The Merced River flowing out of Yosemite National park is a favorite among California whitewater kayakers. The benefits of this river are many. First its proximity to Yosemite National Park make it a natural choice for nature and outdoor lovers. Next, the river starts off extremely difficult as it exits Yosemite and it gets progressively easier the further down you go. Additionally, since this stretch of the Merced flows along Route 140, the road leading in and out of Yosemite, it is extremely convenient to run shuttle, pick out an infinite number of put-ins and take outs, and scout from the road.
The Indian Flat Day Use area is a prime location to begin your kayaking trip down the Merced. It also allows you to miss Nightmare Island and Chipped Tooth, two Class IV rapids just above this section. Just follow the signs on Route 140 down to the Indian Flat put-in to check out the river, drop off your gear, or park your car for shuttle.