Merced River Bridges–River Access Between Merced Falls and Snelling

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 River Access Between Merced Falls and Snelling:  The Merced Irrigation District and PG&E maintain a number of access points for fishing along the Merced River.  No trash service is provided.  Unfortunately some visitors leave their trash behind.  Please pack out any trash you produce during your visit.  Make sure you check fishing regulations for the area in which you plan to fish:  They change at the Crocker-Huffman dam.  Although they are usually posted, conditions are always subject to change.


A number of former access points are now posted as private property.  The legal access points are listed as follows:


Cuneo Fishing Access:  Located 2.4 miles east of Snelling along Merced Falls Road, you will see a sign, a fenced gravel parking lot, and a restroom.  The river is a short walk from the parking area along a trail.


Crocker-Huffman Fishing Access:  After a 40 mph curve, you’ll see a fenced gravel parking lot and a sign indicating MID ownership, 4 miles east of Snelling on Merced Falls Road.  If you pass A-1 Bait and Tackle, you’ve driven too far.  A hike of about ¼ mile from the parking area will take you to the dam.  Note that fishing regulations are different for the area above the dam and the area below.  Consult the DFG’s fishing regulations to make sure that you are in compliance.


PG&E River’s Edge Fishing Access:  This access point is 6.0 miles beyond Snelling on Merced Falls Road, next to the PG&E hydroelectric plant.  This access point allows you to fish above the spillway of the Merced Falls Dam.  Note that swimming, float tubes, and boats are not allowed because of the proximity to the dam.


Hornitos Road Bridge Area:  After Merced Falls Road turns sharply north, make a right turn on Hornitos Road.  Turn again when the road splits for Lakes McSwain and McClure (left) and Hornitos Road (right).  There are a number of places to park near the bridge.  This area is 6.5 miles from 3rd and Highway 59 in Snelling.  This is a popular place to fish from the shore or to launch float tubes or canoes.

 Lake McClure Road Access:  7.1 miles east of Snelling on Lake McClure Road, a right hand turn just before you reach the entrance gate to Lake McSwain and Lake McClure Recreation Area leads to another access point directly below the Lake McSwain Dam.

Merced River Bridges:  Although the area around both the Snelling Road Bridge and the Highway 59 Bridge are partially posted “no trespassing” and partially fenced, there currently appears to be access allowed if you avoid posted and fenced areas.  These are not public access points, but rather privately owned land that has not been posted or fenced. 

This seems to indicate that the landowner is allowing access, however you may risk trespassing if you access the river at these points.  The Snelling Road Bridge is located on Snelling Road, 0.7 miles south of the junction with Highway 59.  The Higway 59 bridge is located 4.7 miles southwest of the junction of Snelling Road and Highway 59 along Highway 59 or 5.6 miles from the junction of Highway 59 and 3rd Street in Snelling.

Other fishing and boating resources:

Fishing and Boating Resources at

Department of Fish and Game Regulations:

Department of Boating and Waterways Regulations:

Reservations for State, Federal, and Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds:

Link to MID Map



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