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Merced River - Red Bud to Briceburg

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Outside Yosemite National Park
Class III - IV
River Length
15 miles
1-2 Days
April to July


The section of the Merced River from Red Bud to Briceburg isn't as consistently hard as the lower section, but the water still whips into the air, churned high and fierce by river currents. Every spot of Class III white-water is matched by a stretch of Class IV and even the kindest of the Class IIIs is not kind enough for a beginner.

Red Bud to Briceburg has its share of legendary rapids. One particularly famous patch of rock and white-cap is Nightmare Island, a Class IV rapid that splits around a rough island and threads itself through a minefield of boulders. Another famous rapid is Ned Gulch, named for the creek that enters the river, just in time to drop down a staircase rapid. When the water is particularly high, you may be rafting off waves here.

Class III - IV
River Length
15 miles
1-2 Days
April to July
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