Rubicon Trail Maintenance
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the early days of the trail, the last known
maintenance undertaken by a government agency was
in the late 1930’s. Since then, the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s
were the official Adopt-A-Trail club for the Tahoe side
and the Sacramento Jeepers were the Adopt-A-Trail
club for the west side. Maintenance was also done by
Jeepers Jamboree and Jeep Jamboree USA. This
worked after a fashion and was fine for that time. The
trail was cleaned occasionally but big work projects
were few and far between.

The resurgence of organized maintenance began in
2000 due to the threat of possible closure of the
Rubicon Trail on the Tahoe side. This threat spawned
Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR), and in 2001, more than
200 volunteers worked for two days moving 180 tons
of crushed rock, creating 28 rolling dips on the trail
within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The
rest ishistory…since then FOTR has completed dozens if
not scores of projects on the Rubicon Trail with the
support of the Rubicon Trail Foundation.

Need name of lake

Currently, the Rubicon Trail is a county-claimed public road in both El Dorado and Placer Counties. This
eliminated the old Adopt-A-Trail plan that was used by the Forest Service. Both counties are currently working
on paperwork to allow clubs to work on the Trail. It is unknown how the counties will manage the new program.

In April of 2009, after receiving targeted complaints from a single individual, the Central Valley Regional Water
Board issued a Cleanup and Abatement Order to El Dorado County and the US Forest Service to “clean up” the
Rubicon Trail (view order). In response to the order, El Dorado County obtained multiple grants. This placed in
motion a plan to reduce sediment discharge into local watershed, address petroleum spills related to trail use,
and mitigate sanitation concerns along the trail corridor.

Volunteers rebuilding part of the trail

 

The county and the Eldorado National Forest have
been working together diligently to comply with the
CAO in order to keep the trail open. RTF and FOTR
have been active in monitoring these efforts and
providing input to these agencies in an effort to assist
them, while keeping the trail and it’s challenges and
features intact. These efforts are ongoing!

On the Lake Tahoe side of the trail, between Rubicon
Springs and Tahoma, the efforts have also continued.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is
responsible for the land surrounding the trail for the
first couple of miles of trail between Tahoma and the
Tahoe staging area. They were very much involved in
the 2001 Rolling Dip project. Again, the Trail is a
county claimed public road, but the LTBMU is still
involved, primarily because the Tahoe Staging area
is on their property.

RTF is a 501(c)3
Non-profit Educational
Foundation

 

Currently, in conjunction with Placer County, they are doing a lot of work around the staging area, including
clearing out the underbrush to reduce fire danger and improving the shoulders of the paved road. FOTR and
the Rubicon Trail Foundation will be trying to re-work the staging area during the summer of 2011, including
plans to build a kiosk for distributing educational materials and trail information.

The Tahoe National Forest (TNF) is responsible for the land surrounding the trail between the staging area and
Rubicon Springs. They have an individual assigned to OHV management, and she has been very helpful to both
RTF and FOTR. They have assisted actively with projects aimed at improving drainage in this area of the trail.
In 2010, with the assistance of RTF and FOTR, the TNF and Placer County have made huge improvements to
the trail and placed hundreds of tons of rock and fill in order to make it more environmentally sound in the
Miller Lake area.

 
Rubicon Trail Foundation - Email - 1-888-6RUBICON (678-2426) - PO Box 2188, Placerville, CA 95667