BLM Merced River Cheaper Camping
West of Yosemite NP
California Highway 140 (CA State Route 140) accesses Yosemite National Park from the west side @ Mariposa, CA. This not-so-secret camp spot is set in an ideal location, off the main highway and right on the river.
Merced River crosses the highway near MidPines @ Briceburg Road, with 3 small BLM campgrounds located along the river. These river camps are open all year round, are dirt cheap and only available on a first come, first serve basis. There are numerous walk-in camp sites, where you must haul your gear and park a short distance away.
Dirt road access w/ turn off at the Briceburg Information Center on California Highway 140. West of El Portal, CA and east of MidPines. Nearest grocery and services are 12 miles away to the west in Mariposa, California
BRING ALL YOU NEED for your overnight stay, as driving in and out on this (20 mph) dirt road can be an easy “half-day affair” with road conditions, passing traffic, potholes, stops for lunch, sightseeing and a gasoline stop. If you plan to do day-trips into Yosemite National Park – be aware that Yosemite Valley is ONE hour away from Briceburg, eastward via paved mountain roads.
Driving this non-paved route requires crossing a narrow suspension bridge, where big vehicles, RVs, trailers and rigs longer than 18′ are not recommended. The one-lane, dead-end dirt road hugs the cliff edge, above the river, is one lane in some spots, and mostly graded with a few pot holes; almost 5 miles long – ending at a locked gate with trailhead parking. Next to a vault toilet. (Not an ideal spot to be stuck at)
This rugged canyon was the site of the historic railway called YVRR (Yosemite Valley Railroad), which hugs the Merced River for many miles. Now numerous hiking and biking trails. Dog friendly BLM campground. Walk-in campsites.
pack horses horseback camping horse pack trips
pack trains high sierra packs
& wild horses in California
Overnight Guided Horse Trips into the backcountry wilderness
The most scenic spots in the California high country can only be accessed by foot. If your physical body is not up for carrying all the gear (weight) on your back (backpacking) and hiking (trekking) on foot, uphill for (many) miles, then an overnight horse camping trip (horse packing) may be an option to consider.
Get way out there – with guided professionals. Camp the real back country wilderness. No campground crowds, no RVs humming, no easy access! These experienced stock animals are well trained, familiar & dependable on the trails. Specific interests tours and custom destinations can make it worth your wild. Fishing alpine lakes, hot springs, wildflowers, high country camping (in style). Guides usually provide the camping tents, food and meal prep.
Wild Horse Sanctuary
5796 Wilson Hill Road
Shingletown, CA 96088
(overnight treks on horseback to view wild horses)
Wild Horses in Northern California near Lassen Peak, North Sierra Nevada mountains. The mission of the Wild Horse Sanctuary is to protect and preserve America’s wild horses as a living national treasure by providing range sanctuary in an ecologically balanced environment open to the public.