Merced River
Merced River
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16 reviews
Excellent
9
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5
Average
2
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TravelerCentralFLA
Clermont, FL1,379 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
We visited Yosemite as a family and loved the valley. Running through Yosemite Valley is the Merced River. It was flowing quickly and overflowing its banks because of the record snow they received this past winter. The Merced is beautiful and set in one of the most amazing settings in the world.
Written June 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheExplorerFamily
Somerset, NJ6,451 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
The 145-mile Merced River runs in the central part of California. Glaciation during the ice ages carved its 81-mile path through Yosemite National Park, where the flow is steep and swift, but becomes a much calmer meandering stream through the Joaquim Valley.

The water of this river in Yosemite is fed mostly by the snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and is therefore crystal clear, but too cold and too fast for swimming. Most people are content to just sit by the banks, and watch the water flow by, since the water is high in mercury content and in some areas, the CA Water Board found high levels of Anatoxin A – a type of poison produced by algae blooms. Obviously, it is not advisable to drink the water directly without boiling, but in several areas, there is boating, camping and fishing available to visitors.

The best view of the river is when it drops over the Nevada and the Vernal Falls causing the phenomenal “Giant Staircase”.

We saw parts of this river under several bridges that we crossed in Yosemite, calmly moving along by the El Capitan meadow and the Cathedral Beach, and flowing more rapidly near Mirror Lake.

The river is everywhere, and you cannot miss it as you traverse the National Park.
Written July 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,095 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Don't get lost on the incredible granite cliffs and mountains and waterfalls springing from them, to forget the live blood of the valley, the Merced. If you spend time in the valley you will criss-cross this river so many times without noticing because the stars are the cliff, mountains and waterfalls. However, the water in the river is the lifeblood of the valley. Also the river can provide both the best views and backdrops for your pictures. Many of the best pull overs are along the river. Finally the river is impressive when you leave the glacier portion of the valley at the park's entrance. This section of the drive is a pretty as any section in the park but so different. With that said, unless you actively make yourself notice the river, you will probably forget it is there.
Written April 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roj1281
Houston, TX515 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
I visited Yosemite in March of 2021 and the drive from Mariposa to Yosemite was beautiful. The water was clear and clean, I kept dipping my hands in it because it was too cold to get in at the time. I got so many pictures of this river.
Written July 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scrappysquirrel
Mechanicsville, VA500 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Family
We visited Yosemite in mid-June. The Merced River was raging. We saw the river in so many different spots and it was beautiful. Be careful because the current is so strong.
Written June 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DawgExplorer
Dalton, GA2,549 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Family
The Merced was raging in early June after quite a bit of snowmelt. White water went on for miles and miles well past the perimeter of the park. It is one of the center pieces of the valley that connects many other highlights of the area.
Written June 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PacificNWFamily
Washington State102,020 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
The Merced River in Yosemite Valley was raging along during my June visit. On two different occasions, I sat near the river in the shade and enjoyed a picnic lunch. The river was incredibly loud, but it also offered some cooler temperatures.
Written June 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China160,055 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
The Merced River is a river in central California that is fed by the snowmelt within Yosemite National Park. The river winds its way through Yosemite Valley, making a central feature of this area of the park.

When visiting the Valley, you won't help but see and spend time near the Merced River. One way roads run along side the Merced River into and out of the valley. There are several nice bridge crossings of the Merced and hiking trails that run along side the river.

We visited the Yosemite Valley this past April and were quite impressed with the water flow and natural beauty of the river. Our favourite spot was at the Swinging Bridge picnic area in the center of the Valley.

At this location the Merced widens a bit and flows with a flat surface, recreating a reflection pool where you can see Yosemite Falls and the ridge of the valley walls to the north in the standing river water. This was a beautiful spot on the river for photos of the valley. We will specifically seek out a return to this particular location on the Merced when we are next able to visit Yosemite.

We also enjoyed stopping along El Portal Road just outside the Valley. There are several pullover locations where you can exit your vehicle and have a look at the river, which runs very rapidly in this location.

Lastly, we spent a bit of time on the Merced River near El Portal and Briceburg, where there is a nice walking trail - Merced River Trail. At this location, you can walk alongside the river and enjoy spring blooms during the spring.
Written May 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

minimize940314
Los Angeles, CA3,543 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
Merced River is a river that flows through Yosemite NP. You would have multiple chance to run into river banks while walking around the NP. Water is very clean so sometimes you may get good reflection on the surface.
Written March 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carl-Henrik P
Kungsbacka, Sweden1,241 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Couples
We stopped to see this river. But what we saw was just a river like many others. Maybe more dramatic in the springtime.
Written September 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MERCED RIVER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Merced River


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