There are many ways to enjoy this beautiful area.
Travel opportunities abound, including hiking, 4X4,
motorcycle or quad, or mountain bikes. Most enjoy
the trail in some type of OHV.
View Trail Map.
For a free hard copy of this map,
please email John.Arenz@RubiconTrailFoundation.org
View a slideshow
of the Rubicon Trail
Set up your own trip
Many folks, especially those with experience or
frequent visitors are used to bringing their own gear
and enjoying the trail experience with a small group. This is a great option.
Go with your club
There are many 4x4 club runs occurring on the trail
at any given time during the summer season. Join a
local club and enjoy the trail, they will be happy to
help you get started.
If you are new to OHV, or the Rubicon or would simply enjoy a guided trip,
there are several options:
The oldest and most established trip on the Rubicon Trail. Since 1953,
Jeepers Jamboree has been
running two large guided trips a year, oneon the last weekend in July,
and one on the first weekend
in August. They provide food, bar, entertainment, mechanical support,
and logistics. Its a great
party, too! www.jeepersjamboree.com
Jeep Jamboree USA
Has been running guided trips on the Rubicon (as well as many other trails)
for many years. Their trips
are a bit more individual and pampered. www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
Guided tours. www.barlows.us
Rubicon Trail Tours
Tours of the Rubicon trail that are tailored to your needs. www.rubicontrailtours.com
This information is intended to give the reader an
idea of what type of vehicle is needed to run the
Rubicon Trail. These are recommendations only; it
is up to you to be safe and thoughtful when using
If you have the driving skills, a brand new stock
Wrangler can be driven through the Rubicon, taking
the bypasses. Most people should expect sheet metal
damage, at a minimum. Larger tires (33), a lift kit
(3), body protection (rocker guards) and a locking
or limited slip differential should be considered to
Vehicle accessories you should consider:
- Hand tools
- Spare parts
- A spare tire
- Onboard welder
- A fire extinguisher
- A Winch rated at roughly twice your vehicles
weight, preferably equipped with synthetic
- Extrication hardware (tree strap, clevis,
dowels, chain, etc.)
- A tow strap
- Work gloves
- A Hi-lift jack
- Adequate attachment points for towing (tow hooks!)
- A roll cage
- High quality seat belts
- A functional parking brake or Line Lock device
Remember to maintain your vehicle prior
to the trail! Poorly maintained vehicles leak, are
unsafe, and tend to break down, ruining your trip
for you and your group.
The following list is from the California Association of
Four Wheel Drive Clubs. These items are required to
partake in a CA4WDC sponsored event. This is a good
starting place to prepare for a Rubicon run.
All vehicles must be maintained to conform to highway
safety standards, as well as meet the minimum
requirements listed below:
- Roll bar or full cage or factory hard top
- Functional Parking brake or Micro-Lock Tow
strap or rope. (recommend rated at 2 times the
- First aid kit (what do you want when you are
- Jack capable of lifting the vehicle and a tool
of removing lug nuts (don't forget your wheel locks)
- Spare tire equal to or within 3 inches of existing
tires on the vehicle. (no temporary spares).
- Fire extinguisher with gauge indicating good/full,
- Seat belts for all passengers.
- Antennas must not exceed 4'6" (except when
longer antennas/whips are required by certain
- Adequate attachment points front and rear, i.e.,
tow hooks, receiver, etc. Tow balls are generally
- Battery hold downs (no bungee cords)
- In case of trouble, carry an oil spill recovery
These can be picked up the kiosk at no charge.
The kits are provided by El Dorado County.
What Do You Bring?
Remember when you are in
the Rubicon, there is no parts
store or camping supply
around the corner.
Make a list, check it twice,
and be self reliant.
--Deet Bug Spray!
--Sunscreen and a hat
(tent, sleeping bag, etc.)
--Warm weather clothing
--Cold weather clothing
(see the DOT Sanitation
--A fire permit
--A spill kit
(see the DOT
--Bottled water - LOTS!
--Extra cash and extra gas
--Maps (see Rtf Map Page)
--Handiwipes for everything
--Solar shower; it's dusty!
and/or bungee cords
--First Aid kit
--HAM Radio (Learn
Learn more about the
Yellow Bandana Campaign
It is legal to drive any street licensed vehicle from any US state on
the Rubicon Trail.
Green sticker requirements
Any non-street legal vehicles needs to have a green sticker and spark
arrestor in place to run the
Rubicon Trail. For details, see http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr16.htm
Conditions and restrictions
The Rubicon Trail is a county claimed public road in both El Dorado and
All vehicle codes still apply. All county laws and restrictions are still
Review all restrictions and conditions.
Camping on the Rubicon Trail is a great way to enjoy the area. It is
recommended for first time users
to plan to camp at least two days if you are planning to run the entire
trail. Relax and enjoy this
Some favorite designated camping areas near the El Dorado side
of the trail:
North Shore (loon Lake)
On the Tahoe side, there is really only one good designated camping
area near the trail: Kaspian
In the National Forests near the trail and alongside the trail,
dispersed camping is allowed in most areas.
Dispersed camping means just that: you can camp about anywhere you like,
but you cannot drive off
the roads or the Rubicon Trail! Virtually ALL of the camping on the trail
itself is dispersed.
Heres a list of likely spots to camp alongside the trail:
Winter Camp (near Little Sluice)
Little Sluice slab area
Buck Island lake
Rubicon Springs (Contact Rubicon Soda Springs for any fee information)
Top of Cadillac at Observation point area
For details, see http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/regulations/rules.shtml
Your campground manager should also know of any restrictions.