So I bought a dual sport. A 2009 Kawasaki KLX250s. Well, this past Saturday I finally got some decent time on it. Earlier, I took the bike up the Rubicon but didn’t get too far. This time it was two and a half hours. I went out exploring the OHV trails around the Barker Pass area.
This writing is specifically about forest road 03-06-02. It is the trail that ventures the furthest west past Barker Pass. At one time, this trail looped around to the south and hooked up with forest road 03. Then came the Granite Chief Wilderness area.
But it almost makes it better for camping because nobody goes out there!
The drive/ride along forest road 03 to get to 03-06 and then 03-06-02 gives you some great views of the valley that runs from Rubicon Springs to the Hell Hole reservoir. That’s the valley of the Long Lake Trail, 16E12, another trail to check out.
There are a few trees down towards the end of the trail. This is only the first.
A short hike down the trail, past the first tree blocking the trail, which I am sure if far from the end of the trail, you get a glimpse of Hell Hole Reservoir through the trees.
With a 50 yard hike from the trail you get some great views of Hell Hole. You might not be able to tell but you can see evidence of the King fire on the far bank of the lake.
Further down the trail there are more trees.
This is where I think the trail officially ends. It is not pictured well but there is an unnatural dirt berm attempting to block the trail.
Past the official end of the trail there are still more trees blocking the trail.
We’ll see if I can work with the Tahoe National Forest and get an accurate GPS of the end of the trail and then clear any trees blocking access to the true end of the trail.
I suggest that you get out and explore sections of our public lands you haven’t seen before. Here’s a hint, look for the trails that dead end far away from other trails.
Just an FYI…
There is new signage posted at the Rubicon trailhead. Looks like the old faded MVUM and RTF map were taken down. The RTF map was replaced with a smaller version, while the map of the “Rubicon Area OHV Trails” was replaced with a larger version that is now being printed in color and has local hiking trails.
Across the bottom of the sign are logos of some of the participating clubs, groups and government agencies. There are probably more that should be recognized.
The same old Forest Service notices still remain.
On June 12th, at 7am, I headed out from the cabin in Carnelian Bay.
It’s not a long drive around the west side of the lake, only 15-20 minutes, but it was early and there was a chill. Trips like this are why I always have my old ski jacket with gloves and a hat in the Jeep.
Although I was looking forward to the drive time alone on the Rubicon and Forest Road 03-04, it was a work trip. As a volunteer with the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), I have agreed to place trail markers along the Rubicon and on the side trails in the area of Forest Road 03-04. That’s the road from the Rubicon, past Bear Lake that goes to Barker Pass at the top of Blackwood Canyon.
Today, I had a new mileage sign for the intersection of 03-04 and the Rubicon, a no outlet sign for 03-04 (did you read my last post?) and two 03 markers for Barker Pass Road where is meets 03-04.
Using a post hole digger in the Sierra Nevada mountains is not a straight forward process. I start one hole and got about 20″ down when I hit granite. I filled that one in and started another; only got ten inches down. Started a third; eight inches. I went back to the first hole and dug it out again. I figured I’d place a bunch o0f rock around the base to make up for the short hole. I was hoping to get them down at least 24 inches. That was the mileage sign.
I moved up 03-04 to start the “No Outlet 11/6 – 6/14”, the granite rock in the hole were smaller and the center of the hole kept shifting to get around the rocks. But the sign is up.
The day before, I had driven as far north as Bear Lake with the Tahoe Donner 4wdc. Today I would go further and by myself. Yes, I’m setting a bad example. But I had food, drink, shelter, fire starter stuff and a working ham radio.
Just north of Bear Lake, in a downhill section on a northern aspect, there was a sizable snowdrift. I went down it no problem but I knew I’d have trouble on the way out, even if I wasn’t pulling a trailer like I was that day.
I drained a few puddles along the way and had to cut two trees off the trail. The snow drifts were narrow and thus fun to pop over. There were a few longer ones that posed a small challenge but weren’t a problem.
The dirt at the intersection of 03-04 and 03 was very soft for digging but didn’t pack to well after placing the posts.
As predicted, on the way out, I had trouble in the large snow drift. Let the winching scenario begin. Of course I wanted to go straight up the trail, there are no trees right in the middle of the trail. So I winched a little to the right and then a little to the left and then once more to the right. But it worked.
The plan was to turn left on 03-04-12 and place some carsonite markers as well but there was a very large drift a short distance up that trail. Maybe in a week or two I’ll try again.
The plan was to meet the Tahoe Donner 4wdc at the Rubicon staging area, run up the Rubicon to Forest Road 03-04 and head over to Blackwood canyon and come out the Middle Fork Trail, 15N38.
I had this feeling I needed to check the gate at the bottom of Blackwood Canyon at both Forest Road 03 and the Middle Fork Trail. The 03 road isn’t scheduled to open until June 15th, and they never OPEN roads early. The gate for 03 and the Middle Fork Trail are supposed to open June 1st. Well the main road was open but the Middle Fork Trail is still closed.
At the staging area, we ran in to another group who were planning the same route, Rubicon to 03-04- and out 15N38. I passed along the bad news. They took their six Unimogs and headed up the Richardson Lake Trail and made the summit. Some snow but enough dirt to maintain traction.
The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) posted at the Rubicon staging area has June 1st as the opening date for 15N38. The MVUM on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s (LTBMU) website has June 1st as the opening date as well. Yet the gate isn’t open. I don’t know if the gate is open at the top.
The LTBMU needs to get on top of this and fast. How many other groups are going to head north from the Rubicon expecting to get out Blackwood Canyon and find closed gates?
Maybe some new guy at the LTBMU thinks it should open with the gate on 03 just past the river on June 15th. I’ll be contacting the LTBMU in the morning about this issue. Please feel free to join me in letting them know how you feel about them not opening our OHV trail in a timely fashion.(530) 543-2600
was headed to run around the Rubicon area on the 11th and
This OHV season, the CA State Parks OHV Division made available almost $11 million dollars for OHV issues, projects, maintenance, law enforcement, education, etc.
The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) failed to obtain a single penny of it. In comparison, the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) received $438k and the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) received $650k.
There is a 30 day grace period for the agency requesting funds to ask that their grant be reviewed and rescored but don’t hold your breath. This is the second straight year the grant writers and administrators at the LTBMU have fallen short. I think it’s safe to say the LTBMU needs a new grant writing staff.
Here’s the problem, even though the LTBMU didn’t receive CA State Parks grant funding, they are still required to manage OHV on their forest. It’s just going to be that much more difficult without specific funding for OHV.
I’m using this lack of funding problem to push the LTBMU to reinstate the Adopt-A-Trail program they dumped two years ago.
If you or your club, group, business or organization would like to adopt an OHV trail within the LTBMU, email them, call them, hound them, do not take no for an answer, Right now I only know of the Twin peaks Trail in South Lake Tahoe, the Buck Lake Trail off the Rubicon and the Middle Fork Trail up Blackwood Canyon (just north of the Rubicon) that historically have been adopted.
That list doesn’t include the pre-Placer County Rubicon when the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s had the entire east side of the trail adopted. For adopting a section of the Placer side of the Rubicon Trail, contact the Rubicon Trail Foundation.
Here is a list of OHV trails within the basin from the LTBMU website. Not all trails are listed. Check the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for more trails.
Lake Tahoe – East Shore
- Genoa Peak Road 14N32
- Kingsbury Stinger 18E39.3
- Logan House 14N33
Lake Tahoe – North Shore
- Kings Beach 18E18
- Mt Watson 73E
Lake Tahoe – South Lake Tahoe
- Corral Trail 18E14
- Hellhouse Road 12N01D
- High Meadows Trail 18E33A
- Power Line Road 12N08
- Sand Pit 12N08
- Sawmill Pond 12N30
- Twin Peaks 12n30
Lake Tahoe – West Shore
- Buck Lake Road – 14N40
- McKinney / Rubicon Trailhead
- Noonchester 14N34A
Please step up, adopt a trail, push the LTBMU to work with the users!