Cosumnes Falls


Difficulty 2 Beginner-intermediate
Length 4.8 miles round trip
7050 feet
+300, -300 feet
Navigation Road and map
Time Half day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Low [Snowmobile traffic is only low although part of route coincides with Silver Bear Snowmobile Trail.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Bear River Reservoir and Peddler Hill
Start Junction of Highway 88 and Foster Meadow Road, 0.8 mile east of Peddler Hill Maintenance Station and 11.1 miles west of the Silver Lake dam. Parking is on the north side of the highway in a cut-out that only holds 4 to 6 vehicles. Park carefully to maximize capacity.


You will not find the name Cosumnes Falls on any map or elsewhere for that matter because it is simply the name the author has given to this 20-foot falls that few people know exists.

Venture to the falls in winter and you will find the quantity of water small and cutting through ice that is formed of frozen spray. In the spring the ice will be gone and water more abundant.

The Cosumnes Falls tour is a short extension of the Foster Meadow tour but is rated a notch more difficult than the tour to the meadow. However, beginners who have reached the meadow may well choose to venture on.

The tour to the falls can also be added to the Foster Meadow Loop tour.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.5
Elevation change: -100 feet

From the starting point (1) ski north and then west on snow-covered Foster Meadow Road for a total of 0.5 mile until you intersect the groomed Silver Bear Snowmobile Trail (2). You will pass a road on your right at 0.1 mile.

Miles: 0.5 - 1.0
Elevation change: -100 feet

Turn north (right) onto the Silver Bear Snowmobile Trail (this is still Foster Meadow Road) and follow it for 0.5 mile until you reach a lesser road that heads southwest (3). This road may not be obvious. Backtrack 0.1 mile if you reach the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River.

The Cosumnes River is small and runs through a culvert under Foster Meadow Road. The landmarks that signal that you are at the river include (1) the river is located at a low spot on Foster Meadow Road, (2) Foster Meadow Road turns to the west (left) at the river, and (3) a sign indicating the turnoff to the headwaters of the Cosumnes River is located immediately after crossing the river.

Miles: 1.0 - 2.2
Elevation change: -100 feet

Turn southwest (left) onto the lesser road and ski 1.2 miles until you reach the end of the road (4).

Miles: 2.2 - 2.2 [Very short]
Elevation change: Nil

Descend to the north until you reach the west end of Foster Meadow (5).

Miles: 2.2 - 2.4
Elevation change: Nil

Ski west along the south side of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River for 0.2 mile until you reach Cosumnes Falls (6). In this section you will find yourself skiing through dense trees. You may climb a little and the river will descend leaving you above the river. Descend to a flat area located above an abrupt drop. The drop is the falls. The best way to actually see the falls is to cross the river to the north side (be careful) and ski west a short distance until you can look back at the falls. Of course you will not see the falls if it is completely surrounded by ice.

Miles: 2.4 - 4.8
Elevation change: +300 feet

Retrace your route for 2.4 miles back to the starting point (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour