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Sierra Mac River Trips - Yosemite Whitewater Rafting

Guide or Outfitter

Sierra Mac specializes in Yosemite rafting trips. We were first the outfitter on the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers and the pioneer in opening Class V Cherry Creek to commercial rafting. Founded in 1965, Sierra Mac is a locally based, family-owned business. We are located just 15 miles outside Yosemite National Park's northwest entrance on State Highway 120, perched above the Tuolumne River canyon. Our experienced guides are privileged to host your Yosemite rafting trip. Escape the crowds and connect with yourself, your friends, and the rivers of Yosemite.

Areas of Service and Expertise

Marty McDonnell is the founder of Sierra Mac River Trips, one of California’s oldest and most trusted whitewater rafting outfitters. For over 50 years, Sierra Mac has been a leader In the industry, aiding in the development of operational standards for guides and outfitters in California with the US Forest Service. Sierra Mac was the first outfitter to lead commercial rafting trips on Yosemite's Tuolumne and Merced Rivers. In 1973 Marty designed the first self-bailing cataraft and used that innovation to pioneer rafting trips on Cherry Creek and the Upper Tuolumne, still considered the most challenging commercial river trip in the US. In 2011 Marty was recognized by the California Outdoors Hall of Fame as a premier outfitter, inventor, and prominent conservationist. Today, Sierra Mac River Trips specializes in rafting trips on the rivers of Yosemite National Park.

Eco-Friendly Notes

We feel privileged to host guests on the rivers of Yosemite. Since our inception Sierra Mac has been a leader in the effort to preserve and protect California's wild rivers. We were active in the fight to save the Stanislaus River which was eventually buried under New Melones Reservoir. That struggle led to the formation of Friends of the River and success in 1980’s when both the Tuolumne and Merced Rivers were granted Federal Wild & Scenic status.

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act recognizes certain rivers that have “outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values,” and it requires that Congress preserve them in their ”free-flowing condition.” As charter founding members of both Friends of the River and The Tuolumne River Trust we remain committed to the fight to preserve our last remaining wild rivers.

Types of Experiences and Trips Provided

Sierra Mac offers single-day and multi-day rafting trip on the Main Tuolumne, Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne, and Merced rivers that flow from Yosemite National Park.

1 Day Main Tuolumne river trips are suitable for beginner to advanced rafters. This 18 mile stretch of class IV-V whitewater flows through a remote National Wild & Scenic river canyon.

Multi-Day Main Tuolumne rafting trips allow guests to explore this 18 mile section more slowly and spend the night in the beauty of the river canyon. Our guides prepare and serve your meals at a secluded river camp.

Class V Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne trips are ranked as one of the most challenging whitewater runs in the US. Our experienced guides are experts at navigating this extraordinary section of river.

Sierra Mac Combination trips join the Class V excitement of Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne with 1 or 2 days (& nights) on the Class IV Main Tuolumne for a total of 27 river miles. This trip has it all, from the most exhilarating rapids to four-star riverside camping and dining. A must-do on every river runner’s bucket list.

Farther south, the Merced River offers exceptional half-day and full-day trips in spring and early summer.

For more information on these trips go to or call 209-591-8027

Nearby Places