Time to Snow Wheel

Yesterday, I stopped by the Rubicon trailhead in Tahoma. Although the snow has melted a lot, there is still a tremendous amount of snow on the trail.

Note that residential parking is now allowed if you bring your rig on a trailer.

The first snow bump is a little off camber but with the ruts in the snow, I didn’t slip to the side. The sign would have stopped me if I had.

Just a little further in, there is evidence of some unprepared wheelers who got stuck and needed to bring in pieces of wood to place under the tires to get unstuck. At some point they were successful as there were no rigs still on the trail.

I only went in a couple of hundred yards. I was alone, it was late afternoon, the snow was slippery from the sun. Just to get that far, I went back and forth a dozen times, slowly creeping forward. Even at this time of day, the snow in the shade provided more grip than the snow in the sun. And I didn’t want to get stuck in the snow, on the Rubicon, on the way to my 4wd club meeting…again. Yea, it happened two years ago and I self-rescued and made the meeting on time.

Although I didn’t get very far, I am assuming that there will be a great amount of water on and along the trail. Please Tread Lightly! if you venture out.

All the same things apply: be prepared, stay on the trail, use a tree saver when winching, don’t go alone.

This is Memorial Weekend coming up. The trail will be busy. There will be those that are not ready for this type of wheeling. Be polite, help them out, go on your way.

“Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”

Be safe.


Rubicon Ronin

Conditions update…

I came across this photo on Facebook, the “Rubicon Trail” page, posted by Ray Collins. I’m trying to give credit where credit is due.

That’s Ray standing in one of the first creek crossings about a week or two ago, so late April. I’ve heard from friends in South Lake Tahoe that the snow is melting about six inches a day, in the sun. Then the Tahoma area got 4-5 inches of snow at lake level, more at higher elevations.

If you go, be prepared for everything. And as this website’s catch phrase says: “Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”.

This very wet spring will be a test of our OHV community. We need to show that we can play by the rules and not do resource damage as we enjoy our sport. Peer pressure is needed. Don’t let your buddy take ‘that’ route off the trail or spin their tires endlessly in a water or mud hole.

Use the shovel, use a strap. Winch work will be required. Use tree savers. Turn around and come back next week.

I’ve communicated with FOTR to get a ‘Shovel Brigade’ out on the trail early to break down drifts to encourage people to stay on the trail and not drive around snow sections they can’t drive over. Stay tuned.


Rubicon Ronin

It’s Melting!!!

It’s melting really fast.

Ok, so there I was again, at the Tahoma entrance, yesterday, and there’s fresh fallen snow. What does it mean that whenever I check the trailhead it snows? And it snowed four inches MORE last night. FYI, I got good fresh powder skiing Alpine Meadows!

No berm. A little off camber. Good ruts to follow. No deep holes at the first climb. No idea how far anyone has driven.

I think it’s time to go snow wheeling. I’ll be up next week!


Rubicon Ronin

El Dorado County to vote on Rubicon Resolution

On Tuesday, May 2nd, 9am, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution to determine who can close the Rubicon Trail and for what reasons.

This applies to El Dorado County only, not Placer County.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation and many, many other Rubicon Trail users and advocates worked with the county to get something written that actually makes sense. Below is the video put out by RTF to explain how we got to where we are. Ken Hower did a very good job of explaining situation. It’s worth seventeen minutes of your time.

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this happen.


Rubicon Ronin

Let the wheelin’ begin

There are wheeled tracks on the Rubicon at the Tahoma entrance. They are faint because last night the area got 6-8 inches of snow. Yes, snow in late April.

There is a ramp for access.

But the ramp is really steep and already has deep holes. We should probably get out there and knock down the wall and build an access ramp.

I didn’t walk in too far, so I have no idea how far they got. If you look close, there is a tree leaning across the trail. If you go, be prepared to deal with trees.

All the same safety items are still in play: don’t go alone, be ready to spend the night, food, water, closing, heat, ham radio, recovery gear, etc. It’s an endless list. The most important is to Tread Lightly!

El Dorado County now has the ability to close the trail as they wish. That could include a bunch of people getting stuck and needing rescue. Don’t be that person. Let’s not give them reasons to close the trail.


Rubicon Ronin