Due to the weather over the Sierra these past few days, El Dorado County has pushed back plans to use a helicopter to fly in material to be used to maintain the Rubicon Trail. The new closure dates are May 11th through May 15th. That includes the upcoming weekend of the 14th and 15th.
A photo from a previous helicopter delivery to the Rubicon Trail:
From the El Dorado County “Parks” page:
Rubicon update: Due to the upcoming weather on Sunday and Monday the maintenance project has been pushed to May 11th. Unfortunately we will need to close the Rubicon Trail through the weekend. The trail will be closed May 11th -May 15th. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and are working diligently to get this project done before Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you for your cooperation.
Here’s my problem with this change, it was not properly communicated down to the actual users that need to know this information.
El Dorado County has a Rubicon Trail page on their website. At the time of this writing, that page has absolutely no information on the change of the closure dates. In order for the users to find the closure information, users must go to the ‘Parks’ page of El Dorado County, as quoted above.
For the record, it is also not posted on the website of the one Rubicon Trail specific advocacy group, the Rubicon Trail Foundation.
Users should not have to search to learn about the current conditions of the Rubicon Trail. Major changes, such as temporary closures, and even minor pieces of information, should be sent out by the agency closing the trail, not just posted. OHV advocacy groups should latch on to those press releases and forward them to local clubs and post the information on OHV forums, let alone post them on their own website.
Every year, tens of thousands of dollars are donated to OHV advocacy groups. If those groups and agencies fail to inform you of critical information about your local trail, specifically the world-famous Rubicon Trail, are you getting your money’s worth?
The Lake Tahoe Basin Management (LTBMU) Unit still has the Rubicon Trail closed until October 20th.
- The Caldor Fire is 98% contained.
- There has been rain and snow over the entire area.
- Temperatures are ranging from the 20’s to the 60’s.
- The Rubicon Trail is open in Eldorado National Forest
- The Rubicon Trail is open in the Tahoe National Forest
- There are no strong winds forecast
Why is the Rubicon still closed?
Where is the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF)?
- RTF’s mission statement: “To Enhance the Future Health and Use of the Rubicon Trail, while Ensuring Responsible Motorized Year-Round Access.”
Why is RTF not ensuring our “year-round access”?
Does anyone fight for the Rubicon anymore? Is this the future of the Rubicon, seasonal closures due to possible fire conditions? If someone doesn’t push back, we will lose our trail during future summers as we’ve lost it this past summer.
FYI, if you go up to check out the trail status first hand, the bathrooms at the staging area are closed.
This morning (June 26th), 8am, the Tahoma Staging Area reopened after being closed for a week for the paving of the staging area and repairs to the access road.
The paved area will not be striped at this time. If the users continue to be able to figure out efficient parking, it will never be paved. The current plan is to post “No Parking” signs along the outside edge of the parking/staging area. This would provide a permanent drive through turn around area for those with trailers and emergency vehicles.
The access road along side the staging area was also paved. And yes, that ever present dip at the end of the pavement was filled in! This is the first entrance to the staging area:
Here is the second entrance and where that dip used to be:
And the last entrance:
The paving went all the way to the first rolling dip and even was placed up to the leading edge of the new kiosk concrete base:
And up to the toilets:
While they were there, the paving company was contracted to do many, many repairs to the access road:
There was always that right turn, coming from the lake, that had a pretty big drop. (looking back towards the lake)
That turn also got fill material to widen the turn and more corrugated pipe to lengthen the drain:
There were many more repairs to the access road.
Thanks go out to El Dorado County, Placer County, the USFS (Basin) and the contractor that did the work. Everyone worked together to fund it (CA State Parks, OHV Division grant), plan it and make it happen. The efforts to educate the public were mostly successful. There were many rigs with trailers parked in Blackwood Canyon, in many places.
There was only on instance of a Jeep driving around the road closed sign and in to the trail to the staging area, thinking he could get through. He was from Minnesota.
Forest Service Temporarily Closes All National Forests in California
Contact(s): Jonathan Groveman, (707) 562-8995
VALLEJO, Calif., September 9, 2020—Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions throughout the state, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of an additional ten National Forests, meaning all eighteen National Forests in California are now closed. The closure of the additional ten forests will be effective at 5:00 pm today. These additional forests include the Eldorado National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, Plumas National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. This decision will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.
We had closed eight National Forests on Monday evening, Sept. 7, 2020. Explosive growth of fires throughout California during the day and late evening of Sept. 8th led to this updated decision.
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing across the State is historic,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely. I ask all Californians and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously for their own safety and to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing these fires.”
The Forest Service thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding of this monumental fire threat. It is critical that all Californians and national forest visitors follow these important closures and restrictions for their own safety and the safety of our firefighters. Citizens with specific questions within their area may call their local forests for more information.
The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.
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.