Exhilarating California Whitewater Rafting Experience
by Brandon Contreras, Rocklin guest contributor
Merced, CA- This past winter/spring brought a ton of needed rainfall to our region. After the rainfall comes numerous opportunities for outdoor water-sport. A favorite of mine: whitewater rafting the Merced River. This past weekend offered the opportunity to battle the Merced, experience the rush of the rapids while spending some quality family time outdoors. We welcomed it all with open arms.
News reports have current snow-pack levels at 200% of normal and Rainfall for this year has gone light years beyond expectation. All of this is amazing for all the local rivers and waterways but especially good the Merced River.
This past weekend temperatures were in the low to mid 80’s and with a bit of warm comes more than a bit of snow-melt and with melting snow comes… rapids! Lots of rapids gushing at roughly 3000 cubic feet per second.
Day long rafting trip
We started our day long trip roughly at 9:30am. Zephyr Whitewater rafting is always our go-to rafting organization. They have top-notch rafting guide talent, take great care of their clients, put out an amazing lunch spread and ensure everyone on the trip has an epic whitewater rafting adventure. By about 10:15am we in our raft and headed down the river and almost immediately we headed into the first rapid of the day, Cranberry Hole. This was a chance to get our feet wet (literally) and a great tell of rapids to follow with names like Imitator, Percolator, Ned’s Gulch. Crazy fun all of them. Around 12:30pm We stopped for lunch on a bit of island swell in the middle of the river. We basked in the sun, dried off a bit, trading stories of our battle with the rapids.
The afternoon kicked off shooting Ned’s Teeth, Juicer, Fluffy Bunny, Corner Pocket and the most epic of all… Split Rock. Most of these top out at Class 4 with some more in the Class 3 range. All exhilarating, breath-taking, rollicking river rapid fun! Towards the end we hit a stretch of calm river water where most of us jumped in, cooled off, and floated with the current.
Around 4:00pm we arrived at the take-out spot, adrenaline still flowing from the roller-coaster ride down the river. The short bus ride back to Zephyr Rafting allowed for us to wind down physically while still boasting proudly of our accomplishments of the day.
At the parking lot we were greeted by Picture This Rapid Shooter Photography that captured amazing images of all the rapids from the day long trip.
The expressions on our faces say it all… This trip was INCREDIBLE!
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