Sign updated at staging area

As was the subject of the last “Photo of the month”, the sign at the McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road has been in the need of attention for some time.

Recently, some new material was installed along with a new piece of backing plywood and a new plexi-glass cover. Additionally, the broken map box was replaced and stocked with both the RTF Rubicon Trail map and the new Rubicon Area OHV Trails map and flier. The map was covered in my last post.

Here is the new signage in all it’s glory:

New signage

The RTF map is on the left.

The agencies involved with the trail are represented across the bottom: Placer County, El Dorado County, US Forest Service, CA State Parks OHV, Friends of the Rubicon, Rubicon Trail Foundation, CA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, and the Blue Ribbon Coalition.

Towards the right is some educational information including ham radio frequencies, contact information for the agencies involved, how to volunteer, driving cautions and a copy of the new tri-MVUM map.

A close up of the new map box now housing the RTF Rubicon Trail map and the new tri-MVUM of Rubicon Area OHV trails:

New box


This was a private effort. Hopefully, in the future, the agencies listed on the sign will get together with the users to decide what more signage and information is needed at the staging area and along the trail.


UPDATE 2-20-15:

The LTBMU visited the staging area and decided that the sign needed a few changes. Here is a photo of the current sign. I’m working on getting FOTR to join the party and hopefully, together, we can all get the information on the sign to reflect what the users need to travel safely and enjoy the area.

Staging sign by FS

They added a full Motor Vehicle Use Map for North Tahoe and a snowmobile riding area map.












New Tri-MVUM map for Rubicon area

It’s only a first draft but here is a new map of the Rubicon Trail area:

3 in 1

This map combines the three Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) from the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU). This issue only comes up on the Placer side as the ENF MVUM map covers the entire Rubicon on the El Dorado side.

This map will provide the users with a guide to side trails in the area from Blackwood Canyon to Sourdough Hill. This map is provided for reference only. It is not intended to be used to navigate. Most of the trails listed on this map are seasonal use only, for wheeled motorized vehicles. It is the users responsibility to know when the trails are open for use.

The backside of this map has user information including trail names to go with the FS trail numbers, ham radio frequencies and contact information for Rubicon agencies:

TOR – trifold trail names

As I said, first draft. This version started as a scan of the three MVUMs. Not a great quality to start with. As I’m new to Photoshop, the resolution was not set to the optimum setting. I’m already working on a new map, from the online FS maps, that should be of good enough quality to enlarge to a size suitable for the trailhead sign.

Although the forests involved would probably rather see ALL the data left on the maps, in future drafts I’m going to eliminate some of the clutter, including all the labeling of the really short trails. That would be all the 003-004-07 kind of numbers.

The LTBMU labels private property vs forest lands differently than the other two forest. Not noticeable in this version. The border between the forests gets a little lost but is the solid black line. No lines for the two counties. The two wildernesses are marked but only one is labeled. Again, first draft. The different forests use different styles to mark the OHV trails. I tried to get the LTBMU and the TNF the same but I’ll wait for the next draft to make the ENF trails look the same.

As crude as this first draft is, these fliers are currently available at the Tahoma Staging Area.

I wanted to get these out so I could get some feedback on the idea. Please let me know what you think these maps need to make them worth while.


Winter on the Rubicon

I drove out to the Rubicon yesterday. Being alone and in my street truck, 2002 ZR-2, I didn’t venture too far.

Here is my truck at water bar number eight, actually an Arizona crossing. It’s about a 1/8 mile past the intersection with the Buck Lake Trail. The trail was very icy due to the warm day temperatures and below freezing nights.


Plenty of evidence of people out playing on the trail.



Just before WB#8, someone took the time to clear a downed tree from the trail. Thank you to all of you who take care of business while you’re out on the trail. If you document your time and the people involved, we can get credit towards grant fund matching. Forward any documentation to FOTR.


Please remember to go prepared.

“Turn around, don’t go around.”

If you come across a downed tree or other obstacle and don’t have the means to clear the trail, turn around and head home. Do not drive around the blockage. If you have a chain saw or what ever it takes to clear the trail, feel free to do so but be very careful. This time of year there is less traffic on the trail. If you hurt yourself, you might not see someone drive by for days.