– Updated May 1st, 2023
– this winter had over 12 atmospheric river events, and has broken several records for seasonal precipitation and snow.
-Merced options are scheduled to start the first Saturday in April. We are planning on running the Merced until August!
-Tuolumne trips start most likely memorial day weekend. We are facing several road issues that should be resolved by the third weekend in May, possibly sooner. We expected to be above 10,000 CFS all the way until the beginning of August. Reach out if you want to participate in a world class experience.
-Upper Tuolumne will run toward end of the season, we will run trips as long as they are in the zone, most likely around August 10, pending mother nature’s input.
This video gives a highlight reel of the rides we gave on the Rivers of Yosemite in 2019. More videos here.
As skiers know, Sierra snow can take many shapes. It can be light and powdery or heavily saturated and icy. This is why just measuring snow depth gives something of an incomplete picture. To accurately measure the amount of liquid water stored in a given expanse of snow surveyors use tools to assess an area’s snow water equivalence. This measurement provides a good indicator as to what kind of whitewater flows can be expected on California Rivers for the upcoming spring and summer rafting season.
Many factors including spring temperatures, capacity of upstream reservoirs, and additional precipitation that may arrive in late spring will have an effect on each river’s rafting conditions. With those factors in mind, we can make make a pretty educated guess at how flows will play out on Yosemite’s rivers for the year ahead. Given our past experience (over 50 years), we are making the following predictions for Yosemite river rafting in 2023:
Main Tuolumne Rafting Outlook
2023 Rafting trips on the Main Tuolumne.has the Tuolumne watershed has over 250% of average for its snow pack. We are looking at similar experiences like the world class trips on the Zambezi or the Futaleúfu. Her usual minimum age should go up to 14 all the way through July, and we will have a weight maximum around 250 pounds, and everyone should know how to swim. We will see ideal summer rafting conditions to continue through early September, maybe longer. These consistent fine flows on the Main Tuolumne will make it the premier Sierra rafting trip in 2023.
Merced Rafting Outlook
Rafting on the Merced River. Flows are expected to climb and peak for several weeks sometime in early May. It is too early to tell when the season will end, most likely August. Full-day and half-day Merced trips depart daily starting the first Saturday in April.
Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne Outlook
The first trip we are going to run is most likely August 10th, though Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne trips have been in and out of the zone for the last few weeks. We have a good outlook for a short season as the flows are likely to be too high until the beginning of August, Trips will go thru Labor day.
Mid-April thru September is the most popular season for rafting in California. The consistent fair weather is perfect for beach camping and paddling rapids. Visitors to Yosemite are at their peak, and many choose to avoid the crowds and experience a part of the region that few get to see. Flows like this don’t happen every year, 2023 will be one to remember. The Merced, Main Tuolumne, and Cherry Creek – Upper Tuolumne corridors are natural wonders offering what many consider to be the best whitewater experiences in the state. Join us for a single or multi-day rafting adventure on one of the rivers of Yosemite.