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.
Please read the press release below…
U.S. Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region
TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST
631 Coyote Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
Contact: Joe Flannery
September 18, 2020
Nevada City, Calif. —The Tahoe National Forest is reopening this weekend after nearly two weeks of unprecedented, emergency closures due to California wildfires and wildfire risk. The forest remains closed until 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Along with the general reopening this Saturday, a new Forest Closure Orders will strictly prohibit the following activities across the entire Tahoe National Forest through October 18, 2020:
- Camping, except within Developed Campgrounds open for public use, within the Granite Chief Wilderness, and within 500 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, and federal law and regulations.
In addition, a standing Emergency Fire Restriction Order strictly prohibits the following activities across all National Forests in California through September 21, 2020:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
- This includes all gas stoves of any kind
Forest Service personnel will begin opening restrooms, gates, day-use sites, and Forest Service roads beginning at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 19, 2020. Most campgrounds will remain closed through the weekend.
A limited number of campgrounds will be available on a first-come/ first-serve basis this weekend including:
|Cold creek||Schoolhouse||Granite Flat|
Please check our website beginning Monday, September 21, 2020 for updates on campground status: https://www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe/
For more information about the Tahoe National Forest, go to www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter at twitter.com/Tahoe_NF and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TahoeNF.
Please be safe if you visit our national forests.
Here is a link to the Power Point put out by Joe Chavez of the Tahoe National Forest describing the upcoming maintenance opportunities for the Rubicon Trail.
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.
Several years ago, the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s installed a trailhead sign at the entrance to the Long Lake Trail (16E12). It’s the left turn just before the graves on the Rubicon Trail.
Well, over those years the sign was a little neglected. That changed this past weekend at the Hi-Lo’s returned and installed new posts for the sign and updated the information on the sign.
It was truly a team effort. I provided the signage, Michael brought a power auger, Gary brought hand and power tools (and the trailer to haul all this stuff), Scot provided the cement, Carlos was do everything man of the day. Kade served as the finisher making sure everything was squared away at the end.
Hopefully, fewer people will take a wrong turn there as they head to Cadillac Hill and Lake Tahoe as probably six rigs did while we were there! I do want to add a small “Dead End” sign.
The post and sign are not going anywhere with the concrete, pipe and brackets used!
It needs paint and a piece of plexiglass but it looks great.
I personally want to thank everyone that had a hand in this project. It was really a team effort and with so many people stepping up, it didn’t take a whole lot of effort. The hard part was getting our act together before hitting the trail to make sure we had everything.