Railroad Flat Campground

At the end of Briceburg River Road and 4.5 miles from the suspension bridge within the BLM, Merced River Recreation Area is the Railroad Flat Campground. Popular with gold prospectors and hikers alike, there is always interesting campfire talk in this campground. It also serves as the trailhead for the BLM, Merced River Trail. The Merced River Trail is a spectacular wildflower walk in spring, has great scenery, fine fishing, and amazing swimming during other times of the year.

Facilities in Railroad Flat Campground (9 sites total):

3 Walk-in camp sites

6 drive-up camp site

1 vault toilet

2 Port-o-let toilet (seasonal near site 21-23)

Trash collection cans

Recycling collection cans

Main parking lot

Self-pay Iron Ranger fee system

There are picnic tables, fire grills, and food storage lockers at all camp sites.

All campsites are within 200 feet of the river

Permits, Fees, Limitations:

Camping is allowed only in designated, numbered camp sites.

Maximum 8 people and two vehicles per site.

Camping is first come, first served. No reservations available.

Camp fee is $10/night. America the Beautiful Pass fee is $5.00/night.
Pay camp fee within 30 minutes of occupying site.

A campsite is rented ONLY once it has been paid in full, pay-stub is properly completed and attached to campsite post, and site is occupied by campers.

No person shall leave any property unattended for more than 24 hours.

Fires are allowed only in provided metal fire rings. (Additional fire restriction may apply, typically no fires or charcoal briquettes allowed by mid-summer).

No person shall enter a developed campground between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, unless that person is a registered camper.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times. No dogs allowed at McCabe Flat swimming beach.

No glass bottles allowed within 1/4 mile of the Merced River.


No lifeguard on duty. Swimming is dangerous any time of year, but especially during spring and early summer. The Merced River is un-damned and the flow changes dramatically from year to year and season to season

SWIMMING IS ONLY RECOMMENDED BELOW 700 CFS. River flow is posted on-line at:

Potable water is available across the Briceburg Bridge as you head towards the campground facilities. Look for the faucet near the information kiosk. Bring your own water for camping purposes. Potable water is not available at the campground sites.

PLEASE NOTE: Trailers over 18 feet and large RV’s not recommended to cross bridge. The old Yosemite railroad grade is accessible by vehicles up to the Railroad Flat Campground. Only equestrian, pedestrians, and bicycles are permitted beyond the Railroad Flat Campground. Commercial lodging is available in the town of Mariposa.

Merced River Recreation Management Area

Briceburg Visitor Center

Return To: BLM, Mother Lode Field Office

Nearby Activities

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Paddling
  • Swimming



From the city of Merced, located on U.S. Highway 99, travel 40 miles east on State Highway 140 to the town of Mariposa. Then travel another 15 miles along Highway 140 to the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Wild & Scenic Merced River.

There are three developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade). Trailers over 18 feet and large RV’s are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.

GPS Coordinates

Latitude 37° 37′ 5.6280″ N

Longitude 120° 1′ 10.8120″ W