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Rancheria Falls - Ice Climb

Rancheria Falls - Ice Climb Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,800'
Location: 37.25168, -119.13623 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 365
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: PDMartzen on Mar 10, 2016
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BETA PHOTO: Closer view of the top section of ice.


Rancheria Falls is a winter ice climbing location that has dependable ice and is accessible. This is rare on the west side of the southern Sierra. The falls are about 7800 feet above sea level. They also face north in a narrow canyon where it stays very cold. The falls seem to ice up fairly early in the fall. Don't know how long the ice might last into the spring.

The falls are about 110' high and can be top roped with a 70m rope. At the top of the falls there are some anchor bolts on boulders and also some big trees which can be used as anchors.

The steepest ice is on the left side. There is a wide area of lower angle ice on the right. There are series of smaller falls below the main falls with steps about 10 or 15 feet high.

After storms the falls will be mostly covered with snow. Ice tends to only show through in the steepest spots on the left. Don't know under what conditions the snow will fall off or consolidate into the ice.

Getting There 

Take highway 168 from the Fresno area to Huntington Lake. One mile past the China Peak Resort, look for a gated road on the right. Elevation here is about 7100' or 7200'. Walk or ski up this road 1.25 miles to the Rancheria Falls trailhead. The trail to the falls is .8 miles, but is relatively level. The trail leads to a viewing area even with the base of the main falls. From the end of the trail stomp steps 15' up a steep slope, then follow an easy traverse to a large area at the base of the main falls.

During the winter, all cars must carry chains on highway 168. However, Caltrans keeps the road clear of snow usually within a few days of any snowstorm. Typically chains will be required on your tires for only a day or two after each storm.

Climbing Season

For the Southern Sierra area.

Weather station 4.4 miles from here

Featured Route For Rancheria Falls - Ice Climb
Photos of Rancheria Falls - Ice Climb Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View showing more of the right side.  Not in good ...
BETA PHOTO: View showing more of the right side. Not in good ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rancheria Falls trailhead and outhouse.  In the su...
Rancheria Falls trailhead and outhouse. In the su...
Rock Climbing Photo: Closer view of the base of the falls.
BETA PHOTO: Closer view of the base of the falls.
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of the left side of the falls.
BETA PHOTO: Overview of the left side of the falls.

Comments on Rancheria Falls - Ice Climb Add Comment
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By limpingcrab
From: Visalia, CA
Mar 11, 2016
Thanks for adding this, I had no idea it was there!

Maybe it should be moved from SEKI into southern sierra? That's the page containing all of the areas around Huntington.
By PDMartzen
From: Fresno, CA
Mar 11, 2016
Yes, you are correct. Got it switched to Southern Sierra.

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