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Areas in I-80 Corridor

Auburn SRA 0 / 60 / 6 / 37 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 100
Bear River Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Black Buttes 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Bowman Valley 5 / 107 / 18 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 125
Cisco Grove Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Deer Creek Park (Rocklin Quarry) 1 / 0 / 6 / 75 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 76
Donner/Truckee 181 / 87 / 44 / 70 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 339
Dry Creek Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Emeralds, The 7 / 103 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 110
Hirschman's Pond 0 / 0 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Indian Springs 18 / 11 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 34
Island Lake Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 22 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22
Penner Lake 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Rainbow 13 / 12 / 1 / 14 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 36
South Yuba River: 49 Crossing 2 / 0 / 6 / 17 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 24
South Yuba River: Edward's Crossing 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Elevation: 5,231 ft
GPS: 39.277, -120.713 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 688,980 total, 4,789/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Feb 18, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

New Rock! New Rock! Come and Get it!

Interstate 80 runs from San Francisco to New Jersey. From Sacramento in California's central valley to the Nevada border near Reno, it crosses most of the Sierra Nevada, including some of the earliest recorded Anglo American emigrant trails over infamous Donner Pass.

The northern Sierra Nevada is a vast and mostly untamed stretch of rocky hillsides and granite peaks. Bouldering is everywhere, and sport is plentiful. Trad routes can be found, both documented and wild. New rock is always just over the next ridge, and all you need is a little imagination and some forestry maps, and you can find the next climbing area in California.

Areas in the foothills may not be documented. A lot of climbable rock is found on private property, and also in public areas where local land managers don't believe that climbing is a reputable sport. Auburn State Recreation Area had a rocky history, but the administrators and climbing community built bridges there.

For gear, Alpenglow Sports, Tahoe Sports Hub, and the Backcountry, are all great shops with a history in the area and contribute positively to the local mountain culture.

Elevations range from near sea level in the central valley itself, up to eight thousand of feet as the foothills rise to the heart of the mountain range. Checking the National Weather Service forecast for your exact destination is best for planning mountain days outdoors.

Low elevation crags can be scorching on summer afternoons, but become popular retreats from winter ice and snow. These include the Auburn area, where sport climbs and bouldering are had at Cave Valley (aka Auburn Quarry) and the Bar. Beginner friendly, mostly lowball, boulder problems are plentiful at Deer Creek Park in Rocklin.

Medium and high elevation rocks' seasonality depends heavily on current weather patterns, snow cover, and whether the cliff faces south towards the sun. But by summer time, most accessible crags are covered with climbers from around the world. Bouldering is everywhere in this area above about 5,500 feet in elevation, where the mid elevation pine forests thin out. Donner/Truckee has the highest concentration of established trad routes, and the tallest cliffs. Indian Springs, Bowman Valley and some sections of Donner are popular sport climbing areas.

Although Interstate 80 continue through the Truckee River Canyon east of the town of Truckee, all crags between Truckee and the Nevada border en route to Reno are in the TRC area now, since they're relatively close together, while this I-80 area contains bouldering parks as far west as Rocklin.

Getting There

Interstate 80 in California is reached from most other regions through Sacramento from the west, or from Reno to the east. Many other highways, surface streets and dirt roads connect to it. See specific crags for directions.

Approximate eastbound mileages:

0 miles: Interstate 80 splits from route 101 in San Francisco.
111 miles: Rocklin Rd in Rocklin for Deer Creek Park (Rocklin Quarry).
119 miles: Elm Ave in Auburn for Auburn SRA, and highway 49 north for other foothill destinations.
161 miles: State Route 20 towards Nevada City for the Emeralds, Bowman Valley, Island Lake Boulders, Black Buttes and other Emigrant Gap area destinations.
163 miles: Eagle Lakes Rd for Indian Springs.
166 miles: Big Bend for Rainbow.
173 miles: Soda Springs for most Donner/Truckee crags.
176 miles: Donner Summit Rest Area for Summit Lake Area and Castle Peak Bouldering.
183 miles: Donner Pass Rd exist in Truckee for Donner Memorial State Park/Coldstream.
184 miles: Downtown Truckee at junction with highway 89 south (which heads towards Lake Tahoe proper via the Truckee River Canyon.
204 miles: Nevada state line, en route to the Reno area.

907 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at I-80 Corridor

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Composure
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Rated X
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Jellyroll Arch
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
M+M
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Telegraph Crack
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
One Hand Clapping
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Black September
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Nova Express
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Bottomless Topless
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Uncomfortably Dumb
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Farewell to Arms
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Molar Concentration
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Step into the Light
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Aerial
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Peter Principle
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Composure Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Rated X Donner/Truckee > … > Black Wall Area > Black Wall 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Jellyroll Arch Donner/Truckee > … > Grouse Slab > E Face 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
M+M Auburn SRA > Cave Valley (aka… > Scale Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Telegraph Crack Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
One Hand Clapping Donner/Truckee > … > Black Wall Area > Black Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black September Donner/Truckee > … > Black Wall Area > Black Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Nova Express Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Bottomless Topless Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Uncomfortably Dumb Auburn SRA > Cave Valley (aka… > Horseshoe Canyon 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Farewell to Arms Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Molar Concentration Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Step into the Light Emeralds > … > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Left 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Aerial Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Peter Principle Donner/Truckee > Donner Pass > Snowshed Wall 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in I-80 Corridor »

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"Outdoor gear resources are plentiful and usually affordable in both Sacramento and Reno. Truckee, the closest large town to the Sierra crest, naturally has prices adjusted for their real estate and tourism."

This piece of "advice" is both untrue and unnecessary. Compare the REI or climbing shop prices in Sac or Reno with those of any backcountry/climbing shop and you'll see that they are the exact same except for during sale periods. In addition, it's the locals that work at these shops that have knowledge and pass it on to customers whereas most of those shop employees in Sac and Reno have no clue. I think this should be removed or changed.

Edit to include some shops: Alpenglow Sports, Tahoe Sports Hub, and The Backcountry, are all great shops with a history in the area and contribute positively to the local mountain culture. Oct 28, 2017

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