Upper Merced River Watershed Council













Current Focus

The current focus of the Upper Merced River Watershed Council is the development, maintenance and restoration of trails along the Merced Wild and Scenic River and in the watershed. Our efforts also include monitoring water quality and any threats to the river’s Wild and Scenic Status and therefore public access to the river. Visit our Stewardship Programs page for more detail or read about some of our programs below.

 The Merced River Trail

The Merced River Trail is a joint project of the Upper Merced River Watershed Council, the Mariposa County Planning Department, the Bureau of Land Management and Merced Irrigation District as Part of their Federal Energy Regulation Commission relicensing agreement.

Imagined by its advocates as a multi-use trail through the Merced River corridor, the Merced River Trail will follow the historic Yosemite Valley Railroad grade on the northern banks of the Merced River. You can read much more about this project here on our site or at the Mariposa County Planning Department website.


 South Fork and Hite's Cove Trail Restoration

The hiking trail to Hite’s Cove is a favorite wildflower hike and that trail extends along the South Fork of the Merced River to Wawona.

Our affiliated organization, Mariposa Trails, has been restoring and maintaining that trail for years. This trail is currently closed due to damage from the Ferguson Fire in 2018, making the work of this group more important than ever. Read about their work here.


You can read about the other programs our group conducts and organization with which we coordinate our efforts on our Stewardship Programs and Partner Organizations pages.













Current Events

Mariposa Trails hike to Hite’s Cove and trail work:

Monday, Sept. 30th. The goal is to recon the trail to Hite's Cove, and do some trail work on the return hike. While the trail is still officially closed, our agreement with the SNF allows access for trail work. If you can help, call Bill King at (209) 626-9898

The Great American River Cleanup: Saturday Sept 21, 9:00 AM at Briceburg.  Join the Watershed Council and Sierra Foothills Conservancy to help clean up the Merced River. Details here.

 Joint Meeting with Friends of the River:  Sept. 10 at 5:30 PM – Bodie Room at the Yosemite Bug.  Subject: the Wild and Scenic Status of the Merced River and discussion of the draft plan for the Sierra National Forest.

Merced River Trail: Kickoff meeting for the Merced River Trail with Mariposa County Public Works. June 3, 5:30 PM at the Grove House.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival 10/6/2018 El Portal Community Hall

SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival inspires environmental activism and a love for nature–through film. Wild & Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging festival-goers to learn more about what they can do to save our threatened planet.