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Archive for the 'Merced River' Category

Occupy Merced River

June 27th, 2013 by Malina

imgp0304-225x300The Merced River needs your help.  If you’ve rafted the Merced–and there are thousands of you, we know because we tightened your life jacket and reminded you to put on sunscreen–it’s time to pay it forward a little.

Here’s the situation.  One of California’s State Senators–Tom McClintock for those of you who like to keep track–has proposed removing the Merced’s federally-protected status as a “Wild and Scenic” river.  Why?  Does he think the Merced is instead “tame and ugly?” Possibly, but the real point is that if the Merced River loses its protected status it would allow the government to raise the level of the McClure Reservoir, drowning part of the Merced.  And this, friends, would be sad.  But even sadder is the precident it would set.


Merced_mini_3_Mike_OsbornThink about it–any river that is currently protected would basically be up for grabs.  What’s the point of protecting a public resource in the first place if anytime that protection becomes inconvenient for someone it can be taken away?  What’s next–a dam upstream that floods Yosemite?  So take a wee minute and write to your Senators US Representative and ask each of them to vote a resounding NO on HR 934!!!


If you want to learn more–and of course you do, I may be slick but why would you take my word as gospel–a good place to start is Friends of the River, which can give you lots of background on the Merced River and which also offers an easy-as-pie form you can fill out to take action lickety-split!

Mini-extension for Merced River Rafting

May 28th, 2013 by Malina

261615_10151410774292344_1589753647_nWhile recent cooler temperatures may be a downer for tomato farmers and sunbathers, they are boon to Merced River rafters this year.  The cooling trend has helped to preserve the snowpack–plunging nightime temps help (literally) solidify the snowpack so there’s more for the daytime melt.

Don’t start looking at your August calendar for a Yosemite-area getaway (unless you want to see the Tuolumne), but we do think we’ll have an extra week of rafting trips on the Merced for you this year.  At this point–and of course we’ll keep you updated–we predict the weekend of June 8-9 will the final opportunity for the Merced in 2013.


(Left: Merced River guide Joe E May 11, 2013)

Merced River Rafting 2013

May 18th, 2013 by Malina

joemSpringtime rafters, the Mighty Mer(ced) is calling you!  Unlike the Tuolumne, which will run all summer long, the Merced’s season is dependant on run-off, which means it’s a fleeting experience each year.  Veteran ao rafting guide Joe M is at the helm again, manning our Merced River operation and he and his tip-top crew are fired up to point your boat downstream and start teein’ off this river’s famous wave trains with you!

They’ll be down there waiting to tighten your life jacket and give you stories to taunt all your co-workers with on Monday until early June–so you’ve only got a couple weeks left to make your plans happen.

(Left: Join Joe!  Look how excited he is to take you rafting!)

Merced River Threatened by Congress

June 26th, 2012 by Malina

We don’t typically get too political here at AO, but when it comes to the rivers we raft, watch out for the Mama Grizzly in us to make an appearence!  The deal right now is that the Merced River–which has been designated a Wild and Scenic River and is therefore supposed to be protected long-term from development/meddling–is under attack.   What Congress wants to do is raise the water level in Lake McClure.  The problem is that by doing that, several miles of the protected section of the Merced River will get buried and drowned.  We realize we have water management issues in California, but the problem here is that such an action renders the Wild and Scenic protection currently enjoyed by the Merced–and other rivers like the Tuolumne–meaningless.  This is legislation that has been around since 1968 and we’re afraid that if the Merced takes a hit it will set a serious and dangerous precident.  The House has already approved this action.  The Senate is next.  If you care about this issue an easy thing for you to do is write to or call Dianne Fienstein or Barbara Boxer and let them know you disapprove of gutting Wild and Scenic protection for California–or any American–rivers.

Want to learn more about this issue before you act?  Good call.  Start here, and read the Fresno Bee article on the matter.  Or, go the official governement website detailing the Wild and Scenic Act.   Friends of the River also has lots of information.

Merced River Rafting is D-O-N-E done for 2012

June 7th, 2012 by Malina

That’s it, the Merced is offline!  If you want to raft in the Yosemite Valley area, best turn your attention to the Tuolumne River.  It’s not sourced in Yosemite like the Merced is, but it’s still close enough to add on to the family visit to Yosemite National Park.   And as a protected Wild and Scenic River, it won’t disappoint after the beautiful wilderness of Yosemite Valley!  A remote canyon, solid class III-IV whitewater, and of course your charming Tuolumne hosts, AO Rafting guides, what’s not to love?

(Above:  Rapids on the Tuolumne River)

Strike while the Merced is hot……

May 17th, 2012 by Malina

MENo marathon season on the Mighty Mer this year folks — if you’re wanting to get in the triple crown of Half-Dome-Yosemite-Waterfalls — Merced-River-Rafting this year, you gotta act fast!  We’ll be out on the Merced River rafting away into early June.  The weather is beautiful, wildflowers are blooming and the Merced is always fun.  But not for long this year………….as always we’ll update you on the latest info about the season as soon as we know.

Last Week for Merced Rafting Trips

July 26th, 2011 by Malina

Heading to Yosemite this week?  This is your last chance to add on a Merced River rafting trip to your vacay!  Last trip is Sunday and we’re takin’ kids as young as 13 so bring em on. 

We’ve had a good and long season on the Mighty Mer, as we call her, but yes, it’s true, all good things must come to an end and here we are. At. The End.

Kaweah and Merced River Rafting Over for 2010

July 25th, 2010 by Malina

That’s it!  No more Kaweah, no more Merced.  We’re cleared out of the bug,  said goodbye to Dorletta and her tasty burgers for the year, and put the Merced t-shirts in storage until next year.  If you missed these rivers this year turn your attention to the trifecta of summer-long reliability that are the South and  Middle Forks of the American River, and the Tuolumne.

Merced White Water Rafting: Final Weekends!

July 15th, 2010 by Malina

The end is nigh for the Mighty Merced River this year.  Even this year’s wunderbar snowpack couldn’t hold up forever….

The next two weekends we’ll have fun water on the Merced and then the river will become too low to raft for the rest of the summer.  So, if you were hoping to add a Merced white water rafting trip to a Yosemite outing this year, hope your bags are packed because the end is in sight! 

Not sure this river is for you?  Don’t forget you can take a virtual gander by checking out our Merced white water rafting video!

High Water on its way…….finally??

June 2nd, 2010 by Malina

It doesn’t take a genius with a degree in meteorology or geophysics or whatever to see that this spring the weather has been WHACK!  Hail, windstorms, humidity, rain, blazing sunshine, huge puffy clouds, grey haze and freezing nights.  We’ve been seeing it all.  And the weeds are LOVING it.  Bumper crop of furry-burries, star thistle and foxtails coming your way.  (Also vet bills if your animals are anything like mine and like getting pokey things in their eyeballs this time of year.)

Anyway, given all this roller-coaster action in the heavens I hesitate to say anything concrete about water flows and temperatures, but it does indeed seem to be heating up and unless things have really gone crazy and ice has a new melting temperature, that means the snowmelt is poised to begin.  Soon.  I’ll try to keep you up-to-date on what’s going off where, but for you highwater and adrenaline junkie types this is your moment.  At least I think it is.  We have lots of snow ready to melt and rush into rivers like the Kaweah (our crew is headed down early for a little extra highwater training tomorrow because we anticipate that river rising soon), the Tuolumne, and the Merced.  Our staff in Walnut Creek will have all the deets so give them a ring!