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Established Camping

Willow Placer Campground

About

Bureau of Land Management

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY. Overview 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. 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, and Limitations: Camp fee is $10.00 per site per night. America the Beautiful Pass fee is $5.00/site/night. 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. 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). Self-pay system. Iron Ranger located near Bulletin Board. Pay camp fee within 30 minutes of occupying site. No dispersed camping within the Merced River corridor. No person shall leave any property unattended for more than 24 hours. (43 CFR 8351.2-1 (1)) Campfires are allowed ONLY in provided metal fire rings. NO campfires on beach.__Seasonal Fire Restrictions__apply. No glass bottles allowed within 1/4 mile of the Merced River. 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (i) Dogs must be on a leash at all times. NO DOGS allowed at McCabe BEACH. NO AMPLIFIED MUSIC or unreasonable noise any time. QUIET TIME AFTER 10:00 pm (no speakers, generators etc.) No discharge of firearms or fireworks 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (a) No person shall enter a developed campground between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, unless that person is a registered camper. 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (g) All California Motor Vehicle Laws Apply. (Seat Belts, DUI, etc.). 43 CFR 8351.2-1 (e) Any person who fails to comply with these written orders may be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment not to exceed six months. Federal Register/ Vol. 66 No. 130/ Friday, July 6, 2001/ Notices Pg 35663. WARNING: 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. Please wear a life jacket.__ SWIMMING IS ONLY RECOMMENDED BELOW 700 CFS. 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 are not recommended crossing the suspension 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. Helpful Links: River flow is posted on-line at: www.dreamflows.com Return To: Merced River Recreation Management Area Visit: BLM, 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

$10.00 per site per night, 8 people per site maximum. Senior Pass fee is $5.00/night.

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Location

Willow Placer Campground is located in California

Detail location of campground

Directions

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.

Coordinates

37.61037 N
120.00949 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Good
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Toilets

Reviews

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5.0

out of 5

2 Reviews

Sara S.
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2021

Loved camping here

We absolutely loved camping here. There are mostly walk in sites and 2 drive in sites. We got here in off-season and had the whole campground to ourselves. So peaceful listening to the river all night. Not much car traffic either. There is a really clean privy at the site and a water spiket at the bottom of the road after the bridge. We’re towing a 10-ft trailer and barely made the turn for the suspension bridge. It’s almost a 90 degree turn on a narrow bridge. Just an FYI for people towing. Vans and trucks with slide ins will have a much easier time getting through. It’s kind of nice though because it keeps class A RVs out and keeps it fairly quite and off the grid. There are trash and recycling cans and a bear box at the sites as well. We’d stayed here while visiting Yosemite which we actually preferred to the campground in Yosemite because it’s much warmer here than in Yosemite Valley (at least in the winter). It’s not a bad drive at all!

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 Willow Placer Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • Review photo of Willow Placer Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • Review photo of Willow Placer Campground by Meg R., November 10, 2020
  • (5) View All

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Willow Placer Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Willow Placer Campground does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Willow Placer Campground?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is unknown, and T-Mobile is unknown.