Trail Conditions 4-26-2017: SNOW!

I had planned on a nice spring day of skiing Alpine Meadows but when I checked the weather, there was a “Lake Wind Advisory” out for the day. I went for a snow hike instead.

Around 9:30am, I headed up the Rubicon Trail. Although there is no ‘street’ parking until the end of May but there has been enough snow melt you can hide inside the snow stakes and not get a ticket.

The ramp is still very steep. Wheeled vehicles will have a challenge just getting on the trail.


Starting up the trail, you can see the odd melting near the trees creating tree wells that are just calling for a rig to side off the snow and in to the trees.


Many trees down or bent over the trail. The ones I encountered were already cut but there are surely more further up the trail.


The bridge over McKinney Creek is covered with four feet of snow. You can barely see the wood rail on the far left side.


The snow is melting. Previous pictures of the staging area had three more feet of snow at the toilets.


I did a quick check of the condition of the roof structure of the kiosk. Easier than bringing a ladder later in the year.


This is where I start to get concerned. The Rubicon Trail runs down the right side of this photo. You can see snowmobile tracks there. Unfortunately, someone has been driving a ‘wheeled’ vehicle to the left through the open area but off the trail. ‘Wheeled’ vehicles are not allowed off the Rubicon Trail. Tracked vehicles of any kind are allowed off the trail.

I realize how difficult it would be to drive on the trail at this particular spot on the trail but that’s what we need to do. We’re out for the challenge, why take the easy way?


Just a little further up the trail, the ‘wheeled’ vehicles again drive off the trail to the right. I understand they are avoiding the extreme off-camber section and the tree on the left but it is not legal. The motto of this website is “Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”. The anti-OHV people will use this kind of behavior against us and get our trails closed. Please stay on the trail.

Please stay on the trail.


I made it as far as Water Bar #8, the Arizona Crossing. I took a quick walk down stream and didn’t see a snow bridge across the creek. I probably wouldn’t have trusted it if I had found one. I took just under an hour to hike this far.


On the way out, I snapped this shot of the gate and bridge of the Noonchester Mine Road. Open to tracked vehicles. Those snowmobilers are a little crazy driving over that snow on that bridge. The snow was getting little soft and I almost wanted snowshoes.


To try and give you a better aspect of the steepness of the ramp, here is a shot from the side. It’s a full 45 degree slope if not more. The whole hike was under two hours.


I know everyone wants to get out and go wheeling. My advise is go east and explore the desert and some old mining towns while the sierras thaw out.

Always Tread Lightly!


Rubicon Ronin


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