Merced River Recreation Management Area
Campgrounds, Trailheads and Day Use Areas:
There are three (3) developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the unpaved Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade). It is NOT recommended for trailers over 18 feet or large RV's to cross over the suspension bridge.
Campsites are $10/night/site. First come, first served. Bear-proof food storage lockers at all campsites.
- McCabe Flat Campground - 2.3 miles downstream from Briceburg
- Willow Placer Campground - 3.6 miles downstream from Briceburg
- Railroad Flat Campground - 4.5 miles downstream from Briceburg
- North Fork Primitive Camp - 2.5 miles downstream from Railroad Flat Campground
- Cable Rock Day Use Site - 1.4 miles downstream from Briceburg
- Briceburg Day Use/Put-in - Hwy 140 at Merced River, 12 miles east of Mariposa
The Merced River Recreation Management Area is a very special place just downstream from Yosemite. It is well known for excellent whitewater boating, wildflower viewing, camping, swimming, and recreational gold panning/prospecting. Bird watching is good throughout the area most of the year. Fishing is popular for trout and bass along the entire river. Biking along the gravel roads and trails is popular with families and experienced mountain bikers alike. Hiking is great anytime of the year. Easy access, un-damned flows, and excellent whitewater boating attract rafters and kayakers during the spring runoff (April through July). Commercial rafting trips are available from BLM permitted outfitters.
The Merced River Trail continues on downstream from the end of the Briceburg River Road and brings hikers or bikers to the North Fork of the Merced River and beyond. The Burma Grade road is another popular route to explore on foot, bike, or high-clearance automobile. This scenic backroad climbs steeply out of the Merced River Canyon and eventually leads to Greely Hill or Buck Meadows (Highway 120).
Need a Map?
- Recreation Passes: America the Beautiful — National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
- Return To: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office
- Visit: Briceburg Visitor Center
The Briceburg Visitor Center OPENS Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.
HOURS: Saturday and Sunday: 9 am - 5 pm
PHONE: Briceburg Visitor Center (209) 379-9414
LOCATION: Where the highway meets the river ... Hwy 140 at the Merced Wild & Scenic River. Twelve (12) miles east on Highway 140 from the Mariposa Visitor Bureau stop sign.
From the city of Merced, located on U.S. Highway 99, travel 40 miles east on State Highway 140 to the town of Mariposa. Then travel another 15 miles along Highway 140 to the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Merced Wild & Scenic River.
There are three developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the unpaved Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade).
NOTE: Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.