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Areas in Cosumnes River Gorge

Buck's Bar Dome 23 / 0 / 34 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 41
Granite Cove 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Gutenberger Wall 8 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Hispaniol Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Midway Rocks 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Struggler Cliff 3 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Ten-Minute Cliff 6 / 0 / 5 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Upper Slab 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Yayali Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2

Description

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. Descents are as varied as the climbing.

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.

The most comprehensive guide book for this area is William Cottrell's Rock Climbs of Placerville, CA.

Access

There are no access fees for climbing in Cosumnes River Gorge. For decades, these climbing areas were on privately owned land, with the owner has permitted hiking and climbing access. A 1979 trip report by Bob Branscomb in the American Alpine Journal mentioned that the owner requested that no campfires be lit. In 2004, the American River Conservancy purchased the property and transferred its ownership to the Bureau of Land Management, preserving public access indefinitely.

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.

74 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cosumnes River Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 47
The Pod
Trad, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 24
Magic Beans
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 91
Unconquerable
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 125
Test Piece
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 36
Live and Learn
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 17
Gardens of Babylon
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 117
Dinkum
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 11
Lichen Us
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 22
Bat Roof
Trad, TR
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 3
Robin's Attic
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 3
Unconquerable Tunnel Through
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 18
Fly or Die
TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 50
Adhesion
TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 3
Trout Fishing in America
Sport 2 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 18
Ten Minute Crack
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Pod Buck's Bar Dome > Dinkum Gulley
 47
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Magic Beans Buck's Bar Dome > Dinkum Gulley
 24
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Unconquerable Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 91
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Test Piece Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 125
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Live and Learn Buck's Bar Dome > Great Flake
 36
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Gardens of Babylon Ten-Minute Cliff
 17
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Dinkum Buck's Bar Dome > Dinkum Gulley
 117
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Lichen Us Gutenberger Wall
 11
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Bat Roof Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 22
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Robin's Attic Buck's Bar Dome > Dinkum Gulley
 3
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Unconquerable Tunnel Through Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 3
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Fly or Die Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 18
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
Adhesion Buck's Bar Dome > Main Area
 50
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b TR
Trout Fishing in America Gutenberger Wall
 3
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
Ten Minute Crack Ten-Minute Cliff
 18
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Cosumnes River Gorge »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
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. Mar 2, 2005
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. May 20, 2013
Nicholas Boyce
Pittsburgh, PA
Nicholas Boyce   Pittsburgh, PA
Really nice place to go during the winter or when it is wet. In the summer it gets pretty hot during the mid day and there really isn't a lot of shade for the main climbing area. The water is easily accessible to swim in once the water level goes down. Most of the routes are clean and the trail is in pretty good shape getting there. I'd be sure to lock my car up and put away any bags in the back. A few people have had there car window smashed and a bag stolen over the years. I have never worried about it with my gear out of sight. Apr 3, 2018
Adra
Rohnert Park, CA
Adra   Rohnert Park, CA
Does anyone have beta on places to camp nearby the climbing here? May 17, 2018
Kelley Gilleran
Sacramento, Ca
Kelley Gilleran   Sacramento, Ca
Sly park is probably the easiest and closest.. Or forest service land. But there's nothing super close to the climbing due to private land. May 18, 2018
Dont park overnight here. Scumbag meth heads broke my window and hotwired my car. So unless u want your car stolen its not worth it May 29, 2018
I was fortunate enough to grow up a mere five minutes from this place. To say that the Consumnes River Gorge holds a special place in my heart would be an understatement. I explored this place from a young age with my parents and retreated to it on golden afternoons after high school track practices. To me and my friends it was simply known as ‘the gorge’ and we wanted to spend as much time as we possibly could here. It’s bulletproof domes of granite seemed to be the only sure insulation from the rest of the world. I was formed as a climber here; In the gorge I climbed my first pitch, experienced my first multi-pitch, put up my first route on gear, sent my first project, got my first FA, took my first whip, ripped my first piece and shredded my first rope. The climbing that I did here was more than that though. Looking back I realize just how important it was to me as a catalyst for growth as an individual.

I was formed as a person here. In the gorge I learned about bravery, fear, confidence, diligence, patience, understanding, friendship, loneliness, love and hate. I made friends in the gorge and I lost friends here too. In the gorge I had my first beer, first joint, first existential crisis. I met weekend warriors, lifers, hobos, high-liners, climbers, tweakers, tweakers that climbed and climbers that tweaked. I talked about school, life, religion, girls, and the lack thereof. When so vastly empty, this place filled me. If captivation with the ugly brought me to its lip, the gravity of its beauty and wonder guided me gently to its floor’s ceaseless embrace. I saw myself in its water smoothed walls and its still jagged, young rifts. I hid here and was found here. I discovered what it meant to truly love some place, to want to protect it.

Life has led me out of state to a larger, much drier river gorge and I find myself dreaming and worrying about the Consumnes every day. If you have found yourself lucky enough to visit this place, please cherish every moment. Enjoy the solace and peace it has to offer. Be a patron to it; share it with those yet to come. I am extremely lucky to see this rather insignificant little crag in the light that I do, I hope that you can at least gain an idea of its importance to me and many others. Every place means something to someone, this place just happens to mean a lot to me. As I strive to show this same love and respect I have for the Cosumnes gorge for all corners and crags of the human planet, I hope you will be moved to do the same when or if you find yourself here.

B Jul 26, 2018

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