Signs, trash and trail markers

Yesterday, I spent a good day on the trail. I started at the TNF office picking up five carsonite markers and the tools needed to install them. Then off to the trail.

There was quite a crowd at the staging area. Jeepers Jamboree started that day and these were the workers headed in the back door. I worked fast to get on the trail before them.

The first stop was the newly repaired sign board at Miller Lake. The Tahoe Donner 4 Wheelers worked to get a fresh piece of plywood up a few weeks back and I had some better signage to post up.


The next task was going to be to replace the shot-up carsonite at the campsites there but there is some confusion about the numbering so I’ll address that later.

Next, I headed to the Richardson Lake Trailhead. The carsonite there looked to be held up with rock so I was going to move it to a better location and hammer it in to the ground. But the sign was somewhat in the ground so I hammer it where it was and placed some rocks to make it stand straight up.

The next trail marker was for the Ellis Peak Trail. This is a new number as there were duplicate numbers on the current MVUM. This will be changed on the next MVUM. The old number was 0003-004-12. The new number is 0003-004-12-05. It’s a forest service thing.


The next marker was for the intersection of the Rubicon and Barker Pass Road. I’m still working on getting the Rubicon signed as it’s a county road not really a forest road. The FS sees the importance of properly marking trails and will get me the needed marker. Hopefully, next week.


More markers were placed and are on the way in order to make sure the users know where they are on the trail system.

The last task was the removal of some trash. It looked to be an old hunters shelter and some milk crates for chairs:



The TNF allowed me to dump the trash in their dumpster.

It really was a good day on the trail. And with the jamboree going on, I was entertained over the ham radio.


Over the winter, I often wondered how to get more people, clubs, groups, businesses or individuals involved in OHV maintenance efforts.

With the release of the latest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) from the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), three new campsites were officially recognized along with Observation Point (for the first time) and Bear Camp just east of Observation.

I figured, if a trail can be ‘adopted’, why not a campsite? So, starting with these five (actually six) I started looking for volunteers.

Adopting a campsite is no where near as complicated as adopting a trail. Okay, maybe the paperwork is the same but the work load for actually doing the maintenance is much less. We’re talking about checking the site two or three times a year and ensuring that the trash is picked up, the fit pit (if it has one) is free of burnable items for five feet in all directions, the ashes are clean out and disposed of properly and that the size of the ‘campsite’ does not grow.

A few months later, I had three ‘groups’ lined up to adopt a campsite along with myself. That was four down, two to go.

I met with Susanne Jensen of the Tahoe National Forest as soon as she started her six month seasonal duties as the OHV Recreational Specialist on the Truckee District. Susanne was happy to welcome more volunteers to the TNF. She then pointed out there were  a few more campsites along the Forest Road 003-004.

Four down, more like eight to ten to go!

So, this May, I will head out to GPS every campsite in the area of the Rubicon. I will update my map that combines three MVUMs from the TNF, ENF and the LTBMU to include all the campsites available for wheelers exploring the area.

That means the TNF will need a lot more groups to step up and adopt campsites. The sites along Forest Service Road 003-004 are a mile or so from the Rubicon but most have great views and much less traffic driving past them. Many are more hunting camps than wheeling camps but provide a great place to spend the night in the TNF.

So, if you would like to adopt a campsite, along the Rubicon or along Forest Road 003-004 (what I call Barker Pass Road), let me know. I’m currently the liaison between any group adopting a campsite on the TNF near the Rubicon and the TNF.

So far, we have the following groups adopting the listed campsite:

  • Jon & Jan Briggs – the elevated camp west of Miller Lake FS#-3010-026
  • (The camp with the fallen snag is available to be adopted – FS#-3010-024)
  • Tahoe Donner 4wd Club  – the turn out area at Miller Lake FS#-3010-022
  • Doug Barr / – no FS# (the camp on the far west end of Miller Lake)
  • Sierra Stompers – Bear Camp FS#-16E77
  • (Observation Point is still available – FS#-16E78)
  • There are many along Forest Service Road 0003-004 available for adoption