From hiking in Yosemite, to Gold Rush history, to wine tasting in the California foothills, options of off-river activities are plentiful near the Merced River. Another option for a relaxing afternoon is a drive through the foothills along Highway 49.


Yosemite National Park is located just a short drive from a rafting or kayaking trip on the Merced River. Spring and early summer are a great time to visit Yosemite Valley because the waterfalls are usually falling full force, making the options endless for incredible hikes. Definitely bring your camera, and if you plan to stay for a few days, book a campground or hotel room in advance.

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. An historical 4-mile journey steam-powered railroad. Several options for rides are available including a moonlit adventure through the Sierra National Forest.

Treat yourself to some luxury! Relax after a long, fun day of river rafting at the Yosemite Bug Health Spa in Midpines. There are also numerous wineries open for tastings in the foothill town, Mariposa, where you can kick back and enjoy some of California’s finest wines.

The Obvious Tip

Yosemite is literally less than 1 hour from where you will be rafting or kayaking on the Merced River. If you have never been to Yosemite (or even if you have) you should take advantage of being so close to one of California’s most incredible places.

Wineries & Vineyards

Chappell Vineyard and Winery, Mariposa. (209) 966-7688

Villa Spalla Vineyard and Winery, Mariposa. (209) 966-8414

Butterfly Creek Winery, Mariposa. (209) 966-2097

Ansel Adams Gallery. Yosemite Valley. Enjoy the works of the most well-known Yosemite photographer.

Mt. Boullion Vineyards, Mariposa. (209) 377-8450.

Silver Fox Vineyard, Mariposa. (209) 966-4800.

California Mining and Mineral Museum, Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

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