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Cosumnes River Gorge

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Buck's Bar Dome 
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Cosumnes River Gorge Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,500'
Location: 38.6524, -120.7066 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 52,060
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on May 27, 2003
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Upstream from the climbing area. A lot of sick loo...


Nestled into the western Sierra near the town of Placerville, you will find this granite gem. Climbing is quite varied, from short bouldering, sport, and multipitch traditional lines. Most of these are topropeable short lines, physical for their grades.

Most of the granite in the area has been washed by water over many many years, and now is quite smooth. We're not talking Yosemite glass, so friction routes are still doable.

Boasting several hundred existing routes on many different rocks, there are many many days of climbing for people of all abilities. This is an excellent place to set your first pro, and also a great place for the development of new routes.

There are no access fees for climbing in Cosumnes River Gorge. While the climbing areas are on privately owned land, the owner has permitted climbing access. A 1979 trip report by Bob Branscomb in the American Alpine Journal mentioned that the owner requests that no campfires be lit, so be a cool guest and respect this .

Descents are as varied as the climbing.

Getting There 

From Hwy 50, exit on Missouri Flats (Right). Take that a few miles until you find a T-intersection with Pleasant Valley Rd and take that to Bucks Bar. If you are unfamiliar with the area the turnout for parking is just before Buck's Bar Cir., so if you see Bucks Bar Circle road then you just passed the spot.

Once out of the car, head off the right side of the road in the middle of the guard rail. There is a wide trail that is paved for the first few hundred feet. The approach is downhill and takes about 10 minutes to the main climbing areas.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.8 miles from here

68 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',16],['2 Stars',40],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Cosumnes River Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cosumnes River Gorge:
Beginner's Cracks   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Amazing Chimney   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     TR, 1 pitch, 45'   Buck's Bar Dome : Dinkum Gulley
Gutenberger Wall Direct   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Gutenberger Wall
The Easy Way Up   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Gutenberger Wall
Magic Beans   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 50'   Buck's Bar Dome : Dinkum Gulley
Chamberlin's Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Unconquerable   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Gutenberger's Wall   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Gutenberger Wall
Live and Learn   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Great Flake
Test Piece   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Squeeze Cheeze   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Dihedral Bypass   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Gutenberger Wall
Bat Roof   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Right Up the Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Gutenberger Wall
Dinkum   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Buck's Bar Dome : Dinkum Gulley
Lichen Us   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Gutenberger Wall
Fly or Die   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Adhesion   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Buck's Bar Dome : Main Area
Scud Buster   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Gutenberger Wall
Ten Minute Crack   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Ten-Minute Cliff
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cosumnes River Gorge

Featured Route For Cosumnes River Gorge
Rock Climbing Photo: Batman Can't Fly. Photo is at the crux, transition...

Batman Can't Fly 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : Dinkum Gulley
Walk 20' into the second chimney right of Dinkum and look up. Batman Can't Fly goes up a slightly overhanging crack on your right side to a roof split by a squeeze chimney. After transitioning into the roof (crux) arm lock, work your way out through the roof with solid arm locks until it's wide enough to squeeze through on the far end. It is short, but very fun, and definitely a worthy climb....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Cosumnes River Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of Gutenberger Wall from further upstream. ...
BETA PHOTO: A view of Gutenberger Wall from further upstream. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bucks Bar Dome, from across the valley on Gutenber...
BETA PHOTO: Bucks Bar Dome, from across the valley on Gutenber...
Rock Climbing Photo: not-to-scale overview
BETA PHOTO: not-to-scale overview
Rock Climbing Photo: not sure the route
not sure the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Bat Roof (Great Chimney)
Bat Roof (Great Chimney)
Rock Climbing Photo: Cosumnes River Gorge panorama from the Gutenberger...
Cosumnes River Gorge panorama from the Gutenberger...

Comments on Cosumnes River Gorge Add Comment
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By Anonymous Coward
Mar 2, 2005
I've climbed here quite a bit. It's cool for beginners who enjoy toproping, most anchors can be walked up to. If you sport there's only 3 routes a 10a, 10c, and a 9, they're ok but not great. a near by river makes for good swimming in the summer time.
By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
Dec 7, 2012
For those that prefer pretty pictures over reading, here's how to get there: Map

Just drag the "A" icon to where you want to start from.
By McStupid
May 20, 2013
This place is a lot of fun, but I wouldn't really recommend camping right around the crag. This weekend there was a large pile of freshly broken glass along the shoulder where everyone parks. No problem during the day but I didn't want to leave my car there over night. Also, there isn't a lot of level ground in the area and you would have to keep a pretty low profile. Definitely some national forest camping within 10 miles or so.
By Louis Mullerleile
From: Sacramento, California
Jul 19, 2014
Hey Everyone,

I left my anchor at Beginner Cracks on Buck's Bar Dome, on Thursday night(7/17). I brought a bunch of interns from my work who have never climbed before out there to climb, and of course afterwards we went down swimming. After we came back and pulled all the ropes and got everything packed and hiking back, totally forgot about the anchor.

I know its probably gone forever, but if you happened to have grabbed it I can describe it in detail and would really like to see it returned as part of it is not mine.

Thanks for reading,

By Boriss
From: Sacramento
Aug 12, 2014
Hey Louis that happened to us a couple months ago too haha. We set up an anchor, rappelled, I did a few leads up Beginner Cracks and then we hiked out and forgot the anchors :( Lost 3 locking biners and 2 brand new slings.
By Sam Grandy
Feb 8, 2016
I found an almost new piece of gear here today (2/8). Has anyone left anything here recently?
By AmandaV
Jun 2, 2016
I know it's a long shot, but I think my blue grigri2 and carabiner fell out of my pack there when I was climbing around April 17th. If by chance you found it, please shoot me and e-mail and I would be very grateful!

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