Official Rubicon Bypass – update

The Tahoe National Forest has been back out on the trail to look at the mud hole and the legal and illegal bypasses. Here is a note from Joe Chavez about what was discussed and decided on his latest look at the issue:

On July 29 myself, Will Harris (CA Geological Survey), Vickie and Justin from El Dorado Co. and the Tahoe NF Hydrologist (also the Forest’s Water Quality Act compliance lead and Water Quality Control Board liaison) reviewed the mudhole and bypass, among other items on Cadillac Hill.  The Tahoe NF Hydrologist recommended not reopening the mudhole routes and said that it would be better for the wet meadow wetland ecosystem adjacent to the mudhole area to keep the trail out of the wetter flat area containing weak soils and recommended that the mudholes be restored in a certain way to eventually restore the watertable dynamics negatively impacted by the deep trenches.  El Dorado Co. mentioned that their OHV Restoration Grant could be used to restore the mudholes if that was determined to be the future course of action.  The Forest Hydrologist also recommended adding some specific drainages to the bypass and to add some rock in a few spots. It was also discussed in the field that the Truckee District Ranger will be making the determination on what course of action it will take regarding which route the trail will follow in this area in the short-term, mid-term and long-term (including considering a reroute that would avoid the mudhole area altogether and avoid the potential landslide area above Miller Creek, via an El Dorado Co. OHV Planning Grant).  Carol, please correct me if I misrepresented what you said.

Bolding and italics are mine

So far we do not have a timeline for any work being done in that area. The possible major bypass is years away due to studies and paperwork.

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Rubicon Ronin


Traffic delays to Barrett

  U.S. Forest Service  Eldorado National Forest  100 Forni Road  Placerville, CA 95667  530-303-2412 www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado News Release For Immediate Release July 30, 2020 Media Contact: Jennifer Chapman, (530) 957-9660 www.facebook.com/EldoradoNF Twitter:@EldoradoNF   Travellers’ Advisory for Wrights Lake Road in the Eldorado National Forest   PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Forest visitors are advised that traffic control will be in place on Wrights Lake Road for the next several weeks while a road improvement project is in progress. Visitors will encounter equipment, traffic control, and delays of 30 minutes or more Monday through Friday between Highway 50 and Wrights Lake.    This week, the contractor will be hauling supplies to designated stockpile locations and doing marking tasks. Following theses preparations, the work will include pothole patching, crack sealing and culvert replacement over the next several weeks.   The U.S. Forest Service will be overseeing this work which includes approximately 7.9 miles of Wrights Lake Road (11N26). Wrights Lake Road is a surfaced road that provides seasonal access to several wilderness trailheads, the Barrett Lake 4WD trail, summer home tracts, and campgrounds.   No work will take place on weekends or federal holidays. Road closures and delays will generally be up to 30 minutes. However, during culvert replacements and chip seal operations ,wait times could be up to an hour or more.   Please be patient while this work is being completed. These road improvements will make your visit to Wrights Lake more enjoyable in the future. For alternative destinations, please visit the forest website or call the Pacific and Placerville Ranger District office at 916-500-4712.   ###   The U.S.D.A Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Long Lake Trailhead Sign

Several years ago, the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s installed a trailhead sign at the entrance to the Long Lake Trail (16E12). It’s the left turn just before the graves on the Rubicon Trail.

Well, over those years the sign was a little neglected. That changed this past weekend at the Hi-Lo’s returned and installed new posts for the sign and updated the information on the sign.

It was truly a team effort. I provided the signage, Michael brought a power auger, Gary brought hand and power tools (and the trailer to haul all this stuff), Scot provided the cement, Carlos was do everything man of the day. Kade served as the finisher making sure everything was squared away at the end.

Hopefully, fewer people will take a wrong turn there as they head to Cadillac Hill and Lake Tahoe as probably six rigs did while we were there! I do want to add a small “Dead End” sign.

The post and sign are not going anywhere with the concrete, pipe and brackets used!

It needs paint and a piece of plexiglass but it looks great.

I personally want to thank everyone that had a hand in this project. It was really a team effort and with so many people stepping up, it didn’t take a whole lot of effort. The hard part was getting our act together before hitting the trail to make sure we had everything.

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Rubicon Ronin


Tahoma Bathrooms to OPEN!

Okay, after the downer news of the lack of paperwork between agencies in my last post, I’m now happy to report some great news.

The bathrooms at the Tahoma staging area have not yet opened. I put it to all of the agencies and organizations who have anything to do with the Rubicon to come up with a solution. I offered several solutions.

The line from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) was that they had not yet hired their seasonal staff who normally perform bathroom duties. My counter was that the users except the toilets as the bathrooms on the other side are open and the toilets ON the trail are open, both El Dorado County controlled. If the users can’t use the toilets, they will do their thing in the woods.

On Friday the 12th, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will contract with an outside company to service and open the two pit toilets at the Tahoma staging area. The contractor will continue to service the toilets every Friday unit such time that the LTBMU seasonal staff is in place to take over the duties.

Thank you to the LTBMU for getting this done!

Hopefully, we can work with the LTBMU in the future to utilize either this contractor or volunteers or a combination of both, in order to open the toilets as soon as users can get to the staging area towing their trail rig.

I know you guys like photos so here are some Rubicon toilet photos:

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Rubicon Ronin


First to the summit…

The Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers were out yesterday on the Rubicon to replace weather worn signage on the Miller Lake sign board.

It didn’t take too long to staple some laminations to a piece of plywood.

So we decided to check out the Richardson Lake Trail that runs up to Sourdough Hill. The first sizable snow drift looked formattable.

John made it but I slide a little sideways and had to pull a winch line like the others behind me.

There were some longer sections where we had to dig a notch for the upper wheels to prevent sliding off the trail.

There was one tree across the trail that was easily removed as we were prepared for such issues.

Most of the snow section we tried to drive as they were. It got a little tippy at times. Of course the photo doesn’t share the feeling!

After summiting Sourdough, we run up the Buck Lake Trail. Very wet and snow still at the top. We didn’t make it too far up the Ellis Peak/Lake Trail. This is a shot on the way down.

Of course we’re out there for the beauty as well as the challenge.

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Rubicon Ronin