I was out on the Tahoe side on Sunday and the trail is wet. If you don’t have to be on the Rubicon, I’d like to ask you to find a dryer place to go wheeling.
Most wet sections are rock covered and don’t pose any issues:
There is still snow and ice in the shaded sections of the Tahoe National Forest:
Where the snow has melted, there is some standing water and a few muddy sections.
That hole in front of my Jeep was some thick mud. We made it through going west but on the return trip, four of the five rigs in our group had to winch out. I’ve reached out to El Dorado, RTF and FOTR to get a crew out to work the few sections that were causing issues.
Some of the rolling dips placed last November were working, some better than others. All needed rock to harden them to prevent them from being worn down.
Again, please avoid the trail if you can. Let it dry out and visit in July.
“Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”, stay on the trail!
A member of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s ventured out to the Tahoma staging area yesterday (4-28-2020) .
The report is that there are some VERY deep ruts just to get to the staging area. He said he was dragging his diffs and he runs 40″ tires!
For now we should be staying home and staying healthy. But I get that some us us are getting stir crazy. If you go, be safe. Social distance as best as possible but don’t go alone.
Since there is still snow out there, load up the rig as if you’re going to spend the night: food, water, proper clothing, tent, sleeping bags, light. Make sure you ham radio is up and running.
What you don’t have a ham radio and license? Well, get them! Cell phone don’t have very good coverage, if any, on the trail.
Working two fronts on the Rubicon these days: TNF and trail maintenance and Placer County and snow at the entrance.
For the record, I’ve been working with or fighting with Placer County over snow at the trailhead for more than three years. I’ve attended many meetings with former Supervisor Montgomery regarding this issue. Nothing came from those meetings.
Yesterday, a good group met at the trailhead: Placer County, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and users. There were about eight of us.
My takeaways were that Placer County would move the winter parking rules sign closer to the road (Evergreen Way) and mount it higher. The plow operators would try and recognize the Rubicon as a driveway. Placer would try and reach out to the local snow removal contractors and the local homeowners association.
Placer County is going to try and get a local community meeting set up for January in Tahoe City to try and get everyone in the same room to work out solutions.
The commercial snow removal contractor that cleared the trail a number of times last winter was on hand. He offered to occasionally use his equipment to clear the berm as needed but not regularly.
Ideas that were also discussed were notching the berm so any ramp built would not interfere with traffic on Evergreen Way. Placer thought this might promote parking in that notch thus blocking the trail.
Other thoughts were to groom or plow the first part of the Rubicon, either to the quad parking area or all the way to the staging area. This would need a grant written to fund those ideas. Maybe in the next few years.
The entrance will probably get large 4×4 markers to let everyone know exactly where the trail starts. We are also discussing putting up a warning sign. I might have shared it here before:
This sign would be put in two places, about 200 yards up from Evergreen Way and on the trail just after leaving the staging area.
In the end I was happy at how things had moved forward, then Peter Kraatz sent out a late email last night.
Peter asked if we could “table” the use of commercial equipment until he could work out a few things as use of that equipment could bring complaints. This point was at the heart of getting and keeping access.
This morning, I fired off a email to the group that has been talking about this for weeks, Peter included. I told Peter “No”, I would not back off on the use of commercial equipment and that he had until the berm gets built up with snow fall and illegal dumping to get his act together.
Yesterday, a group of four Jeeps and seven people headed out to do a little maintenance: Dean, John, Doug, Dean, Gary, Carlos and Don.
Our goal was a general clearing of trees and branches encroaching on the trail, draining some water, removing a large tree from the trail and shoveling down a huge snow berm.
Well, my thanks go out to whoever got out and shoveled the snow. The berm was gone by the time we got there.
We got everything else done and then headed up the Buck Lake Trail to clear more downed trees. Well, again, someone got there before us. So thanks to whoever that was.
So, for the most part, the Rubicon on the Tahoe side is clear of trees and major snow. There is still a lot of water on the trail. Please tread lightly and stay on the trail.
Thanks again to John for putting yesterday together and all of those who were there to help out on very short notice.
Third day in a row on the Rubicon. This time as a passenger.
So, picking up where I left off yesterday, here is the off-camber section just past the turn to Ellis Peak.
Dean went ahead a drove this as it was. For the other three rigs, I dug a trench for the high side tires. It lessens the side hill and provides a track to prevent sliding off the snow in to the mud.
Of course John did it with his tire carrier swinging. The next obstacle stopped everyone. All four rigs took a winch.
Once out of the Basin and in to the Tahoe, there was snow everywhere in various forms…
But we did make it all the way to Observation Point! It was windy, and I mean WINDY!
Of course, on the way out we came across a downed tree. As in down across the trail. It wasn’t there on the way in.
I had a hand saw but John had a chain saw.
And off we went…
Please go prepared. Turn Around, Don’t Go Around. Don’t drive off trail if you or your rig can’t handle the obstacle.