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Trailhead Directions

Vehicles Preparation

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.

Vehicle Licensing
Parking & Staging
Camping
Conditions
Ham Radios
View Trail Map
 


Guided Trips
If you are new to OHV, or the Rubicon or would simply enjoy a guided trip,
there are several options:

Jeepers Jamboree
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. It’s 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

Harald Pietschmann
Runs individual guided tours that are, as much as anything, training sessions on driving a 4x4 in rough
terrain. He will tailor his trips to your needs and guide you through the trail, either in his vehicles or
in yours. www.rubicon-trail.com

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


Vehicles Preparations

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
the trail.

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
prevent damage.

Vehicle accessories you should consider:

  • Hand tools
  • Spare parts
  • A spare tire
  • Onboard welder
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A Winch rated at roughly twice your vehicle’s weight, preferably equipped with synthetic
    rope
  • 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 coming
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
    vehicle weight).

  • First aid kit (what do you want when you are hurt?)

  • Jack capable of lifting the vehicle and a tool capable
    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,
    appropriately stored.

  • Seat belts for all passengers.

  • Antennas must not exceed 4'6" (except when
    longer antennas/whips are required by certain
    OHV areas).

  • Adequate attachment points front and rear, i.e.,
    tow hooks, receiver, etc. Tow balls are generally
    not recommended.

  • Battery hold downs (no bungee cords)

  • In case of trouble, carry an oil spill recovery kit.
    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

--Camping gear
(tent, sleeping bag, etc.)

--Warm weather clothing

--Cold weather clothing

--A camera

--Wag Bags
(see the DOT Sanitation page)

--A fire permit
(see ENF Fire Restrictions)

--A spill kit
(see the DOT Spill page)

--Bottled water - LOTS!

--Extra cash and extra gas

--Snack food

--Maps (see Rtf Map Page)

--Swim Wear

--Handiwipes for everything

--Extra sunglasses

--Solar shower; it's dusty!

--Ratchet straps
and/or bungee cords

--Extra clothes

--Lounge chairs

--A shovel

--First Aid kit

--HAM Radio (Learn more)

___________________

Learn more about the
Yellow Bandana Campaign

 


Parking and Staging Areas

Each trailhead has a different parking situation.

Loon Lake
Ample parking exists right at the trailhead, with overflow and oversize parking available in the gravel lot
adjacent to the Loon Lake Chalet. There is a public toilet at the Chalet and a kiosk with trail information
and a public toilet at the trailhead.

Wentworth Springs
Rroad-side parking is quite limited. There is a small area near the junction of Wentworth Springs Road
and 14NO5 that can accommodate a few tow rigs. There is also a fair amount of parking in the area of
Airport Flat Campground. There is also a kiosk with trail information and limited parking at Wentworth
Springs campground.

Near Tahoe
There is a staging area with public toilets and signs with maps and trail information.

Other parking in the Tahoe area can be found at the casinos at South Lake Tahoe, about 20 miles around
the lake, or on the El Dorado side of the trail, at local resorts like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Icehouse Resort.


Vehicle Licensing

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 Placer Counties.
All vehicle codes still apply. All county laws and restrictions are still enforced.

Review all restrictions and conditions.


Camping

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
beautiful place!

Some favorite designated camping areas near the El Dorado side of the trail:

Airport Flat
North Shore (loon Lake)
Loon Lake
Gerle Creek

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.

Here’s a list of likely spots to camp alongside the trail:

Wentworth Springs
Ellis Creek
Walker Hill
Winter Camp (near Little Sluice)
Little Sluice slab area
Buck Island lake
Rubicon Springs (private, $15 per vehicle gets you three nights)
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.

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