Rubicon Trail has been re-Opened
DOT: The Transportation Division maintenance crews completed a monitoring site visit of the Rubicon Trail on March 11, 2014. Based on observational data obtained during the visit, the County determined that the temporary closure of the Rubicon Trail initiated on February 25th, 2014 can be lifted. Please be advised that, should conditions change, the temporary closure may be put back in place. Please check back to the County website for updates relative to future temporary closures of the Trail.
Wiki: In 2001, the Lahontan Water Board contemplated filing an order to force closure of the east end of the trail near the Tahoe Basin. In order to prevent this closure, FOTR (Friends of the Rubicon), a grass roots user driven organization was formed, and the group built more than thirty erosion control devices on the trail in order to prevent erosion and siltation of the watershed. The Lahontan Water Board dropped their effort, and FOTR was successful in keeping the trail open and have conducted many work projects on the trail each year since then.
The initial organized effort to close the trail involved embroiling El Dorado County in an effort to manage the trail. This effort resulted in the Rubicon Trail Master Plan, which the county rejected because it was projected to be too costly. Most of the costs involved were for monitoring, not for fixing problems on the trail.
When the Master Plan effort failed, multiple complaints were filed with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board. The complaints were that the trail was causing erosion and siltation of the watershed, sanitation issues were not being addressed, and that OHV's were spilling oil on the trail. These complaints resulted in a Draft Cleanup and Abatement Order that would have closed the trail had it been implemented as written. During the hearing, before issuing a final order, testimony was heard from El Dorado County, the Eldorado National Forest, and the Rubicon Trail Foundation. The result of that hearing was a more manageable order requiring El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest to repair the trail, build bridges, obtain an accurate user count, conduct education and planning efforts, report regularly to the board, and provide more law enforcement on the trail. The Cleanup and Abatement Order is still in effect, and the agencies are up to date with the completion timelines required by the order.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation, Friends of the Rubicon, El Dorado County, and the Eldorado National Forest continue their efforts to keep this "crown jewel" of OHV routes open.
- Rubicon Trail Foundation is a nonprofit foundation fighting to keep the Rubicon trail open for future generations to enjoy.
- Rubicon Trail, from the official El Dorado County, California website
- Rubicon Trail Information Site, Provides helpful information to those who desire to ride the trail.
- Friends of the Rubicon is a coalition of trail users that do volunteer work on the Rubicon Trail.
- Rubicon Trail Patrol, A group of volunteers who educate users on the trail.
- Rubicon Trail Review, The Off Road Report reviews the Rubicon Trail.
- Rubicon Trail track files and GPS coordinates
- commercial Rubicon Trail information site