From the El Dorado County website:
“The closure of the Rubicon Trail initiated with Resolution 017-2023 has been lifted effective immediately.
The County waited until the frequent heavy storms that started with the December 30, 2022 atmospheric river event were over before attempting site inspections. During the temporary closure the storms that hit the region consisted of additional atmospheric river events with heavy mixes of rain and snow. Multiple days (1/18, 1/24, and 1/27) were necessary for staff to access and assess the trail. Those assessments show that the trail is currently covered in a substantial amount of snow providing resource protection. After reviewing those assessments, the Director, in consultation with County staff, has determined that no repairs are needed at this time and that the trail is safe for ordinary use.
Be advised that the Rubicon Trail is for year-round public use but users should be prepared for adverse conditions during winter season and during storm conditions. The road may be unpassable during winter/storm conditions and rescue services may be difficult. The County encourages users be mindful of trail conditions and practice appropriate safety measures. The County will continue to monitor trail conditions for the remainder of the 2023 winter season into spring as required per the USFS easement document. If users have any questions on this notice, please feel free to contact the County at 530-621-7538 or 530-621-5554.”
Ok, it’s open but there are many questions…
So, we’re back to water quality as the reason for the closure. But I don’t believe that the County ever visited the proper, if any, sites to determine water flow conditions BEFORE the closure. El Dorado County completely ignored the agreed upon requirements in place in order to close trail. They did it just because they wanted to, and it was not based on any science.
We, the users, need to push back on what happened, how it happened and who made it happen.
Who is “The Director”? Was one single person able to close the Rubicon?
If past signed agreements can be ignored, can we trust any future agreements? If El Dorado County doesn’t play by the rules, the law, should we?
I’m not happy. And I won’t be happy until all of this is settled. I guess I won’t be happy for a long time.
Do you have questions? Call the county at the above-mentioned number. I’m sure they’d love to be swamped by calls.
Due to the possible spread of the Mosquito Fire in the direction of the Rubicon Trail, El Dorado County has closed the Rubicon Trail until further notice. There is just a basic ‘closed’ statement on the county website.
Map of the evacuation and fire boundry:
Please avoid the area and let the firefighters do their job without having to worry about people coming in to the area.
The USFS has issued a closure but it doesn’t appear to include the Rubicon.
UPDATE WITH FURTHER CLOSURES:
The Eldorado National Forest now has a much wider closure for the Mosquito Fire:
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.