I-80 Corridor
Submitted by: Aron Quiter
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.

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.

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 Auburn Cliffs 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 Summit 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.
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.
Photos
Oak Trees-Foothills.
Photo by Blitzo.
Oak Trees-Foothills. Photo by Blitzo.

Foothill Sunset.
Photo by Blitzo.
Foothill Sunset. Photo by Blitzo.

Sugar Pine.
Photo by Blitzo.
Sugar Pine. Photo by Blitzo.

Great stone!
Photo by Blitzo.
Great stone! Photo by Blitzo.

Digger Pine aka Grey Pine.
Photo by Blitzo.
Digger Pine aka Grey Pine. Photo by Blitzo.

Digger pine cones.
Photo by Blitzo.
Digger pine cones. Photo by Blitzo.

Meadows.
Photo by Blitzo.
Meadows. Photo by Blitzo.

Common Yarrow (Achillea Augustissima).
Photo by Blitzo.
Common Yarrow (Achillea Augustissima). Photo by Blitzo.

Lots of poison oak.
Photo by Blitzo.
Lots of poison oak. Photo by Blitzo.

Sierra Foothills granite.
Photo by Blitzo.
Sierra Foothills granite. Photo by Blitzo.

Pine Rose leaves.
Photo by Blitzo.
Pine Rose leaves. Photo by Blitzo.

Soft Arnica?
Photo by Blitzo.
Soft Arnica? Photo by Blitzo.

Large Mountain Monkeyflower.
Photo by Blitzo.
Large Mountain Monkeyflower. Photo by Blitzo.

Sugar Pine Cone.
Photo by Blitzo.
Sugar Pine Cone. Photo by Blitzo.

Live Oak?
Photo by Blitzo.
Live Oak? Photo by Blitzo.

Lakes.
Photo by Blitzo.
Lakes. Photo by Blitzo.

Live oak bark detail?
Photo by Blitzo.
Live oak bark detail? Photo by Blitzo.

In the oak forest.
Photo by Blitzo.
In the oak forest. Photo by Blitzo.

Mistletoe.
Photo by Blitzo.
Mistletoe. Photo by Blitzo.

Poison oak is nice in late season color.
Photo by Blitzo.
Poison oak is nice in late season color. Photo by Blitzo.

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