Side Wall Blowout

Sooner or later it will happen to all of us. This is my third off-road flat.

This morning, I headed out on the Rubicon to try and clear a water bar on Cadillac Hill and to try to improve the mud hole on the Tahoe side.

Staging Area at 8:30; the 03-04 intersection by 9:02. but at 9:40, I blew out the sidewall of the front right tire.

This is just past the Barker Meadow OHV Route and just before the usually wet obstacle before Hummer Bend.

Double throw bottle jack underneath, rather than a Hi-Lift jack under the bumper. Tire under rig for safety.

I tried to refill it, hoping I just lost the bead long enough to flatten it, but upon closer inspection, I wasn’t going to fill it.

10:08 I was back on the trail. Not the same tread but the same size. I turned around and headed home. The maintenance will wait.


Rubicon Ronin

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 Management :-(

Starting at the end of last season, management of the Rubicon Trail was changing. Placer County had officially backed out. The Tahoe National Forest (TNF) officially stepped in. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was signed by six agencies.

Then the Tahoe National Forest went out on their own and built rolling dips with heavy equipment in late November.

Over the winter, El Dorado County organized an effort to fly rock to Cadillac Hill and Observation Point to save Cadillac from slipping off the mountain and to harden the rolling dips from November. The TNF told El Dorado County to cancel the project as there was more paperwork needed between the agencies before any work could be done.

CA State Parks stepped in and rock was flow until the weather shut down the operation. The Cadillac work was done, the rolling dips were not.

Just recently, and I’m talking days ago, the TNF presented El Dorado County with a stack of forms that need to be filled out. Unfortunately, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors need to approve those forms once they are filled out before El Dorado County can work on the Rubicon. We’re talking MONTHS.

Vickie Sanders posted this on ‘The Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page. It’s a pretty good source of Rubicon info:

County Update:

Placer County Side:

There has been a recent change that I want to communicate with you. In February El Dorado County, Placer County, California State Parks Off-Highway Division, Eldorado National Forest, Tahoe National Forest and The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the Rubicon Trail. This agreement was to provide a seamless experience on the Rubicon and enable El Dorado County to assist with project on the Placer County side. El Dorado County cannot assist until we complete one more Forest Service agreement. I am working on that agreement but it will take a few months to execute.

So in the meantime, if you have any projects, questions, or volunteer efforts for the portion of trail within the Tahoe National Forest please contact Joe Chavez- Trails/Recreation Specialist at the Tahoe National Forest at, phone 530-478-6158. This would be 5.3 miles from the El Dorado/Placer County line heading to Tahoma.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) manages 1.9 miles of trail which includes the staging area in Tahoma. If you have any projects, questions, or volunteer efforts in this portion please call me Vickie Sanders at 530-621-7538 or email at I will coordinate with LTBMU.

El Dorado County Side:

On the El Dorado County side of the trail, I am looking for frequent Rubicon Trail users that would like to volunteer to stock the restrooms on the trail with toilet paper. We keep the back of the units stocked with TP. We are out once a week cleaning, stocking and pumping but it has come to our attention that mid-trail staff will not be assisting with stocking of the restrooms. If you are interested in assisting, please let us know and we will get you a key. Any assistance is appreciated. You can contact Justin Williams at 530-621-5554.


Just received an email from Rubicon Trail Foundation that mid-trail will assist when they can. Thank you RTF.

Thank you

So, in typical government fashion, one step forward, two steps back. I’m trying to stay positive and think long term. Maybe in a few years they’ll get it figured out.

Over the last few days, an effort has been made to get all of the agencies who signed the MOU, property owners along the Rubicon and users groups to start communicating. Everybody now has everyone else’s contact information at their fingertips. Hopefully, things will happen faster.

On a different note, The TNF is going out on the trail to look at water issues within the TNF. Hopefully, they’ll get something going to start fixing the issues. I know that one deep, thick mud hole is high on their list.

Stay tuned and be ready to support Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) when they ask for volunteers.


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Rubicon Trail Conditions

I was out on the Tahoe side on Sunday and the trail is wet. If you don’t have to be on the Rubicon, I’d like to ask you to find a dryer place to go wheeling.

Most wet sections are rock covered and don’t pose any issues:

There is still snow and ice in the shaded sections of the Tahoe National Forest:

Where the snow has melted, there is some standing water and a few muddy sections.

That hole in front of my Jeep was some thick mud. We made it through going west but on the return trip, four of the five rigs in our group had to winch out. I’ve reached out to El Dorado, RTF and FOTR to get a crew out to work the few sections that were causing issues.

Some of the rolling dips placed last November were working, some better than others. All needed rock to harden them to prevent them from being worn down.

Again, please avoid the trail if you can. Let it dry out and visit in July.

“Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”, stay on the trail!


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Rock delivered and placed!

Last weekend (5/15-17/20), Vickie Sanders of El Dorado County oversaw the delivery of rock and construction of gabions on Cadillac Hill, among other chores on the Rubicon Trail.

A fellow Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s (Gary) and his step-son (Jason) had a ring side seat of the deliveries as Jason works as an aviation photographer as was doing a story on the moving of the rock.

Siller Helicopters was contracted to move rock from near Wentworth Springs several points along the trail. Jeepers jamboree had a crew on hand to build the gabions on Cadillac Hill.

The trail was temporarily shut down to keep everyone involved safe.

Rock was placed at several places along the trail to harden water crossings and stabilize the trail.

No before and after pictures yet of where the rock was eventually placed.

This photo just in (5/23) of the rock and gabions placed on Cadillac:

From Vickie Sanders: I want to thank all the volunteers for an outstanding weekend in the Rubicon Trail. Jeepers Jamboree built a gabion on Cadillac Hill. Bob Sweeney took a mini ex and repaired the wall at hairpin, dug some water bars in Big Sluice and drained Scout Hole.
Tim Green and Mike Elrod did an amazing job with communication once again. Keeping everyone informed and the rock loads going to the right spots. Simon was on the trail assisting with locations and rock drops.
These projects take a lot of coordination and I can’t thank everyone enough for all that the volunteers put into the trail and assisting in the effort.
I went out yesterday to Buck Island. I cleaned and restocked the restrooms. They all look great. Thank you everyone who takes care of them. The community is amazing.
The trail is ready for a busy weekend. Enjoy the trail it looks great!!!!
Thank you user community, you are truly an amazing group of people and I am honored to work for you.


Rubicon Ronin