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Vernel Fall, Merced River, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (87% of Full)


Merced River Swimming

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Merced River Swimming
May 14, 2008 07:37PM
Is it safe to swim in the Merced River at North Pines? We are bringing a few small children (ages 2-4).
avatar Re: Merced River Swimming
May 14, 2008 09:11PM
If the water is moving at a noticeable speed I would keep a very sharp eye out. They can wade in a lot of areas but I would not let them into water above their knees. It there is a sandy beach there will be a gentle slope to the water. The water will be very cold at this time of year.

Old Dude
avatar Re: Merced River Swimming
May 14, 2008 09:48PM
When? If you mean right now, it's way too cold and too fast as well. Later in the summer you should be able to find a nice place to swim and not freeze to death.

avatar Re: Merced River Swimming
May 16, 2008 08:35AM
i was in it on May 9th, but only up to my knees... keep in mind i like cold water, but this water stung big time!!!! it was WAY too cold. my feet turned bright red immediately.

the water in my opinion was too deep and fast for children that age!!! no way would i allow any kids in it.
Re: Merced River Swimming
May 16, 2008 10:19AM
I'd be really cautious with kids that age...even if they're wading, make sure there are adults who are interacting with them (so they're paying attention and right with them).

The river is fairly wide there, so not moving at full speed, but it's deceptive, and there are many snags and faster parts just downstream as it joins Tenaya Creek.

As others already told you, it's mighty cold...
(note the comment underneath), while that was upstream, the temperature isn't much different.

If you cross the old wooden bridge at the back of the (North Pines) campground, you might find a beach of sorts on Tenaya Creek
http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/image/1602828 but again, watch them closely, as "creek" doesn't really describe it.

There is a somewhat safer sandy beach near the swinging bridge (Southside drive across from Yosemite Lodge, near the chapel), but with the hot weather the water flow may be up significantly, so it may be covered up.

Just be careful; despite it's name, the Merced shows no mercy.

Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Merced River Swimming
May 16, 2008 11:07AM
Gary hit it right on.... i almost lost my son there a few years ago as we were floating down the river in inner tubes... the water was calm and slow, then out of no where, we hit fast turbulant water. i'm certain my son would have drowned had i not been able to grab him at the last second to safety (he was about 12 yrs old at the time).

if it were me, i don't care how shallow or slow the water is, i'd make sure young kids wore a life jacket!!!!!!!!! just the cold water alone can cause one to lose muscle control right away. ... and right now, the water is moving fast enough to where if they accidentally started floating down river, good luck catching them. the water is decieving, it looks like it is calm and smooth and not so fast, but it's a LOT faster than you realize! all you need is to be in the water long enough and yer done! not to mention hitting your head on a rock in the rapids.
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