Cosumnes River Gorge provides climbers with year round opportunities. New climbers discover rockclimbing (as I did) in an outdoor environment. While seasoned veterens hone their own climbing skills. Weekends find the Gorge packed with groups of people from several climbing classes. The classes will usually be there realy early and set up their top ropes on on most of the popular routes. They are typically friendly and will let you use their ropes if you ask.
A word of caution about the area:
This area is not maintained by any one person or group that I know of. You are compleatly responsible for your own safety. It is class 2 and 3 to move from climb to climb. Some sections of class 3 a fall could potentially be very serious. I doubt there is cell signal in the gorge. That means, a rescue party would be hours away at best. A helicoper rescue is likely out of the question. Group rescue may just be the option considering the remoteness of the area.
They are around, usually only in summer. I havent seen one personally but others have. Many places is large talus hopping there are many small places for critters to reside.
The Cosumnes River:
The North fork of the river is quite large. Winter and spring runoff make it especially dangerous. In 1994 I believe a man was killed trying to rescue his dog from the river. Both the man and dog perished. There is a plaque just off of the TH dedicated to him. The river rock is polished by the violent river water passing over it, wearing rock shoes does little to aid in grip. Be especially careful jumping from boulder to boulder.
Emergency Contact Info:
Eldorado Search and Rescue (916) 621-6555
Marshall Hospital in Placerville (913) 622-1441
From Hwy 50: Take the Missori Flat Rd south apx. 2.8m. At this piont you will be in the small town of Diamond Springs. Turn left (east) on Pleasent Valley Rd and continue for 4.7m. There is a stop sign here what is called Gutenberg corner, go right (south) on Bucks Bar Rd. Park before the hairpin turn protected by guard rail 3.1m from the last turn off. This is the trailhead. From here, hike 10 mins losing 254ft of elevation to the main mass of rock called Boulder Gulch. Here you are standing on the mass known as Bucks Bar Dome. From here, you can go left toward the class 3 and "Main area" or left to Dinkum Gully. Going to climbers left from Dinkum Gully will lead you toward additional climbs on Ten Minute cliff and Struggler Cliff.
davidkiene has added: The Consumnes River Gorge is now publicly owned. Recently, the American River Conservancy donated 61 acres of land, including popular climbing areas at Consumnes River Gorge, to the BLM. The BLM is now seeking input from climbers on managing this area
Heres an article on the new ownership
When To Climb
Year-round. Just beaware of the Consumnes River in the winter and spring as it is high and rushing with bone chilling snow-melt.
All the routes I have seen are bolted for toproping. Back up your anchors as you feel is nessesary, the bolts that are there are typically in great condition. Rope, harness, belay device, helmet, and the typcical suspects for climbing. A small tarp is a good idea as it is quite dusty in the summer time. Speaking of summer, WATER, WATER, and WATER. It can get very hot in the summer later morning through early evening. Arrive early in summer to climb at the bearable times of the day. A first aid kit is a good idea as well as tape for hands for some crack climbs.
Emergency Gear Needs:
Because of the remoteness of the area, gear vendors will be few and/or far away for any last minute purchases or forgotten gear.
Placerville Clothing Co. - A nice store with most gear needs just a lack of climbing equipment.
413 Main St,
Placerville Ca, 95667
Of course, for all your climbing gear needs.
2425 Iron Pt Road
Folsom, CA 95630
Other emergency gear needs:
Jack Russel Farm Brewery
2380 Lassen Dr.
Camino, CA 95709
It is possible to camp here, there are no designated camp spots.
A better camping option may be Sly Park Recreation Area at Jenkinson Lake. At 12 miles away its close proximity is a nicer option to be at a designated camping sites.
Sly Park Recreation Area
4771 Sly Park Road Pollock Pines, CA
165 campsites $16/night with additional vehicles being $9/night
Firewood is avaliable to buy or bring you own.
There are no flush toilets or showers at this area.
So, I've hopefully added about as much info on this page as is possible. There are very few publications about the Gorge so information is scarce (I do have one small guidebook on it). Please if you have any info it is much appreciated just please email it to me instead TysonH@cwo.com Also, I am afflicted with this terrible disease where I have a hugh lack of ability to spell correctly :) If you see any shoot me an email, I'll fix them as soon as I can.