BLM Merced River
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.
Briceburg River Road
BLM Briceburg Visitors Center
OPEN ONLY Saturday and Sunday 9:00am to 5:00pm.
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)
Merced River Recreation Management Area
BLM Campgrounds @ Merced River
vault toilet, picnic table, fire ring
and an overnight fee to go with
McCabe Flat Campground
Willow Placer Campground
Railroad Flat Campground
BLM Hiking @ Merced River
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.