Headwaters of the Middle Fork
of the Cosumnes River


Summary

Difficulty 2 Beginner-intermediate
Length 4.4 miles round trip
Starting
Elevation
7050 feet
Cumulative
Elevation
Change
+600, -600 feet
Navigation Road and marked trail
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
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.


Description

The headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River is nestled in a narrow canyon. The road you follow up the canyon is not steep, but the gradient is continuous. As you ascend you are hemmed in by new growth trees, but the end of the canyon is an open meadow.

Strong beginner-intermediate skiers can combine the Foster Meadow Loop tour with this tour.

The tour to the headwaters is also the beginning of the more difficult Headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River Loop tour and is part of the Trail Junction and Cosumnes River tour (to be added soon).

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.5
Elevation change: -100 feet

From the trailhead (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 - 1.1
Elevation change: -100 feet

Turn northeast (right) onto the Silver Bear Snowmobile Trail (this is still Foster Meadow Road) and follow it for 0.6 mile until you reach the turnoff for the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River (3). A sign marks this location.

Miles: 1.1 - 1.6
Elevation change: +150 feet

Turn northeast (right) onto the narrow road that climbs to the headwaters and follow it for 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (4). The road you intersect is part of the Cosumnes Loop Trail (it's not actually a loop). To the southwest (left) it connects with Anderson Ridge and straight ahead leads to the headwaters.

Miles: 1.6 - 2.2
Elevation change: +250 feet

Continue straight on the road for 0.6 mile until you reach the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River (5). You know you have arrived when the road makes a sharp turn to the right. There is also a sign here indicating the steep climb to Trail Junction.

Miles: 2.2 - 4.4
Elevation change: +200, -400 feet

Retrace the route for 2.2 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
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