California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve - Sacramento County

Restrooms Available Hiking Allowed
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Ecological Reserve. Click for more info.

Location: Sacramento County - off Interstate 5 between Sacramento and Stockton.

Phone Number: (916) 358-2900

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

For more information on the Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve, please see the Cosumnes River Preserve Website

Area Regulations:

  • Camping is not allowed
  • Removal of mineral, archaeological, or natural resources in any form is prohibited except as provided in Title 14, §650.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited except on designated access roads and parking areas
  • Any refuse resulting from a person's use of an area must be removed from the area by that person

Special Restrictions:

  • Hiking allowed only on established trails
  • Horses are prohibited except by written permission of the department
  • Pets are not allowed except inside a motor vehicle

Access:

  • From I-5 North: Take Interstate 5 to the Twin Cities Road exit (marked with a binoculars sign for wildlife viewing) about midway between Stockton and Sacramento. Take Twin Cities Road exit and go East for exactly one mile, to the first stop sign. Turn right at the first stop sign, onto Franklin Boulevard, for 1.7 miles. The Visitor Center is located on the left side of Franklin Boulevard. Continue down Franklin Boulevard and park in the parking lot just past the Visitor Center.
  • From I-5 South: Take Interstate 5 to the Thornton-Walnut Grove Road exit. Go east towards the Chevon gas station and turn left immediately after the Chevron station onto Thornton Rd. Follow Thornton Road north for about 2 miles and it will turn into Franklin Boulevard, continue north on Franklin crossing over the Thornton-Franklin bridge. The Visitor Center and parking are on your right, just after the bridge.
  • From Highway 99: Take Highway 99 to the Twin Cities Road exit about midway between Stockton and Sacramento. Take Twin Cities Road west for about 6 miles and turn left onto Bruceville Road. Continue south on Bruceville Road and at the end turn right onto Desmond Road. Follow Desmond Road for about a mile over the Railroad tracks and turn left onto Franklin Boulevard. Continue down Franklin Boulevard and park in the parking lot just past the Visitor Center.

Description: The Cosumnes River is the only unregulated river on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Because it remains undammed, it experiences the seasonal overbank flooding that was once a common feature of rivers in California's central valley. This flooding supports the natural growth of riparian and floodplain vegetation, which in turn serves as home to an astounding array of wildlife. More than 250 bird species, over 40 fish species, and approximately 230 plant species have been identified on the reserve. These include various species of egrets and herons, sandhill cranes, stilts and avocets, phoebes and flycatchers, and yellow and Wilson's warblers.


Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve

Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve
Photo courtesy of the California Wildlife Conservation Board


Recreational Use: Fishing allowed only from a boat on the waters of the main channel of the Cosumnes River and sloughs accessible from the Mokelumne River in accordance with general fishing regulations. Lightweight, hand-carried, non-gasoline powered floating devices may be launched from designated launching sites.

Hunting: May be permitted in accordance with general hunting regulations, but only at such times and in specific locations as designated by the department.

Facilities: Restrooms available at the Visitor's Center.

PLEASE NOTE: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses, hunt days and methods of take are listed in the current year's issue of Hunting and Other Public Uses on State and Federal Areas, available at CDFW offices and places where licenses are sold.