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.
CLARIFICATION: Only the El Dorado portion of the trail will be closed although there will be work going on from Observation and to the west, specifically Cadillac Hill. Please avoid the area that weekend.
El Dorado County will being maintenance efforts in May. They will be flying in rock to Cadillac Hill for the hardening of water bars and to build up the lower edge of the trail along Cadillac Hill among other projects.
The trail will need to be closed for safety reasons while flying the helicopter. I do not know exactly where the trail will be closed but let’s just keep our distance for that weekend.
A few more details and the official announcement on the “Rubicon Gazette” page on Facebook.
For those of you that haven’t seen them, a few new boulders appeared on Cadillac Hill after this past epic winter, just below Morris Rock.
Here’s a photo looking down Morris Rock. The three large boulders on the right are new.
It looks like someone has started to split the new boulders. Look at the three drill marks on the face of the rock with a horizontal face.
The new boulders make the approach a little narrow but I watched a JK with a trailer make it without issues last week.
So, I made it down Cadillac Hill this past weekend and noticed that quite a bit of work has been done. Cadillac Hill was easier than I can ever remember.
As you all know, there are several ‘famous’ obstacles along the climb up Cadillac Hill. One of those is V-Rock. V-Rock is (was) a granite slope from above the trail down to the edge of the trail with a large boulder outcropping at the edge. The angle between the granite slope and edge of the boulder created a “V” that users needed to navigate.
So here are two before any work was done. Unfortunately, not all from the same angle. The granite slope on the right slopes up more than the photo implies.
Special nod to Randy for posting a picture of his rig the last time it was running. Note the deep “V” at his front right tire.
Some work was done over the last few years to get the condition below. The “V” still has loose rock so the depth can vary. Drive it as is if so equipped; fill in a bunch of rock if you’re lower or limping out broken.
But now, after a whole bunch of concrete and rock were placed in the “V”, the “V” is now a “U”. And it’s concrete so no chance for a difficult line.
I asked before on a public forum “Who Decides?” That thread was started about a rock on Cadillac that was drilled and split, without any formal permission. The answer was if it’s a safety issue, take care of it.
What would happen if an individual made the Soup Bowl ‘safe’?
Now there are rumors that even more rocks will be split, removed, dealt with, etc. on Cadillac Hill; during the dark of night with no formal permission or discussion. Does Placer know? FOTR? RTF? TNF?
There is a new bypass on Cadillac Hill in the ‘trees’ section. I can only assume the tight turn was too much for some drivers or some rigs so they went straight through the trees. This is an illegal users created bypass and will be blocked.
In both photos below, you can see a former bypass that was blocked on the right. In the first photo right through my rear view mirror. In the second photo far right and half way up.
Bypass straight ahead, original trail to the right:
Bypass left of the tree, original trail around to the right:
I thought people drove the Rubicon Trail for a challenge?
June 16, I was lucky enough to have time to spend a day on the Rubicon Trail.
For me, a day on the trail includes trail maintenance. This day was no different. I was out to enhance what I had started 6/4-5. On that day I moved a few trailer loads of rock on Cadillac Hill. So, I moved a few more loads to the same area of the Upper Hairpin and to a spot just a little up the trail. The upper hairpin turn is behind me in the photo below.
I also worked the puddle above the upper creek crossing. It didn’t take much, but it had a huge impact.
This small amount of rock solved two issues. The first was erosion. As rig drove through this ‘puddle’ before, small amounts of dirt were removed and the ‘puddle’ was growing deeper. Erosion is bad everywhere but when it happens at a creek, that sediment gets flushed down stream and the anti-OHV crowd gets bent out of shape. That will no longer happen here.
The second issue solved is that of users driving off trail. Although not a challenge to most, a few side-by-sides had gone to the effort to drive off trail and go around the very large tree on the right side of the photos because they would bottom out due to their wheelbase and low clearance. That bypass was blocked last year and since has been respected by the users. Now, due to the filling of the hole on the uphill side of the step, there is no reason for users to drive off trail.
The other area addressed that day was a root section well west of Observation point. It is a root section that had been eroding over the years creating a very off-camber trail. This spot also lead to users driving off trail to avoid the off-camber section.
Although I didn’t have time to move much rock, it is a start. After taking the picture below, I drove through the obstacle and still found it to be well off-camber. So, I spent another 15 minutes moving more rock in to the low spot on the trail.
This area will need more rock. I look forward to finding more time to spend on the trail, doing trail maintenance.
For those who think this is paving the trail and that we should just let it go, I obviously have a different view. The anti-OHV crowd has used ever eroding trails against us and will again in the future. Not only has the Rubicon been used, twice, first within the Lake Tahoe Basin and second in the Eldorado but we had 42 trails closed (most wrongfully) due to lack of maintenance in areas near meadows.
I prefer that we get out in front of the anti-OHV crowd and perform some preventative maintenance. A little bit goes a long way.