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Merced River Shelf

Difficult
 3.0 (1)

A trail that leads to one of Ansel Adams' favorite places in the Sierras.


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Map Key

10.4

Miles

16.8

KM

81%

Runnable

10,032' 3,058 m

High

8,729' 2,660 m

Low

3,085' 940 m

Up

1,920' 585 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features -none-

Description

The Merced River Shelf Trail leads visitors south, away from the popular routes between the High Sierra Camps of Merced and Volgelsang camps. You begin by climbing out of the Lewis Creek valley up to the "shelf" above the Merced River. This rim trail stays mostly in the trees as it goes deeper into the wilds of southern Yosemite. At about 5.5 miles, the trail descends and crosses the Lyell Fork of the Merced River.

If you have time, take the well used fisherman trail east, following the creek. About a mile in, you'll find great camping north of the creek and killer views from the near by meadows. This valley is one of the places Ansel Adams visited on his first extended trip into the Sierras in 1921 and was always one of his favorite places in the mountains. At the head of this valley is Mount Ansel Adams. It was unofficially named for him in a peak-top ceremony by the Sierra Club in 1934 and then officially named in 1985 one year after his death.

The trail makes a steep climb out of the Lyell Fork of the Merced Valley to return to the shelf and the connections with other trails leading to Isberg Pass, Merced River Valley, and Red Peak Pass.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Shared By:

Paul Lukacovic

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#24874

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#2,882

in California

#24,874

Overall
16 Views Last Month
579 Since Sep 24, 2015
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Photos

Looking east up the Lyell Fork of the Merced River.
Nov 23, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Southwest view towards the Clark Range from the Merced River Shelf.
Nov 23, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Mount Ansel Adams as seen from near the Merced River Shelf.
Nov 23, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
You'll probably see many examples of granite polished smooth by ancient glaciers on the Merced River Shelf.
Nov 23, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Small falls over the boulders near the Merced River Shelf make pleasant sounds.
Nov 23, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA

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