Mountain & Trail News

    Auburn Quarry Climbing Ban Nearly Lifted

    Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento (CRAGS) and the Access Fund are excited to announce the successful negotiation of an agreement with California’s Auburn State Recreation Area to lift a 9-year ban on rock climbing at the Cave Valley Climbing Area (the “Auburn Quarry”). Although the agreement must be approved by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, CRAGS anticipates that approval is imminent. Climbing access is now contingent on CRAGS providing critical services in the area to offset climber impacts. CRAGS and the Access Fund are working to raise $9,520 to provide these services and restore climbing access early next month! Please visit to make a contribution–100% of your donation will support the climbing area.

    The Auburn State Recreation Area is a large public park on the American River, 35 miles northeast of Sacramento. The Cave Valley climbing area is an old limestone quarry near the river. Efforts to build a large federal dam there were halted in the late 1970’s. Quarrying and dam-construction activities left large features that are suitable for climbing. Over the years, climbers have established numerous sport routes of varying difficulty.

    In April 2003 the California Department of Parks and Recreation issued an order prohibiting technical rock climbing in the park. Local climbers formed CRAGS in 2008, in affiliation with the Access Fund, to re-establish climbing access at Auburn Quarry. For four years CRAGS members have attended meetings and wrote letters arguing that rock climbers have been unfairly singled out. The park managers have now agreed to allow rock climbing at the Quarry, but due to budget cuts the park will require CRAGS to establish and maintain basic services there.

    CRAGS has contributed funds and received a generous grant from the Access Fund to help meet the terms of the new agreement. CRAGS needs to raise additional funds by September 7th to open the Quarry to climbing. Your tax-deductible donation will help CRAGS pay for garbage and toilet service and informational signs at the quarry, plus volunteer supplies and park support services. Once CRAGS reaches this goal, climbing will be allowed at the Quarry on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. To maintain access, it is crucial for climbers to respect park rules, the environment, and safe climbing practices. CRAGS continues to work with the park to re-establish permanent climbing access every day of the week.

    “CRAGS has worked for years to re-open Auburn Quarry to climbing, and the Access Fund is proud to see their hard work paying off,” says Access Fund Policy Director RD Pascoe. Please help in this final push to open Auburn Quarry by donating at: Get involved as a volunteer by visiting

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