Trails & Ales

The Tahoe Donner 4wd Club is hosting the first annual “Trails & Ales” event July 18th and 19th in Tahoe Donner outside of Truckee:

Trails_Ales_11x17_email Poster in Jpeg

There will be a show & shine event on Saturday which will include a BBQ and beer tasting. On Sunday the club will run participants through the Bear Valley Trail which is up Highway 89.

More event info

Sign-up form

The Tahoe Donner 4wd Club is a stand up club. They were on of the first clubs to step up and adopt a campsite. is proud to be a sponsor of this event.

Please sign-up as a participant or at least attend the show and shine to check out the rigs and vendor booths.


Fire restrictions in place on LTBMU & TNF

As of July 1, 2015, fire restrictions are in place on the TNF & LTBMU!

I   just came across the postings on their websites. The Eldorado won’t be far behind.

Be fire safe even without a fire. Carry water and a shovel at all times.


CA State OHV grants awarded

Earlier, I reported that the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit had failed to apply for any funds for four wheel drive trails. They had only applied for a motorcycle trail that is frequented by mountain bikes. (The project is being lead by TAMBA – Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Assoc.) Then I reported that the Basin had failed to received any funding due to a technical error.

Well the results are out regarding who actually got the money.

Here is a link to the page with the results of those awards. There are several catagories of grant funding so let me cut to the chase for you.

Planning – this would include Placer County’s plan to GPS the east half of the trail:

Placer County: $51,000 (they had asked for ($89,000)

Tahoe National Forest: $90,000


Tahoe National Forest: $488,000

Ground Operations

Tahoe National Forest: $623,000

Eldorado National Forest: $591,000

El Dorado County: $590,000

All I can say it that’s a lot of green stickers being bought!

A day on the trail…

June 16, I was lucky enough to have time to spend a day on the Rubicon Trail.

For me, a day on the trail includes trail maintenance. This day was no different. I was out to enhance what I had started 6/4-5. On that day I moved a few trailer loads of rock on Cadillac Hill. So, I moved a few more loads to the same area of the Upper Hairpin and to a spot just a little up the trail. The upper hairpin turn is behind me in the photo below.


I also worked the puddle above the upper creek crossing. It didn’t take much, but it had a huge impact.


This small amount of rock solved two issues. The first was erosion. As rig drove through this ‘puddle’ before, small amounts of dirt were removed and the ‘puddle’ was growing deeper. Erosion is bad everywhere but when it happens at a creek, that sediment gets flushed down stream and the anti-OHV crowd gets bent out of shape. That will no longer happen here.


The second issue solved is that of users driving off trail. Although not a challenge to most, a few side-by-sides had gone to the effort to drive off trail and go around the very large tree on the right side of the photos because they would bottom out due to their wheelbase and low clearance. That bypass was blocked last year and since has been respected by the users. Now, due to the filling of the hole on the uphill side of the step, there is no reason for users to drive off trail.

The other area addressed that day was a root section well west of Observation point. It is a root section that had been eroding over the years creating a very off-camber trail. This spot also lead to users driving off trail to avoid the off-camber section.DSCN2487

Although I didn’t have time to move much rock, it is a start. After taking the picture below, I drove through the obstacle and still found it to be well off-camber. So, I spent another 15 minutes moving more rock in to the low spot on the trail.


This area will need more rock. I look forward to finding more time to spend on the trail, doing trail maintenance.

For those who think this is paving the trail and that we should just let it go, I obviously have a different view. The anti-OHV crowd has used ever eroding trails against us and will again in the future. Not only has the Rubicon been used, twice, first within the Lake Tahoe Basin and second in the Eldorado but we had 42 trails closed (most wrongfully) due to lack of maintenance in areas near meadows.

I prefer that we get out in front of the anti-OHV crowd and perform some preventative maintenance. A little bit goes a long way.

Adopt-A-Campsite: Miller Lake

Yesterday I went out with the Tahoe Donner 4 Wheel Drive club and we worked the campsite at Miller Lake and repaired the sign there. There were only five guys from the club but they came to work.

I showed up with the new sign painted and ready to install. The old sign is in the background with multiple holes in it from years of abuse.


To say these guys had there act together would be an understatement. The first guy pulled out the full set of DeWalt battery operated tools. Not to be outdone, the next guy pulled out the Ryobi set. Then the Makita set came out and finally the Milwaukee set.


One guy used the impact driver to remove the old screws, while the next was cutting the new 2x6s to length with the battery operated circular saw. Once on the ground, the next guy pre-drilled the new 2x6s using the old 2×6 holes as a template.


The old sign was cut in half and thrown in my trailer for removal. While that was going on, the gas powered weed whacker was fired up to clear around the fire pits and sign.

The finished sign is lacking signage. We have plans to stop by the Tahoe National Forest to pick up the signage they would like displayed.


Later with logos of OHV partners and FS signage:



We were done in record time. So, we sat down and enjoyed lunch at the edge of Miller Lake.

My thanks go out to the Tahoe Donner 4 Wheel Drive Club for adopting this site and getting out there and getting this sign back to looking good.