PLACERVILLE, CA – The upper part of the Richardson Lake Road (14N39) on the Pacific Ranger District in the Eldorado National Forest is now open for motorized vehicle use, completing the final phase of corrective work on this route.
Richardson Lake Road is on the far northeastern end of the forest, and must be accessed through roads leading from the Lake Tahoe area. This 2.65 mile road is used to access Richardson Lake for camping and fishing, and travel to the top of Sourdough Hill to enjoy the scenic vistas, including a good view towards the Rubicon Trail. The route also provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail. A 4WD vehicle must be used to reach this road.
The first phase of work allowed the Richardson Lake Road to be re-opened up to the Pacific Crest Trail beginning in July 2014. Recently, improvements to the upper part of the road were completed in which a rolling dip was installed; an existing sediment basin was emptied and enlarged; and rock was placed over areas of bare ground. “These measures will help prevent erosion and protect delicate meadow ecosystems while allowing recreationists to enjoy one of the most popular motorized trails in the forest,” said District Ranger Richard Thornburgh.
The Richardson Lake Trail (14N39) was identified as one of 18 routes in the Eldorado National Forest travel system which needed corrections to comply with the environmental protection guidelines in the Sierra Nevada Plan. These routes were closed in 2012 to complete further analysis and make corrections to ensure the hydrologic connectivity of meadows would not be significantly impacted by motorized vehicle use.
Other routes which have re-opened after meadow protection work was completed are:
Barrett Lake 4WD Trail – opened July 23, 2015
Woods Spur, 10N01B – opened July 7, 2015
Mud Lake section of the Carson Emigrant Trail is now open up to Mud Lake, 17E32, and Allen’s Camp – opened June 2015
09N08 Stockton Camp Road – opened September 2014
11NY32 47 Mile Road – opened October 2014
16E33 North Shanty Spur – opened November 2014
10N14 Mule Canyon – opened November 2014
10N13 Schneider Camp Road up to the new parking area near the old barn spur road – opened November 2014
For more information about work in progress to re-open additional routes, visit the Travel Management section of the Eldorado National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.