Yosemite Hikes Home » Not Quite Yosemite » Hite Cove » Merced River
The Merced River along the Hite Cove trail

Merced River

The Hite Cove Trail begins at the junction of the south and central forks of the Merced River. The middle fork arrived via Yosemite Valley, while the south fork, pictured here, wandered through the Wawona area in southern Yosemite (the Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail follows the south fork of the Merced) before carving out the canyon that the Hite Cove Trail follows.

Once the forks join, they'll proceed roughly ten miles downstream before merging with the north fork, passing through man-made Lake McClure in the lower elevations of the foothills, and eventually joining the San Joaquin River in surroundings significantly less glorious than Yosemite (street view here) a few miles east of the I-5. From there, the San Joaquin heads north and joins the Sacramento River shortly before reaching salt water northeast of San Francisco.