The Merced River is one of California's classic whitewater runs. Its proximity to Yosemite National Park doesn't hurt its popularity with outdoors lovers either. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of visitors to the park enter on Route 140 and get to see first hand this Scenic and Wild River
Kayaking inside of Yosemite is prohibited, save a short highly regulated Class I section in the Yosemite Valley
. That leaves the Merced River near the park boundary as the first place to put-in on the Merced. Of course, one look at these raging waters and any sensible paddler will look further downstream for a more accommodating stretch of river. It is at the Red Bud picnic area that many boaters decide to begin their trip down the Merced River outside of Yosemite National Park. Simply look for the signs on Route 140 for the turn to Red Bud.