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.
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.
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.