Just received from Vickie Sander of El Dorado County:
Sun, May 21 2017 2:35 PM
Condition exist on the Rubicon Trail that warrant closure. The monitoring protocols have been met. I am sending this to the ROC email list to get the information out as soon as possible and will post to the County website tomorrow. Loon Lake to the Intertie is not effected by this closure. With the upcoming holiday it is important that we get this information out.
My understanding is that this is a water running on the trail issue. With the warm temperatures, the excessive snow melt over runs the rolling dips and water bars. There are certain spots that get measured on a regular basis during the melt and it the water is deeper than allowed, motor vehicle traffic is temporarily suspended.
Hopefully these ‘trouble’ spots are documented and better features are placed on the trail to prevent future closures.
This only effects the Wentworth Springs section of the trail. I assume Airport Flat to the Ellis Creek (Loon Lake) intertie.
Vickie will email users when the conditions change and the trail is reopened.
I ventured out to the Rubicon today (3/2/2017) and found the largest wall I’ve ever seen at the entrance to the Rubicon.
The directional sign we put in last year seems to be tall enough, so far.
Looking down the last street toward the entrance to the Rubicon Trail. Notice the height of the snow on either side of the road.
But when you get to the Rubicon, the snow is now 14′ tall!
My truck is about 6′ tall. At least the Rubicon Trail sign is visible.
What concerns me are the HUGE rotary blade marks in the wall. Private snow removal guys don’t have machines that big. Only the County has those.
I’ve already fired off a letter to Placer County Supervisor Montgomery to get the County to come out with a front loader to remove snow to the point that it matches the snow loads in the rest of the neighborhood.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
But for now we get to wait for the storm that is going to hit Saturday night.
Spring begins March 20th!
I’m continuing to follow the saga of the stuck rigs on the Rubicon. An effort was made this past weekend to reach them but it fell short due to mechanical failures. But they got to in quite a ways considering conditions.
Yes, that is the staging area and the two twelve foot tall pit toilets!
I’m assuming the photo below is the creek at water bar number eight, the first Arizona crossing on the trail.
That would be a cold, deep crossing on a Quad!
Please remember that this will be a very late OHV season. All trails will be very wet and probably not open on time. One can be cited for damaging the forest even while on an OHV trail. Always Tread Lightly!
Be patient, summer will get here.
FYI – Lake Tahoe has already risen three feet this year! And Spring isn’t here yet!
For those of you following the saga, the past practice of Placer County piling snow at the Tahoma entrance to the Rubicon should have stopped.
Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo. This was today, 1/4/17.
Now we don’t know who piled the snow here but I’m working on it.
For the record, the Rubicon Trail doesn’t close during the winter.
If you are prepared enough and brave enough to try the Rubicon during the winter, realize there may still be issues at the trailhead this winter.
On your way in, feel free to break-down any piled snow or shovel the snow away all together. Do not throw that snow in to the street. If capable, drive over the berm.
Remember that there is no street parking from November through May. A sheriff in a bad mood may try and cite you if your rig is in the street as you work the berm. My advice is be polite and don’t fail the attitude test.
On your way out, make sure the berm has not been altered. Get out and check before driving off the edge.
On a side note, there are currently two rigs stuck on the Rubicon. A recovery team is going in on Friday to get the vehicles out. All the people are safely out.
The first rig is near Miller Lake, in a water hole, on the trail (35″ tires). Please do not go off trail to get around this vehicle.
The second vehicle is almost to Observation (40″ tires). It lost one tire off the rim. They plan on bringing out a spare, swapping it on to the rig and driving out. That rig is off to the side of the trail.
On my way to the annual Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s Christmas Party, I drove by the Rubicon trailhead. It was a little sloppy at the staging area with more than eight inches of slop.
Rain is expected over the next few days, so it’s going to get worse. Imagine this mess freezing up. The temperatures will drop below freezing over night this week but they warm up to the 40’s during the day.
Next weekend the temperatures drop dramatically. We’re talking single digits. Go prepared. And don’t go alone.
The deepest spot was over the bridge, maybe ten inches. With no ground warming, it just doesn’t melt. Be careful crossing the bridge as the ‘sides’ are only eight inches tall. If there is a crown to the snow, you may slide off the side. If you’re concerned about sliding sideways, dig two grooves/ruts to prevent sliding.
If you’re feeling like it’s too sloppy, you’re being a whimp. Theses two vehicle were parked along the trail and should have no problem getting out.
Weather conditions can change quickly. Always be prepared to spend the night in case of a breakdown. Tent, sleeping bags, winter clothing, water, food, change of clothes, warm snow boots, etc. Prepare for the worst case. You don’t want to be that guy.
The ham repeater system is in place year round. (Thank you RTF and Dennis Mayer!) Carry a radio in case of trouble as cell phones do not work out there. Tell several people where you are going and when you will return.
The side trails in the Eldorado and the Basin are closed. The Tahoe side trails close January 1st. I would suggest staying on the Rubicon at this time of year. That is because the side trails are narrow and off-camber and you could windup in the trees in the blink of an eye. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of fun on the main trail.
Please stay on the trail. Over the snow travel is not permitted for wheeled vehicles. Snowmobiles can go over the snow but don’t follow their tracks in your 4×4.
Get out there and do some snow wheeling but Tread Lightly! and be safe.