Elevation: 4,500 ft
GPS: 39.319, -120.657 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 344,711 total · 1,604/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Oct 7, 2002
Admins: Aron Quiter, Kyle Bishop, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: No overnight camping on PG&E property Details

Description

If you are looking for an area where you can climb without crowds and be in a beautiful mountain setting, this is the place. There is even a huge world class swimming hole that is emerald green (expect beautiful people here with little on in the hot days of summer). Most of the climbs in the Benches section are westerly to northerly facing so you can chase shade all day in the hotter months. When the temperature is 110F in Sacramento, head for the gorge where you will need a sweater.

The Emeralds are on a mix of PG&E (Pacfic Gas and Electric) and Tahoe National Forest land. The exact boundaries aren't easy to see on the ground. Dispersed or primitive camping is permitted in many areas of the national forests, but since specifics change frequently, contact Tahoe NF for more information before setting up camp, and as always, make an effort to leave no trace. Established campgrounds are also available in the national forest along Bowman Lake Road, and just upstream at PG&E's Lake Spaulding campground.

Getting There

This page's location shows the usual parking area. Here are driving directions there:
  • From I-80, exit onto Highway 20 and drive four miles toward Nevada City.
  • After 3.5 miles, turn north onto Bowman Lake Road (forest service road 18) and drive for 1.3 miles. Have no fear, this section of the road is all paved.
  • Just before the bridge that crosses the Yuba River, there is a dirt access road. It is now gated and locked, so park across the bridge, then continue on foot.

  • For an overview map of walking directions to the climbing areas, with GPS coordinates, see the Emeralds Guide page 1 thru 6 below in the Photos.

    189 Total Climbs

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    Classic Climbing Routes at The Emeralds

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
    5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
     120
    Bushmaster
    Sport
    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
     105
    Price Check
    Sport
    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
     63
    Cast In Stone
    Sport 2 pitches
    5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
     94
    Ghost Town
    Sport
    5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
     110
    Closed For Lunch
    Sport
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
     104
    Rebirth
    Sport
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
     94
    If The Shoe Fits
    Sport
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
     149
    Push To Open
    Sport
    5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
     75
    420 Club
    Sport
    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
     216
    Step Into The Light
    Sport
    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
     82
    Where's The Beef
    Sport
    5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
     127
    Charlee And The Stick Factory
    Sport
    5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
     103
    Super Size Me
    Sport
    5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
     87
    Duppy Conqueror
    Sport
    5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
     48
    Steel Monkey
    Sport
    Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
    Bushmaster Benches > Dollar Store
     120
    5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
    Price Check Benches > Dollar Store
     105
    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
    Cast In Stone Benches > Negativity Cave
     63
    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
    Ghost Town Benches > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Right
     94
    5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
    Closed For Lunch Benches > Dollar Store
     110
    5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
    Rebirth Benches > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Right
     104
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
    If The Shoe Fits Benches > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Right
     94
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
    Push To Open Benches > Dollar Store
     149
    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
    420 Club Benches > Chalkporium
     75
    5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
    Step Into The Light Benches > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Left
     216
    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
    Where's The Beef Benches > Fast Food Wall
     82
    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
    Charlee And The Stick Factory Benches > Fortress
     127
    5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
    Super Size Me Benches > Fast Food Wall
     103
    5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
    Duppy Conqueror Benches > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Left
     87
    5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
    Steel Monkey Benches > Steel Monkey Wall
     48
    5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
    More Classic Climbs in The Emeralds »

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