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River rafting in the valley

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River rafting in the valley
June 06, 2021 12:08PM
With the dismal snow pack this winter does anyone know if the river is open to raft with a personal raft yet this summer? I am going up June 12th-19th and would like to bring my inflatable kayks for a float. I heard the rental rafts would be closed for the summer but I thought that might be COVID related rather than water levels.
Re: River rafting in the valley
June 06, 2021 02:42PM
I saw people floating in mid-may. There was an nps traffic sign saying you couldn't get in upriver of the bridge in front of curry.
avatar Re: River rafting in the valley
June 06, 2021 05:15PM
Clark's Bridge to Stoneman Bridge (Class I-II: Easy to Novice)
The Merced River from Clark's Bridge (between North Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds) to Stoneman Bridge is open each day that the gage height at Pohono Bridge is below 4.5 feet at 8 am.
Launching and retrieving boats is permitted only at the following location:
The area downstream from Clark's Bridge for approximately 100 feet, or as signed.
Stoneman Bridge to El Capitan Bridge (Class I-II: Easy to Novice)

Sentinel Beach to El Capitan Bridge is closed as of May 27, 2021, due to trees falling into the river following a prescribed fire.
The Merced River from Stoneman Bridge (between North Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds) to El Capitan Bridge is open each day that the gage height at Pohono Bridge is below 7 feet at 8 am.
Launching and retrieving boats is permitted only at the following locations:
The area downstream from Stoneman Bridge for approximately 100 feet, or as signed
The sandy, unvegetated area of Sentinel Beach
The area of El Capitan Bridge for approximately 100 feet upstream and downstream, or as signed
avatar Re: River rafting in the valley
June 06, 2021 05:14PM
The NPS does not regulate floating when the river is too low, only too high.
From the Water Activities section:

Clark's Bridge to Stoneman Bridge (Class I-II: Easy to Novice)
The Merced River from Clark's Bridge (between North Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds) to Stoneman Bridge is open each day that the gage height at Pohono Bridge is below 4.5 feet at 8 am.
Launching and retrieving boats is permitted only at the following location:
The area downstream from Clark's Bridge for approximately 100 feet, or as signed.
Stoneman Bridge to El Capitan Bridge (Class I-II: Easy to Novice)


Sentinel Beach to El Capitan Bridge is closed as of May 27, 2021, due to trees falling into the river following a prescribed fire.
The Merced River from Stoneman Bridge (between North Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds) to El Capitan Bridge is open each day that the gage height at Pohono Bridge is below 7 feet at 8 am.
Launching and retrieving boats is permitted only at the following locations:
The area downstream from Stoneman Bridge for approximately 100 feet, or as signed
The sandy, unvegetated area of Sentinel Beach
The area of El Capitan Bridge for approximately 100 feet upstream and downstream, or as signed
Re: River rafting in the valley
June 06, 2021 07:06PM
OK. Now I'm confused. Or maybe it's the three glasses of wine I just had. But you say---Sentinel Beach to El Capitan Bridge is closed as of May 27, 2021, due to trees falling into the river following a prescribed fire.
The Merced River from Stoneman Bridge (between North Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds) to El Capitan Bridge is open each day that the gage height at Pohono Bridge is below 7 feet at 8 am.
So how can both be true? If the river is closed from Sentinel Beach to El Cap bridge, how can it be open from Stoneman bridge to El Cap bridge? Maybe I'm just reading it wrong.
avatar Re: River rafting in the valley
June 07, 2021 08:19AM
I read it to mean the river is open from either clarks bridge or stonemans bridge to sentinel beach, but not below sentinel beach.
The issue will be the shallow spots where there is not enough h2o to float your boat.
avatar Re: River rafting in the valley
June 07, 2021 08:29AM
Gage height, feet
Most recent instantaneous value: 3.30 06-07-2021 08:00 PDT
Re: River rafting in the valley
June 07, 2021 08:25AM
That section of river (Sentinel beach to El Cap bridge) is normally open but is now temporarily closed due to prescribed fire operations.
Re: River rafting in the valley
June 07, 2021 12:01PM
Thanks all, I usually put in at Stoneman and pull out before Sentinel Beach anyway. I'll bring up the kayaks based on this info.
Re: River rafting in the valley
June 07, 2021 12:11PM
Oh, (perhaps I should have started a new thread) but what has traffic been like in the valley lately with the shuttle buses not running? Have to admit it was nice last year with so few people allowed in...
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