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.


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.


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.


Rubicon Ronin

Rubicon Management :-(

Starting at the end of last season, management of the Rubicon Trail was changing. Placer County had officially backed out. The Tahoe National Forest (TNF) officially stepped in. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was signed by six agencies.

Then the Tahoe National Forest went out on their own and built rolling dips with heavy equipment in late November.

Over the winter, El Dorado County organized an effort to fly rock to Cadillac Hill and Observation Point to save Cadillac from slipping off the mountain and to harden the rolling dips from November. The TNF told El Dorado County to cancel the project as there was more paperwork needed between the agencies before any work could be done.

CA State Parks stepped in and rock was flow until the weather shut down the operation. The Cadillac work was done, the rolling dips were not.

Just recently, and I’m talking days ago, the TNF presented El Dorado County with a stack of forms that need to be filled out. Unfortunately, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors need to approve those forms once they are filled out before El Dorado County can work on the Rubicon. We’re talking MONTHS.

Vickie Sanders posted this on ‘The Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page. It’s a pretty good source of Rubicon info:

County Update:

Placer County Side:

There has been a recent change that I want to communicate with you. In February El Dorado County, Placer County, California State Parks Off-Highway Division, Eldorado National Forest, Tahoe National Forest and The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the Rubicon Trail. This agreement was to provide a seamless experience on the Rubicon and enable El Dorado County to assist with project on the Placer County side. El Dorado County cannot assist until we complete one more Forest Service agreement. I am working on that agreement but it will take a few months to execute.

So in the meantime, if you have any projects, questions, or volunteer efforts for the portion of trail within the Tahoe National Forest please contact Joe Chavez- Trails/Recreation Specialist at the Tahoe National Forest at joe.chavez@usda.gov, phone 530-478-6158. This would be 5.3 miles from the El Dorado/Placer County line heading to Tahoma.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) manages 1.9 miles of trail which includes the staging area in Tahoma. If you have any projects, questions, or volunteer efforts in this portion please call me Vickie Sanders at 530-621-7538 or email at Vickie.sanders@edcgov.us. I will coordinate with LTBMU.

El Dorado County Side:

On the El Dorado County side of the trail, I am looking for frequent Rubicon Trail users that would like to volunteer to stock the restrooms on the trail with toilet paper. We keep the back of the units stocked with TP. We are out once a week cleaning, stocking and pumping but it has come to our attention that mid-trail staff will not be assisting with stocking of the restrooms. If you are interested in assisting, please let us know and we will get you a key. Any assistance is appreciated. You can contact Justin Williams at 530-621-5554.


Just received an email from Rubicon Trail Foundation that mid-trail will assist when they can. Thank you RTF.

Thank you

So, in typical government fashion, one step forward, two steps back. I’m trying to stay positive and think long term. Maybe in a few years they’ll get it figured out.

Over the last few days, an effort has been made to get all of the agencies who signed the MOU, property owners along the Rubicon and users groups to start communicating. Everybody now has everyone else’s contact information at their fingertips. Hopefully, things will happen faster.

On a different note, The TNF is going out on the trail to look at water issues within the TNF. Hopefully, they’ll get something going to start fixing the issues. I know that one deep, thick mud hole is high on their list.

Stay tuned and be ready to support Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) when they ask for volunteers.


Rubicon Ronin

Rubicon Trail to Close, May 15th – 17th!

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.

Thank you,


Rubicon Ronin