Not surprisingly, the Forest Service went too far. I fully understand the hardening of the trail. Erosion could cause the loss of the trail. Sedimentation running off in to the water ways will get our trails closed. But there is no reason to pave the trail.
Last week, the Tahoe National Forest, under the direction of Joe Chavez, paved sections of the Rubicon Trail, specifically along Cadillac Hill.
This project was sold to the Rubicon Partners and users as a hardening project. They were to harden the bypass (that I don’t personally agree with), they were going to harden and stabilize parts of Cadillac Hill that were slowly eroding away and they were going to move and place select boulders from out of the area to spots along Cadillac to act as key anchors for drainages and hardening efforts.
My thanks to Scot of the Hi-Lo’s for providing the pictures!
Hardening the bypass around the fixable Mud Hole
Hardening below the Notch
Hardening below V-rock
Hardening below the Driveway (but it will get kicked out)
I get hardening. It needs to happen. It needs to happen more. What I don’t get is clearing the trail of boulders. If I wanted that, I’d take Highway 50.
I don’t know if those key boulders were brought in from above Cadillac to to be key anchors but large boulders were removed from the Rubicon Trail.
Below Morris, also some hardening took place
Further below Morris
Bottom of Cadillac
There’s not much that can be done right now. Winter will change the trail. Joe can always hire the Spider Excavator to go back out and replace the boulders on to the trail, but he won’t.
Moving forward, I think the users should attach a watch dog to the side of Joe Chavez. Someone should go everywhere Joe goes to make sure he doesn’t do something like this again.
If you remember, Joe’s first day on the trail he wanted to close the bypasses going up Cadillac. He only wanted a single trail all the way up. If I wasn’t there to talk him out of it we would have lost trail.
We didn’t lose trail this time, it was just paved, but who knows what he’ll want to do next time.