Rubicon Trail Meeting in Reno

Simple Man

Active member

Rubicon Trail Meeting in Reno – update​

The Reno Off-Road and Motorsports Expo is happing March 23-27 at the convention center. On Saturday the 26th, there will be a meeting at 9am about everything Rubicon. Attending the meeting is free. El Dorado County is heading up the meeting. Below is a list of all of the groups and agencies that have been invited to the meeting. I do not know who has accepted the invitation or who has declined.

Questions to be asked: What maintenance is planned for the trail in 2022? Will there be an Adopt-a-Trail program for the Tahoe side? When will the staging area bathrooms open/close? Where are we with the small mud hole bypass? Where are we with the suggested larger shelf road bypass? How are parking issues at the staging area going to be solved? Can we stop or prevent future trail closures for fires well away from the trail? How do we volunteer to do trail maintenance on the Tahoe side?

That’s not my entire list of questions. If you have a specific question to ask and can’t make the meeting, let me know and I’ll add it to my list.


El Dorado County Parks & Trails

Tahoe National Forest, Truckee Ranger District

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Eldorado National Forest

Placer County (ask for Peter Kraatz)

CA State Parks OHMVR Division

Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF)

Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR)

CA Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA)

CA Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal-4)

NV Four Wheel Drive Association (NV-4)

Local clubs:

  • Hills Angels (Reno/Sparks)
  • Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s (Tahoe)
  • Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers (Truckee)
  • Sierra Stompers (Minden/Gardnerville)

I’ll be hanging out at my booth at the Expo all week. Stop by and let me know what’s on your mind.


aka - Rubicon Ronin

Simple Man

Active member

El Dorado County has obtained and spent 35 million dollars of OHV grant funding on the trail to date! Helicopters will fly this summer working from Arnold’s Rock to the Springs. RTF will fund heavy equipment to rework the rolling dips within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. RTF will manage opening the Tahoma staging area bathrooms earlier in the season and keeping them open later in the year.

Tahoe side adoptions are possible but not yet organized: sections of the Rubicon Trail, rolling dips within the LTBMU and campsites along the trail.

Parking at the staging area was discussed and will likely include no parking along the outside edge of the staging area to allow a permanent ‘through route’ for users and more specifically emergency equipment.

The hot topic was the always reappearing Snow Wall. Somehow, an excess of snow is appearing at the Rubicon Trail entrance. Placer County claims they are plowing linerally, only a blade pushing snow to the side. Yet they have and use a rotary blade in the area. Placer is standing by their current practices. Hopefully, a meeting will be scheduled that will include Placer County, OHV users’ groups and the local residents to finally come to a solution to this issue. Many solutions were documented and will be followed up on.

Another longer-term thought would be to make the Rubicon Trail a Sno-Park, similar to Blackwood Canyon, but allowing wheeled vehicles. Plow the road up to a parking lot where OHV users could bring in a trailered rig. Yes, there would be a parking fee associated with the Sno-Park. We anticipate that the local residents would strongly oppose this idea. This was only a thought; no action will be taken at this time.

Better communications were promised both between those involved in management and communications to the users.

El Dorado County, Placer County and CA State Parks LEOs have entered into their own MOU to ensure law enforcement across the entire Rubicon Trail.

The suggestion has been made that a similar meeting needs to take place every year, in order to continue the open communications. These meetings could rotate through different cities: Reno, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Placerville, Auburn and Sacramento. Stay tuned.

Overall, it was a good meeting. We needed to get people in the same room and away from their keyboards. Nothing was solved and Placer was a no show, but we are moving in the right direction.

Hopefully, I’ll have those questions and answers to post soon.

Not much more on the website.
Q & A document when I get it.

Simple Man

Active member
The Q&As from the Rubicon meeting two weeks ago.

A better Word doc is on my website. I also added more comments about poor communications within Rubicon Partners.

The colors didn't paste correctly. I've tried to "Italicise" the answers...

Rubicon Trail Meeting

Saturday, March 26th, 2022

9am @ Reno Convention Center

Thanks go out to Al & Shirley Lockett for getting us the space to hold this meeting.

Groups and agencies present to answer questions:

El Dorado County Parks & Trails

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

CA State Parks OHMVR Division


Questions to those representing agencies and organizations:

Who has the ultimate control of the trail within Placer County? Specifically, can the Forest Service close a public County Road for an extended period of time without a fire nearby and without County approval? If Placer County or USFS deems the access into the Rubicon a public danger or threat, it could be closed down by either. I remember getting an email when the fire was heading to Desolation and that Barker was closed to the public. I don’t think it was a big deal as both agencies talk and communicate with each other.

El Dorado County

  • What is planned for the El Dorado side? 2022, 2023
  • In 2022, we will be flying rock again. We are concentrating on the backside of the trail working from Arnolds Rock to the County Line. We will be dropping rock and armoring the trail. We will also be lifting large trees that went down in the blowdown in early 2021. We want to lift the trees at Wentworth Springs Campground and move them to the Intertie and some to Buck Island. Last year we blocked illegal bypasses and within days the users pulled everything out of the way and destroyed what we had done. So we will put very large trees they cannot move to block the illegal bypasses and keep users on the trail.
  • process for the bypass at Miller Creek. Working with Tahoe National Forest John Brokaw.
  • We have a development grant so we will be working on the maintenance building that will go at the end of 14N05 so the county has a facility to store the pumper truck and employees on the long days that they work out there.
  • We have the education program where we hand out spill kits and Wag Bags at the kiosk. We have the bandanas done and focus on sanitation this year. We have been asked to help on Jeep Jamboree’s Camp Rubicon program.
  • 2023 we will focus on Wentworth Springs side of the trail working from Airport Flats Campground to the Intertie.
  • What is planned for the Tahoe side?
  • 2021
  • In 2021 El Dorado County working with the Lake Tahoe Basin completed the paving at the Tahoma staging area.
  • In 2021 El Dorado County also provided maintenance on 14 BMP’s on the Tahoe side working from the staging area.
  • 2022
  • We will assist on the Tahoe side working with the Basin to continue maintenance on the BMP’s on the Basin portion of the trail.
  • 2023
  • Continue to assist with maintenance of the BMP’s.
  • Adopt-a-trail for the Tahoe side?
  • That would be up to Tahoe National and the Lake Tahoe Basin.
  • Adopt-a-rolling dip: during and after their rebuilding
  • Same answer as above
  • Bathrooms on the trail? At Observation, near intersection with 03-04?
  • The Forest Service would have to answer that.

Placer County

  • Snow wall at Tahoma entrance, how will it be prevented? Berms on driveway entrances and ancillary easements are regular occurrences in Tahoe during the winter months. The Department of Public Works maintains snow removal from paved traveled ways on approved winter-maintained mileage roads as the public priority.
  • Snow stakes at Tahoma entrance, did they work? Will the County maintain? The snow stakes demark the entrance to the trail in the winter.
  • Who can officially close the road? Not entirely clear what the question is. Who will close the road in the winter if conditions warrant? The Placer County Department of Public Works maintains the public easement rights on the Rubicon Trail, that is, the publics’ right to pass. The trail is not a maintained roadway, however, and is not a winter-maintained plowed road. Signage is posted RE: hazards of winter use. The Department does not monitor trail conditions in the winter. The Department does monitor water quality conditions on the trail, particularly during spring runoff, such that if continued motorized use on the trail (or users creating illegal trail bypasses to avoid natural trail hazards) will present a threat detrimental to and/or violating water quality standards and Placer County’s permit requirements for TMDL within the Tahoe Basin, the trail may be closed.

Tahoe National Forest (TNF)

Who is the Tahoe National Forest lead? Forest-wide, OHV is lead by Joe Chavez, and John Brokaw continues to provide specific support on the Rubicon-related matters while the Truckee Ranger District completes its recruit/fill for a new OHV program lead.

Recap of work done last season 96 Tons of rock were placed to stabilize the erosive prone areas and loads are staged at Blackwood Canyon for the upcoming season.

-there were no public announcements

-side trail work? Work done on the access road in 2020 to prepare for rock delivery.

Work to be done in 2022, 23-Continued work on the erosive prone areas and the flood control area

NEPA surveys will initiate this year (Arch, botany, wildlife, soils and hydro survey)

For the relocation of 200 feet of trail on the low spot below Potato Patch.

Bypass: it was dry in the spring; can we go back to the original route? We are not planning on a return/continued use of original route.

Adopt-a-campsite: already in progress, follow through, expansion – Dependent on willing partners, and filling the OHV Depending on willing partners, and filling the OHV program lead position.

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU)

When will the repairs take place to the kiosk after FS employees damaged it? This spring

Parking issues along paved access road – allow on south side only - Sounds appropriate needs to be followed up with signage.

Rebuilding the rolling dips – Working with El Dorado County on the rolling dips.

Signage at staging – no parking along edges – We have these signs and volunteers could place them. If it is to ensure travel lanes through the parking lot we may need to do a combination of signs and striping.

Bathrooms @ staging area – longer open dates – We would like to coordinate this with you.

2021 closures: first closure early (before Region 5), second closure after other

Forests had reopened, after El Dorado had reopened the Rubicon. Even after rain/snow and temperatures dropped, WHY? – Unsure what this question is about, the fire? Should be straightened out this year if it occurs again.

Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF)

Snow wall update

Staging area bathrooms update, did RTF “adopt”?

Tahoe side bathrooms along the trail

RS2477 implications regarding the bypass within the TNF

How did you fight the closures in 2021?

Why did you not notify the users of the LTBMU closure?

Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR)

Current status: does it exist, what’s scheduled?

With no adoption options on the Tahoe side, how do volunteers step up?