Hiking From Briceburg Down Along the Merced River
Briceburg, United States
5 months ago
To reach Briceburg and the Merced River Trail, I drove up Hwy 140 north about 15 miles from Mariposa to the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Merced Wild & Scenic River. You can’t miss the beautiful old stone building that William M. Brice built in 1926 as Highway 140 into Yosemite was being built. Originally it was a general store for locals and tourist. Gasoline pumps were later added, and it also provided lodging and had a soda fountain over the years. The BLM acquired the property in the 1980’s and refurbished the building to its near-original condition to be used as a visitor center. The Visitor Center is currently closed and expected to reopen the first weekend of May. After driving by the Visitor Center, I parked in the parking area along the Merced River where the restroom is located and walked over the suspension bridge. They don’t recommend that trailers over 18 feet and large RV’s cross the suspension bridge. Daily parking is free, but a camping fee of $10 per night applies at any of the three campgrounds. Restrooms are available at the campgrounds. Rattlesnakes can be out so I keep my eyes open for them. The Merced River Trail follows the old Yosemite Valley Railroad bed. Back in the 1870’s stage roads brought the tourists in by wagons and it took about a week or so. In 1872, the Central Pacific Railroad reached Merced and this shortened the wagon trip to 2 days. Another railroad line, the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad opened through Merced in 1896. Bay Area financiers created the Yosemite Valley Railroad, incorporating in 1902 In 1905, surveying began with the completed railroad connecting with both mainlines in Merced through El Portal. The first regularly scheduled train arrived in El Portal from Merced on May 15, 1907. And what an adventure that must have been as they took this old railroad up, along the Merced River to the magical place that they had heard of called Yosemite.
Hiking From Briceburg Down Along the Merced River

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