Effective immediately, the public lands along the Merced River are CLOSED to all forms of public access. This closure is for public and employee safety in relation to the presence of toxic algae cyanobacteria (Microcoleus) in the Merced River. This closure will remain in effect until rescinded.
The affected recreation areas include the Merced River Campground Access Road, McCabe Flat Campground, Willow Placer Campground, Railroad Flat Campground, North Fork Primitive Camp, Cable Rock Day Use Site, and Briceburg Day Use and Put-in, and are closed to all forms of public access.
Read all about it: FAQ's for Toxic Algae Mats
Railroad Flat Campground
Bureau of Land Management Railroad Flat Campground Briceburg, CA 95345
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 Wild & Scenic Merced 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 Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade). Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.
$10.00 per site per night, 8 people per site maximum. Recreation Pass fee is $5.00/site/night.
Railroad Flat Campground
At the end of Briceburg River Road and 4.5 miles from the suspension bridge within the BLM, Merced River Recreation Area is the Railroad Flat Campground. Popular with gold prospectors and hikers alike, there is always interesting campfire talk in this campground. It also serves as the trailhead for the BLM, Merced River Trail. The Merced River Trail is a spectacular wildflower walk in spring, has great scenery, fine fishing, and amazing swimming during other times of the year.
Facilities in Railroad Flat Campground (9 sites total):
- 3 Walk-in camp sites
- 6 drive-up camp site
- 1 vault toilet
- 2 Port-o-let toilet (seasonal near site 21-23)
- Trash collection cans
- Recycling collection cans
- Main parking lot
- Self-pay Iron Ranger fee system
- There are picnic tables, fire grills, and food storage lockers at all camp sites.
- All campsites are within 200 feet of the river
Permits, Fees, and Limitations:
- Camp fee is $10.00 per site per night. America the Beautiful Pass fee is $5.00/site/night.
- Camping is allowed only in designated, numbered camp sites.
- Maximum 8 people and two vehicles per site.
- Camping is first come, first served. No reservations available.
- A campsite is rented ONLY once it has been paid in full, pay-stub is properly completed and attached to campsite post, and site is occupied by campers (tent up).
- Self-pay system. Iron Ranger located near Bulletin Board.
- Pay camp fee within 30 minutes of occupying site.
- No dispersed camping within the Merced River corridor.
- No person shall leave any property unattended for more than 24 hours. (43 CFR 8351.2-1 (1))
- Campfires are allowed ONLY in provided metal fire rings. NO campfires on beach. Seasonal Fire Restrictions apply.
- No glass bottles allowed within 1/4 mile of the Merced River. 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (i)
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
- NO DOGS allowed at McCabe BEACH.
- NO AMPLIFIED MUSIC or unreasonable noise any time.
- QUIET TIME AFTER 10:00 pm (no speakers, generators etc.)
- No discharge of firearms or fireworks 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (a)
- No person shall enter a developed campground between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, unless that person is a registered camper. 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (g)
- All California Motor Vehicle Laws Apply. (Seat Belts, DUI, etc.). 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (e)
- Any person who fails to comply with these written orders may be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment not to exceed six months. Federal Register/ Vol. 66 No. 130/ Friday, July 6, 2001/ Notices Pg 35663.
No lifeguard on duty. Swimming is dangerous any time of year, but especially during spring and early summer. The Merced River is un-damned and the flow changes dramatically from year to year and season to season. Please wear a life jacket. SWIMMING IS ONLY RECOMMENDED BELOW 700 CFS.
Potable water is available across the Briceburg Bridge as you head towards the campground facilities. Look for the faucet near the information kiosk. Bring your own water for camping purposes. Potable water is not available at the campground sites.
Trailers over 18 feet and large RV's are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge. The old Yosemite railroad grade is accessible by vehicles up to the Railroad Flat Campground. Only equestrian, pedestrians, and bicycles are permitted beyond the Railroad Flat Campground. Commercial lodging is available in the town of Mariposa.
- River flow is posted on-line at: www.dreamflows.com
- Return To: Merced River Recreation Management Area
- Visit: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office
- Recreation Passes: America the Beautiful — National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass