Why was the Rubicon Trail closed?

My last post outlined the work done by the Lake Tahoe Basin Mangement Unit (LTBMU). On Sunday, I ran the trail down to the Springs.

Along the way, it was clear that the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) had also done extensive work on the Rubicon Trail while it was closed. Large, crushed rock had been placed in many, many low spots along the trail. But not ALL the low spots and not in a few smaller very deep holes.

Note the low spot just past the rock in the picture below, not filled in:

The official word was that the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. But in one report, individuals working with the ‘landowners’ were allowed on to the trail and down to the Springs. Now we have evidence that workers were doing extensive work over a long period of time. And the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. I assume all of the workers were wearing Nomex, helmets and carrying fire shelters.

This is much needed work but why close the trail to do it?

If they had reached out to the users for help, we could have provided, trailers, warm bodies and financing to accomplish MORE work in the same amount of time. But they didn’t and we still have issues:

The Forest Service (FS) does not play well with others. This is evidence of that. Why? This work was done without the knowledge of the users, without any input from the users and without assistance of the users.

Now the FS, at least the Basin, in this case does not need to inform anyone when they work on their land. But the Tahoe should be informing the others, that are part of the MOU regarding management of the Rubicon, about work to be done on the trail. Did that happen?

Should the users be involved in this communications chain? Yes. Who should be informed on the part of the users? BRC, Cal4, United 4wd, RTF, CORVA, FOTR, local clubs, certain individuals?

More than ever,


Rubicon Ronin

Work on the Tahoe side

Although I was told earlier this season there would be no work done on the Rubicon within the Tahoe National Forest in 2021, rock has been placed in some of the low spots.

As I was driving out on Wednesday, just west of the turn for Sourdough Hill:

Just east of the turn to Sourdough Hill:

Not remembering where this was:

West of Miller Lake:

Another west of Miller.

There were two or three other spots that had new rock placed.

It’s good to see this work being done. Hopefully, it will continue.

Work on the rolling dips within the Lake Tahoe Basin will happen next year.


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.


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

Rock delivered and placed!

Last weekend (5/15-17/20), Vickie Sanders of El Dorado County oversaw the delivery of rock and construction of gabions on Cadillac Hill, among other chores on the Rubicon Trail.

A fellow Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s (Gary) and his step-son (Jason) had a ring side seat of the deliveries as Jason works as an aviation photographer as was doing a story on the moving of the rock.

Siller Helicopters was contracted to move rock from near Wentworth Springs several points along the trail. Jeepers jamboree had a crew on hand to build the gabions on Cadillac Hill.

The trail was temporarily shut down to keep everyone involved safe.

Rock was placed at several places along the trail to harden water crossings and stabilize the trail.

No before and after pictures yet of where the rock was eventually placed.

This photo just in (5/23) of the rock and gabions placed on Cadillac:

From Vickie Sanders: I want to thank all the volunteers for an outstanding weekend in the Rubicon Trail. Jeepers Jamboree built a gabion on Cadillac Hill. Bob Sweeney took a mini ex and repaired the wall at hairpin, dug some water bars in Big Sluice and drained Scout Hole.
Tim Green and Mike Elrod did an amazing job with communication once again. Keeping everyone informed and the rock loads going to the right spots. Simon was on the trail assisting with locations and rock drops.
These projects take a lot of coordination and I can’t thank everyone enough for all that the volunteers put into the trail and assisting in the effort.
I went out yesterday to Buck Island. I cleaned and restocked the restrooms. They all look great. Thank you everyone who takes care of them. The community is amazing.
The trail is ready for a busy weekend. Enjoy the trail it looks great!!!!
Thank you user community, you are truly an amazing group of people and I am honored to work for you.


Rubicon Ronin