The American or Merced - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-24-2013   #1
Carlsbad, California
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
The American or Merced

Hey Buzzers- It's been a while!

I used to go by robatnordic when I was active on here a few years back. I left Durango in '10 and landed in Carlsbad CA. Plenty of saltwater fun to be had and decent mountain biking out the back door.

My brother wants me to guide his family down a milder section of the Merced or American for 2-3 day.

Any beta on rental outfitters in the area. Sold the raft and all gear before leaving CO.

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Old 03-24-2013   #2
Costa Mesa, California
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 142
You can make the American into a two day trip. Do the Chili bar section one day and the Gorge the next. Pretty busy river and not that scenic. It's also dam release so flow is predictable and goes all summer.

Its hard to make a two day trip on the Merced unless you go to Bagby Resevoir but that requires a shitty portage and the lake paddle isnt really worth it. Merced also isnt dam release so a little harder to plan. Its amazingly beautiful though and not that busy.

I dont know anybody that rents boats in California.

Im not too far from you in Costa Mesa.
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Old 03-24-2013   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 69
If you don't have a gear boat the South Fork American is a great option because you can run it as two one day trips and therefore don't need a frame or anything.

If they want the "wilderness" experience try the Middle Fork American. It's low class IV and offers good scenery and hiking. You will need a multi day set up and there is a portage on day two that's a bit of a pain.

As for gear rentals, it's a bit of a pain out there. There are a few places, but none of them are amazing in my experience.
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