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All about Paddling in Yosemite National Park

How to Raft, Kayak, Canoe, and Float the Merced River in Yosemite


While Yosemite is known among adventure and outdoor lovers for its world class rock climbing on El Capitan, its hikes up Half Dome, the unlimited backcountry adventure opportunities, and the serenity and photo opportunities of the Yosemite Valley there is something else that people love to do in the park. That is, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and floating the Merced River is an unforgettable way to see the Yosemite Valley, providing participants with breathtaking views of Halfdome and Yosemite Falls as the river winds its way down.

1. All About Renting a Raft in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Rafting Trip
Photo by George E. Sayour
While the Merced River is highly regulated inside of Yosemite National Park, this calm section is very convenient to float a raft. Everything from raft and gear rental to shuttle is taken care of for you. So, just bring some clothes that can get wet and some warm outerwear in case and you'll be on your way.

2. A Scenic Tour of Rafting the Merced River in Yosemite

Yosemite Raft Bridge
Photo by George E. Sayour
If you're not sure if a rafting adventure in Yosemite National Park is for you, take a look at this these photos and descriptions to help you make your decision.

3. All About Kayaking, Canoeing, and Floating in Yosemite

Yosemite Raft Put-in
Photo by George E. Sayour
Many people don't realize you can float your own kayak, canoe, or raft in Yosemite National Park. While there are more rental vessels on the river in the park, the same put-in and take-out can be used by private boaters and no permit is required. So save yourself some money and bring your own boat to paddle the Merced River in Yosemite National Park.

4. A Scenic Tour of the Yosemite Valley by Kayak

Kayaking in Front of Yosemite Falls
Photo by Mike Weber
If you're not sure if its worth it to lug your gear to Yosemite for the short paddle through the valley, you'd better take a look at these photos.

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