground, both the Cedar Lodge and Yosemite View Lodge have very fine restaurants.
One-Day and 1/2 day Trip Logistics
Your head guide will meet you the morning of your trip at our staging area.
- Full day trips meet at 10:00 a.m.
- Morning 1/2 day trips meet at 8:30 a.m.
- Afternoon 1/2 day trips meet at 2:00 p.m.
Please make sure you know how long it will take you to get to our meeting location from where you are coming from. If you are not there on time, you will keep others waiting, and you may miss your trip. There are NO REFUNDS or CREDITS for missed trips. If you are unsure about your driving times, please call our office. PLEASE DO NOT USE GPS.
We are frequently asked whether it is appropriate to tip guides. While our guides are well compensated for their skills, if you feel your trip was exceptional, or that your guide or guides went out of their way to make the quality of your experience a notch above the norm, tipping is a nice way of saying thank you.