2017 was a great year on the rivers, but rafting season is over. Check back in 2018.

There's nothing quite like rafting the Merced River just below Yosemite Valley, where the slope steepens and the water gets wild! With some good winter storms under our belts, 2017 should have the best runoff since 2011. Splash your way through 16 miles of rugged High Sierra river adventure. The California Whitewater River Rafting Package includes a rafting trip on the Merced river through the sweeping vistas of the Sierra with local experts, Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions.

Package Includes:

  • Two nights Deluxe, Premium or Cottage Room accommodations
  • One all-day whitewater rafting trip for two people, with local experts Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions
  • Lunch and beverages

Planning Information

Merced River - Intermediate Skill Level

April & May = Class 4 Rapids
June = Class 3 Rapids

About the Trip:
The Merced river tumbles and twists out of Yosemite Valley, gradually mellowing into a raftable whitewater river just 4 miles below the town of El Portal. It is here that our trips begin. Offering abundant whitewater confined by a narrow corridor, this river is a must for the whitewater enthusiast. Indeed, the Merced river offers one of the best whitewater rafting paddle-boat trips in California.

Zephyr Whitewater is the largest whitewater rafting outfitter on the Merced river, just minutes away from Yosemite Valley.  They have more Merced river trip launch dates, and guide more people down Yosemite's Merced river than all the other permitted outfitters combined!  You can rest assured that the Zephyr guides know this river well!

Directions / Meeting Time: From Tenaya Lodge, go North on Highway 41, into Yosemite National Park and continue into Yosemite Valley.  Immediately take the "All Park Exits" out of Yosemite, and take the Highway 140 route out of Yosemite Valley.  You will be following the Merced river all they way to our meeting spot at Indian Flat.  Driving time from Tenaya Lodge is about 1.5 hours.

Trips meet at 9:30 am promptly at the Zephyr office / parking area next to Indian Flat Campground on Highway 140, just outside the Yosemite Park Highway 140 entrance, and about 3 miles downstream from the town of El Portal. The trip ends at 5:00pm back at the office.

What is Provided:

  • Wetsuits if needed (usually needed into early June)
  • All rafting equipment, including life jackets & helmets
  • Full deli-style lunch
  • All-day parking
  • Bus shuttle back to your car
  • Cold beverages after the trip
  • Viewable photos of your raft for purchase after the trip

What to Bring:

  • Shorts, swim suit
  • Tennis shoes or river sandals
  • Sunglasses with leash
  • Light windbreaker
  • T-shirt or long-sleeve shirt
  • Wool socks (stay warm when wet)
  • Hat or visor with leash (you will be wearing a helmet, which needs to fit over the hat).
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera (there will be a professional photographer taking photos of your trip, which may be purchased after the trip)

Trip Itinerary:

  • Arrive 9:30 a.m. or before at the Zephyr Rafting office next to Indian Flat Campground.  See trip details for directions.
  • Park cars, assemble, hand in release forms or fill them out if you did not bring them already filled out.
  • Hand out wetsuits, safety talk, and load up in rafts (we launch right across the highway from our meeting spot).
  • Start rafting.
  • Lunch around 1:00 on river.
  • Start rafting again around 2:00, and continue on down into the Gorge below Briceburg.
  • Around 3:30 we hit Corner Pocket and Split Rock rapid...plenty of excitement
  • Arrive at take-out around 4:00...load up in bus, and ride back to Indian Flat Campground by 5:00

Additional Information

  • Two night package, pricing per night, Sunday-Thursday night stays, with the rafting trip being the following day of the first night's stay
  • Children must be at least 10 years of age
  • Additional adults and children (10 yrs. & older) may be added on through our Concierge after booking for $175 each.
  • Transportation is not included
  • Must book 2 weeks in advance. If booking within 2 weeks of arrival, call 559-692-8916 to book. Space is limited.