Ellis Lake Trail

So, it officially starts as the Ellis Peak Trail (03-04012-05), that’s the right turn past Miller Lake, the range fence and just after the “pond”. There is one dead-end trail that is not marked and not yet blocked, stay left. When you get to a four-way intersection, that should be better marked by Aug 5th, go straight (16E18) don’t turn right.

This route will take you to Ellis Lake.


I was there mid-July and there was still a snow drift or two.


This is a perfect camp for someone who wants to sleep in. The towering ridge to the east, that includes Ellis Peak, shelters you from the morning sun.


I have no idea if there are fish but it would be a great float late in the afternoon. I’ve heard there might be a bug issue in the area too early in the season.


A very short walk provides a view of Blackwood Canyon.

West towards Barker Pass:


Further east towards the entrance of the canyon at the Kaspian Camp ground:


Here’s a view of Ellis Lake from Ellis Peak. Note the severe drop off on what would be the north west corner of the lake.


And a view of Buck Lake and the south end of Lake Tahoe from Ellis Peak.


If you or your club, group business or whatever would like to “Adopt” this trail and campsite, please let me know.

This is just one of many examples of what is out there in the Rubicon Trail area. Get out there and find enjoy it all.


“Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”






Forest Road 03-06-02

So I bought a dual sport. A 2009 Kawasaki KLX250s. Well, this past Saturday I finally got some decent time on it. Earlier, I took the bike up the Rubicon but didn’t get too far. This time it was two and a half hours. I went out exploring the OHV trails around the Barker Pass area.

This writing is specifically about forest road 03-06-02. It is the trail that  ventures the furthest west past Barker Pass. At one time, this trail looped around to the south and hooked up with forest road 03. Then came the Granite Chief Wilderness area.

But it almost makes it better for camping because nobody goes out there!

The drive/ride along forest road 03 to get to 03-06 and then 03-06-02 gives you some great views of the valley that runs from Rubicon Springs to the Hell Hole reservoir. That’s the valley of the Long Lake Trail, 16E12, another trail to check out.

There are a few trees down towards the end of the trail. This is only the first.

03-06-02 first tree

A short hike down the trail, past the first tree blocking the trail, which I am sure if far from the end of the trail, you get a glimpse of Hell Hole Reservoir through the trees.


With a 50 yard hike from the trail you get some great views of Hell Hole. You might not be able to tell but you can see evidence of the King fire on the far bank of the lake.


Further down the trail there are more trees.

03-06 trees

This is where I think the trail officially ends. It is not pictured well but there is an unnatural dirt berm attempting to block the trail.

03-06 dirt pile

Past the official end of the trail there are still more trees blocking the trail.

more 03-06 trees

We’ll see if I can work with the Tahoe National Forest and get an accurate GPS of the end of the trail and then clear any trees blocking access to the true end of the trail.

I suggest that you get out and explore sections of our public lands you haven’t seen before. Here’s a hint, look for the trails that dead end far away from other trails.




Adopt-A-Campsite Update

Adopt-A-Campsite Update

This past OHV season marked the beginning of a new Adopt-A-Campsite program on the Truckee District of the Tahoe National Forest.

For the first year of the program, it went well. We had six different campsites adopted by five individuals or groups.

Here is the list of current volunteers:

While working with the Forest Service (FS) to get the paperwork straight for each particular site, we discovered that the FS had miss marked the three ‘new’ sites near Miller Lake. So, one of the adopted sites is not yet an official site, as is another that has yet to be adopted.

Hopefully, the FS will get these sites added to the MVUM very soon. My understanding is that the FS is not asking for these sites to be blocked off to motor vehicle access at this time.

For those of you interested in adopting a site, click the link on the right side of my website and look around for a site you’d like to maintain. There is a well shaded site along Miller Lake available as is Observation Point itself. Please email me (TheOtherRubicon@charter.net) if you’d like to adopt on of these two or any of the sites listed.

Duties are much less than adopting a trail. You need to complete the appropriate paperwork to adopt the site and then ensure that paperwork is done for each individual helping you maintain your site. An email letting me know, and I will let the FS know, what you have planned in the way of maintenance and a report at the end of the year is the rest of the paperwork required.

Basic on the ground duties include visiting/maintaining the site at least twice a year to pick up trash, clean out the fire pit (if there is one) and ensure that the site is not growing using logs and boulders to define the borders.



Fire restrictions lifted on the Eldorado National Forest

Fire restrictions lifted

The Eldorado National Forest has lifted fire restrictions on the forest as of October 5, 2015.

Although the forest is still extremely dry, the fire danger was reduced by recent rains. I would suggest you don’t have a fire unless you actually need one. The risk/reward analysis does make a campfire worth the risk of a wildland fire.

Please be smart with fire. Read and obey the rules on the fire permit, which is required to have a campfire. Have water and a shovel at the fire just incase.

The Richardson Lake Trail is open!


The Richardson Lake Trail, 14N39, is open!

U.S. Forest Service

Eldorado National Forest
100 Forni Road

Placerville, CA  95667

Web: www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado


Facebook: www.facebook/EldoradoNF

     image  News Release


Jennifer Chapman, (530) 957-9660

For Immediate Release

Date: August 21, 2015

Upper Richardson Lake Road Now Open
PLACERVILLE, CA – The upper part of the Richardson Lake Road (14N39) on the Pacific Ranger District in the Eldorado National Forest is now open for motorized vehicle use, completing the final phase of corrective work on this route.   
Richardson Lake Road is on the far northeastern end of the forest, and must be accessed through roads leading from the Lake Tahoe area. This 2.65 mile road is used to access Richardson Lake for camping and fishing, and travel to the top of Sourdough Hill to enjoy the scenic vistas, including a good view towards the Rubicon Trail. The route also provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail.  A 4WD vehicle must be used to reach this road.
The first phase of work allowed the Richardson Lake Road to be re-opened up to the Pacific Crest Trail beginning in July 2014.  Recently, improvements to the upper part of the road were completed in which a rolling dip was installed; an existing sediment basin was emptied and enlarged; and rock was placed over areas of bare ground. “These measures will help prevent erosion and protect delicate meadow ecosystems while allowing recreationists to enjoy one of the most popular motorized trails in the forest,” said District Ranger Richard Thornburgh.  
The Richardson Lake Trail (14N39)  was identified as one of 18 routes in the Eldorado National Forest travel system which needed corrections to comply with the environmental protection guidelines in the Sierra Nevada Plan. These routes were closed in 2012 to complete further analysis and make corrections to ensure the hydrologic connectivity of meadows would not be significantly impacted by motorized vehicle use.   
Other routes which have re-opened after meadow protection work was completed are:
  • Barrett Lake 4WD Trail – opened July 23, 2015
  • Woods Spur, 10N01B – opened July 7, 2015
  • Mud Lake section of the Carson Emigrant Trail is now open up to Mud Lake, 17E32, and Allen’s Camp – opened June 2015
  • 09N08 Stockton Camp Road – opened September 2014
  • 11NY32 47 Mile Road – opened October 2014
  • 16E33 North Shanty Spur – opened November 2014
  • 10N14 Mule Canyon – opened November 2014
  • 10N13 Schneider Camp Road up to the new parking area near the old barn spur road – opened November 2014
For more information about work in progress to re-open additional routes, visit the Travel Management section of the Eldorado National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.