Willow Placer Campground

The second BLM campground within the Merced River Recreation Management Area is Willow Placer. The campsites are located 3.6 miles downstream from the suspension bridge along Briceburg River Road. With mostly walk-in sites, this camp-ground usually offers a quieter, family atmosphere. The main beach is not nearly as large as McCabe Flat Campground, but good swimming can be found a short walk down stream in the late summer. Site number 13 is a group site suitable for up to 25 people.

Facilities in Willow Placer Campground (9 sites total):

8 Walk-in camp sites

1 drive-up group camp site (25 people max)

1 vault toilet

1 Port-o-let toilet (seasonal near site 1 and 13)

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

Nearby Activities

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Paddling



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 Merced Wild & Scenic 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° 36′ 37.3320″ N

Longitude 120° 0′ 34.1640″ W