Merced River Rafting

  • White Water Rafting Yosemite: One of the Wildest White Water Rafting Trips We Offer

    Class 4 – 4+ • FAQs  

    Season: April – June

    Merced River Rafting with Whitewater Excitement, Inc.Tumbling down from the peaks of Yosemite National Park, Merced River rafting is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating rafting trips WWE has to offer. Located a short 3.5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay area and just 6 hours from Southern California (see main map), the Merced River is a brilliant one-day Yosemite white water rafting adventure. The main entrance to Yosemite is only 40 minutes away from our meeting point, making it a must-see for those adventure seekers rafting the Merced. Rafting on the Merced is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will allow you to experience Yosemite’s waterfalls at their absolute grandest. Come and spend an exciting day rafting the Merced with us, followed by a day viewing the magnificent Yosemite National Park.

    Merced River Rafting at its Best!


    Merced River Rafting Highlights

    • Great one-day whitewater rafting adventure
    • One of the wildest white water California trips we offer
    • Wilderness river rafting trip with gourmet meals
    • A quick 3.5 hour drive from the Bay Area and only 6 hours from many areas in Southern California
    • We offer FREE wet suit use, and rafting windbreakers are also included in the price of the trip!


    Good afternoon,I just wanted to give you some feedback on our white water rafting trip we took on May 5th. My husband and I had the enormous pleasure of rafting down the Merced with the lovely Ann. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide! She had so much to offer with her vast knowledge, experience, and tons of interesting stories. Ann along with the rest of your staff, really worked hard to make sure this was an anniversary trip we will never forget! What a blast! We can’t wait to do it again! Thanks for everything!”

    Sincerely, Jamie H.

    Merced River Rafting – What is it like?

    There are many exciting runs on the river, including “Nightmare Island”, “Grand Slam”, and the giant “Ned’s Gulch”.  These are just a few of the rapids on the Merced, which stretches over 18-miles.  Springtime is usually the best time to experience it, when the water is really roaring. The rapids are virtually non-stop during the springtime and often require rafting crews that are either experienced or adventurous first time rafters; all of whom need to be in excellent physical condition for such challenging rapids. The Merced’s canyon floor is also covered with wildflowers during the spring. The lupine, redbud and California poppy all make this area intensely beautiful.

    Merced River Trips: White Water Rafting in Yosemite’s Waters

    1-Day Merced River Rafting Trips $155 – $175   Trip Prices

    Beginning at the Red Bud Picnic site (the highest point we can actually raft) a 3.5-mile section of non-stop rapids starts your Merced river rafting adventure with a bang! The excitement continues as you push through the lower section and builds to the grand finale with the rush of “Corner Pocket,” and “Split Rock” both Class IV rapids.

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    Current Merced River Rafting Flows


  • Rafting Merced River Rafting Details & Directions

    For details regarding the Merced River whitewater rafting trips, download and print the PDF information sheet listed below for the trip you will be taking. See also our printable Disclaimer Form, which must be completed and brought to the river with you. See also our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Meeting Place and Times

    All Merced Trips meet at the Whitewater Excitement meeting area in Midpines, CA, located just 7 miles East of Mariposa. Please see below for a full set of directions. Meeting time is 8:30am sharp.


    The town of Merced is located on Highway 99. Once in Merced, take Highway 140 east through Mariposa toward Yosemite National Park. Seven miles past Mariposa is the town of Midpines. Located on the left side of Highway 140, just past the MT. VIEW GROCERY STORE (located on your right), is our MEETING AREA. Look for ourWWE Vans. We’ll have a Whitewater Excitement Sign posted to help you out! Park in the parking area and then come meet us at the Check-In Table and the WWE Staff will be there to help.



    Merced River Trip Meeting Place Map



    What to Bring for your river rafting trip

    On 1-day trips you will need a swimsuit or shorts, tennis shoes or Teva type sandles, hat, sunglasses with retaining device, sun block, lip balm, pile or poly-pro sweater along with a windbreaker in case of cool weather, disposable waterproof camera, garbage bag for wet clothes, a small amount of money for souvenirs, photos, extra set of clothes and dry shoes (left in the car) for the trip home.

    Wet suits are required during the spring (prior to Memorial Day) and during times of HIGH WATER (can sometimes last until mid-June). Wet suits are provided to you. Our wet suits fit those under 6’4” and/or 260 pounds. For your safety, those not having wet suits when required will not be able to participate in the trip.


    Guests on our one day trips are provided with a delicious riverside deli-style buffet lunch included a plentiful sandwich bar with a variety of meats, breads, cheeses, veggies, pasta or potato salad, potato chips, fresh fruits, cookies and ice cold drinks.


    Indian Flat RV & Camp Area (El Portal) (209)379-2339

    Yosemite Bug Lodge (Midpines) They have dorm cabins, tent cabins, private rooms w/baths and guest houses. They also offer a clean shower facility and restaurant for breakfast. (866) 826-7108.

    BLM Camp Areas (On the Merced River) First Come First Serve.

    KOA (Midpines) (209) 966-2201

    The BLM camp areas are located directly on the banks of the Merced, approximately 4 miles from our meeting area. These are rustic camp sites with no running water and pit-type toilets.


    Hotels / Motels

    Miners Inn Mariposa (888) 646-2244

    Mariposa Lodge (800) 966-8819

    Best Western Mariposa (800) 937-8376

    Yosemite Bug Lodge (866) 826-7108

    Driving Times

    Los Angeles – 300 miles • 5.5 +/- hrs

    San Jose – 160 miles • 3 hrs

    San Francisco – 110 miles • 3.5 hrs


    Weather conditions can change from one day to the next. For the most up to date conditions click on NATIONAL WEATHERSERVICE. Springtime is generally in the 70-80 degree range, however, cooler rainy weather can happen, so be prepared with wet suits, rain jackets, pile or poly-pro sweaters. We only cancel a trip due to severe stormy conditions. Summer temperatures range in the high 80s to 100s. Summer evening temps are in the 60s.

    A Government and Land Access Fee of between $6 – $8 per day will be added to above prices.Chartered bus trips from Southern California are available. Please call 800-750-2386 for details.You might also be interested in:Price List (all rivers) • Family Rafting • Group Discounts• Make a Reservation • Check Availability • Trip Photos (all rivers)
  • Merced River Rafting Map

    See also our main California Map.



    Merced River Map showing whitewater rapids

  • Merced River – Trip Prices

    Fun for Everyone Challenging Thrillseekers


    River Trip Length in Days Trip Cost Start Days Minimum Age Comments
    2016 Merced River Big Water Rapids! Class 4-4+
    One Day Trip 1 day $155 Mon-Fri *14 (Merced river info)*Call office Merced trips include FREE use of wet suits, paddle jackets & fleece sweaters
    1 day $175 Sat-Sun
    A Government and Land Access Fee of between $6 – $8 per day will be added to above prices.Chartered bus trips from Southern California are available. Please call 800-750-2386 for details.You might also be interested in:Price List (all rivers) • Family Rafting • Group Discounts• Make a Reservation • Check Availability • Trip Photos (all rivers)