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Established Camping

Railroad Flat Campground


Bureau of Land Management

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY. Overview 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. Know Before You Go Camping Camping is first come, first served. No reservations available. There are 9 campsites available. Maximum 8 people and two vehicles per site. Quiet Hours: After 10 PM (No loud music, generators, etc.) There is a self-pay system available to pay for sites. 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 (tent up). All sites have a picnic table, grill, and food storage lockers. No potable water available at the campsites. There is potable water available__by the information kiosk, across the Briceburg Bridge. Facilities Parking Area Restrooms Dumpsters Recycling Cans Campfires Seasonal fire restrictions apply. Fires must be in a metal fire ring. No fires on the beach! Warnings There are no lifeguards on duty at the Merced River! Please wear a life jacket. The Merced River is undammed, and the flow changes dramatically. SWIMMING IS ONLY RECOMMENDED BELOW 700 CFS. Trailers/RV's over 18 feet are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge. Dogs must be on a leash. No discharging of fireworks or firearms. Helpful Links: River flow is posted on-line at: Return To: Merced River Recreation Management Area Visit: Mother Lode Field Office Recreation Passes: America the Beautiful ___ National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass ADA Access: At least 90% of all campsites are ADA accessible

Fee Info

Camping Fee: $10.00 per site, per night

Recreation Pass: $5.00 per site, per night

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Railroad Flat Campground is located in California

Detail location of campground


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.


37.61823 N
120.01967 W

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  • Tent Sites
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out of 5

3 Reviews

Reviewed Jun. 15, 2022

Beautiful Campground

Railroad Flat is the last of three campgrounds along this dirt road that was once the railroad route to Yosemite. Set along the banks of the Merced River it’s especially beautiful during spring wildflower season, and in the fall. In the summer it can be hot. There is a nice walk just beyond the campground that continues to follow the old rail road (a gate keeps cars from continuing). Approx 2.5 miles is the confluence with the N Fork Merced River.
Lots of wildlife: wildflowers, newts, and river otters. Watch out for rattlesnakes!

Month of VisitMay
  • river otter!
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  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Chris &., June 15, 2022
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Chris &., June 15, 2022
Meg R.
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2020

First Rain of the Season

I visited in November, on the first days of rain after a long dry season. I arrived after dark and was unfamiliar with the layout, so I stayed at a pull-out near the McCabe Flat campground. The next morning I checked out Willow Placer campground and continued to the end of the road to claim the last spot at Railroad Flat campground.

All three camps are along the river. There are no reservations. The first two are mostly walk-in tent sites. They are all clean and well maintained. There was a helpful ranger on patrol through the weekend.

I came with my 16’ Airstream in tow, and it fit perfectly. I would not recommend anything larger. It was late in the season, so there were only a few campers at each location. The narrow road winds along the steep canyon wall with occasional pull-outs to allow oncoming cars to pass. I was glad not to meet any vehicles on my way.

The scenery was stunning! It rained on-and-off with sunshine in between, so I rode my bike along and went fishing (didn't catch anything) while the sky was blue, then hid under a blanket with a cup of tea and watched the stormy skies. I had initially planned to go to Yosemite but was content to stay here.

  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • (6) View All
Mollie M.
Reviewed May. 8, 2020

Great for swimming, expect to see others.

Great day use spot, used by lots of locals for swimming. Dogs are supposed to be leashed but I have seen them off leash many times here so be prepared, most are friendly. It gets very busy on the weekends and hot days, so you will have daytime noise from swimming/river activities. During the earlier summer months there are rafters during the day. The campsites are nice and clean and range from very private to right next to each other. All are extremely close to the river so prepare for mosquitoes at night but the sounds of the river are amazing! Most sites have bear boxes and a firepit, check fire restrictions. Nice spot not far outside Yosemite. The road in is dirt there are walking/hiking trails along the road and river. As long as you don't mind neighbors or crowds during the day its a great spot! Tons of pull outs to park for dayuse/swimming, we always find a nice beach/spot all to ourselves to swim even when busy.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Mollie M., May 8, 2020
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Mollie M., May 8, 2020
  • Review photo of Railroad Flat Campground by Mollie M., May 8, 2020
  • (13) View All

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Railroad Flat Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on, Railroad Flat Campground does not have wifi.