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Merced River Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Coulterville, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 482 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

camping

hiking

bird watching

running

river

wild flowers

rocky

washed out

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

This trail was beautiful and excellent. Most of it is flat/dirt terrain. There were a couple of spots that had large rocks that needed to be climbed over, but the rocks were no taller than waist high. There is very little shade and the sun is cooking in August, so I would not recommend starting the trail at 11:30 as I did (in the hot months). Bring lots of water or choose a cooler time of the day/year (I brought 20 ounces of water but should have brought at least 3 times that). Getting down to the river to cool off is not always an easy/safe option. Also, be sure to watch out for snakes. I did not see any, but feel like this area is prone to having them. There was nobody else on the trail when I went, which was nice. I tried the small hook to the right at the far end of the trail. I finished most of it but had to leave due to time. This part was really the only steep section. There may have been something cool to look at, at the very end but I couldn’t see anything at the parts I was on.

hiking
2 months ago

We decided to hike this trail after spending a couple days in Yosemite Valley. We were looking for a trail that we wouldn’t encounter the crowds that we experienced in Yosemite. This was perfect! We didn’t see another hiker while we were there. It was a bit hot and not much shade on this trail. However, there were a few spots that you can make it down to the river to cool off in the cold water.

hiking
3 months ago

The first section of the trail is flat and easy, but I suggest get there early because there is little shade and it gets very hot this time of year so bring plenty of water. The swimming holes at the end are great, no mosquito's. If you continue up the trail it follows the north fork stream up as far as I could see, I didn't make it to the end, but there are a couple of waterfalls if you go far enough up. The trail traverses some steep and nerve racking sections, with one part of the trail washed out and a few fallen branches, still doable.

walking
10 months ago

very nice day walk while trees were turning. day after good rain yet trail wasn't muddy. no one one the trail but us

backpacking
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Absolutely beautiful, once you hit the North Fork and head up river it pretty much turns into a goat trail. Be advised. If you do make it back to the waterfall you won’t be disappointed.

running
Monday, December 18, 2017

One of my favorite trails in the whole country. Seriously. I ran this with my dog and it was incredibly beautiful the whole time. After a hard right turn into a canyon the trail keeps going up passed a few swimming holes and waterfalls/cascades but turns pretty sketchy where large trees have fallen over the trail and some parts of it are washed out. Just turn back wherever you get uncomfortable. But I definitely recommend this to anyone. Also, there are a few cool camp grounds on the road leading to the trail that I believe were only $5 or $10.

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Best to go hiking early spring.

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

it was a good trail, easy good view of the river, near the end where it loops back up it follows a creek with some swimming holes. the trail continues past the end. I didn't go too much further.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Perfect trail to enjoy on Easter.

hiking
Sunday, April 10, 2016

The entire family hiked part of this one yesterday before we got drenched on reason and had to head out. It's a nice easy trail along the river with lots of milage. We will probably hit it again someday with just the hubby and I so we can put in the miles on this one.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Monday, September 10, 2018

hiking
Friday, August 17, 2018

walking
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2017

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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