Long Lake Trail Maintenance 7-28-21

The Long Lake Trail is at the bottom of Cadillac Hill and runs along the Rubicon River for 0.91 miles. Yes, I’m getting that specific as there is a definite end of the trail that we must adhere to or we could lose the entire trail.

The kiosk at the trailhead received some new paperwork as the old ones were wet and faded.

A few nuisance boulders were removed from the center of the trail. These were not obstacles that added anything to the trail experience, just something to go around and make the trail wider.

The campsite area had the old drive through route blocked off (again) and signed to explain why. The Forest Service has prohibited the area as a drive through. If we don’t play by the rules, we could lose the campsite.

This step got some reworking. There was an undercut developing which is nothing anyone wants to try and drive up. It only leads to breakage. And the boulder in the middle of nowhere is one of those nuisance boulders that was moved. This one was moved in to the undercut area and built in to a ramp.

Two routes were maintained. Easy towards the river (right side) and harder (but not tough) closer to the HUGE boulder.

The end of the trail has been blocked and signed to prevent travel and inform the users.

Please get out there and explore and enjoy your trails. The Long Lake Trail is adopt and maintained by the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s.

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Rubicon Ronin


Forest Road 03-04 Improvements

For those of you that don’t know that road, it runs from the Rubicon over to Barker Pass. It was one of the recommended reroutes around the closed staging area last week.

It’s probably twice as far to get to Lake Tahoe than the Rubicon, but it’s twice as smooth. And it just got better.

While the staging area was getting paved, Forest Road 03-04 was getting groomed. The first mile off the Rubicon was always little rough and severely rutted. But the road got progressively better the closer you got to Barker Pass. The last few miles at Barker Pass you could drive a Honda Civic down, it’s that groomed.

Back in 2016, there was water running down the trail causing erosion, allowing sediment to get in to the water system.

Hard to see, but looking back down the trail towards the Rubicon, there is one on many new rolling dips along Forest Road 03-04, so many I lost count.

Just south of the intersection of 03-04-14, looking up the trail, 2016.

Just last week, looking down the same section of trail.

Forest Road 03-04 is classified as a ‘road’ not a ‘trail’, so it is maintained at a different level then say the Buick Lake Trail. The FS got serious with 03-04 this time around. The work done on this trail will allow emergency vehicles to access more of our forests. For the Rubicon, it means we can bring in material with very large trucks much closer to the actual trail.

There are a ton of places to camp along and just off Forest Road 03-04. The most popular is Bear Lake but it’s usually crowded. Some of the other side roads have great views and are always empty of campers. You should check them out.

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Rubicon Ronin


Helicopters beat trailers

Here is a link to an upcoming article about using helicopters to transport rock and heavy equipment on the Rubicon Trail.

This is the same company contracted to fly rock this October in to Cadillac Hill. Although it is quite expensive, it is less expensive, quicker and easier on our Jeeps that using small Jeep trailers.

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Rubicon Ronin


Cadillac Hill Maintenance

El Dorado County has scheduled rock work for Cadillac Hill for October 17, 18 & 19. Expect extended delays and/or a possible temporary closure. I will try to post timeline details as the date gets closer.

This project was previously scheduled for Oct 3, 4 & 5 but was pushed back due to the helicopter company being needed to fight the CA wildfires.

Although the paperwork between El Dorado County and the Tahoe National Forest has not been completed, Jeepers Jamboree will work Cadillac Hill next month. El Dorado County will fly in the needed rock. JJ will put down cyclone fencing, fill it with rock and wrap-it to secure the rock in place and cover with more rock. Some concrete work will also be done as needed in various spots. Besides securing the trail from sliding off the hill, improving the drainage of water OFF the trail is also a goal.

Please avoid Cadillac Hill that weekend to allow this crew to work without interruption. It is in all of our best interest to stabilize Cadillac Hill so the trail is there after each winter.

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Rubicon Ronin


Official Rubicon Bypass – update

The Tahoe National Forest has been back out on the trail to look at the mud hole and the legal and illegal bypasses. Here is a note from Joe Chavez about what was discussed and decided on his latest look at the issue:

On July 29 myself, Will Harris (CA Geological Survey), Vickie and Justin from El Dorado Co. and the Tahoe NF Hydrologist (also the Forest’s Water Quality Act compliance lead and Water Quality Control Board liaison) reviewed the mudhole and bypass, among other items on Cadillac Hill.  The Tahoe NF Hydrologist recommended not reopening the mudhole routes and said that it would be better for the wet meadow wetland ecosystem adjacent to the mudhole area to keep the trail out of the wetter flat area containing weak soils and recommended that the mudholes be restored in a certain way to eventually restore the watertable dynamics negatively impacted by the deep trenches.  El Dorado Co. mentioned that their OHV Restoration Grant could be used to restore the mudholes if that was determined to be the future course of action.  The Forest Hydrologist also recommended adding some specific drainages to the bypass and to add some rock in a few spots. It was also discussed in the field that the Truckee District Ranger will be making the determination on what course of action it will take regarding which route the trail will follow in this area in the short-term, mid-term and long-term (including considering a reroute that would avoid the mudhole area altogether and avoid the potential landslide area above Miller Creek, via an El Dorado Co. OHV Planning Grant).  Carol, please correct me if I misrepresented what you said.

Bolding and italics are mine

So far we do not have a timeline for any work being done in that area. The possible major bypass is years away due to studies and paperwork.

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Rubicon Ronin