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The Many Roads of the Rubicon Trail
Wentworth Springs Road -
The Original Rubicon Trail County Road and the Rubicon-McKinney Road.

On the West approach to the Rubicon Trail, Wentworth Springs Road is the original County road that was also known as the Rubicon Trail.

The Loon Lake access from the West side of the trail is known as the Ellis Creek OHV Route, that connects up with the Wentworth Springs Road (making the Rubicon Trail). They come together at Ellis Creek.  More here.

Ellis Creek, Rubicon Trail

PHOTO: Ellis Creek is a beautiful small creek with a hardened bottom (rocks) that allow for safe vehicle crossing as part of the trail, right near the Ellis Creek Camping area some folks like to use.

Know Before You Go
tips for getting Rubicon ready

Placer (McKinney) road is a county road that (to my knowledge) has been there a long time.  Unlike Ellis Creek OHV Route (Loon to Ellis) which was USFS lands/road according to them (USFS) and needed to be *eased* over to the county (which is all done and signed), McKinney road is a regular County road like the Wentworth Springs Road from the west side.  No easements necessary for county roads.  The Rubicon-McKinney road comes in from the Lake Tahoe side (east).

The Rubicon-McKinney Road is the Rubicon Trail on the Placer County (East) side near Lake Tahoe. FOTR began in 2001 by fixing this section of the trail by repairing 30 waterbar rolling dips.

The Ellis Creek OHV Route had to have an easement because the feds claimed they owned it. This is the section from Loon Lake to Ellis Creek (which includes the Gatekeeper, the Alligator Pit, and the Slabs or Granite Bowl). Mark Smith and some County officials insisted that it was a historical alternate/side route and part of the Rubicon Trail according to the County ordinance from years ago. 

But to remove any doubt, the USDA Forest Service, Eldorado National Forest, had to give up the Ellis Creek OHV Route and grant an easement to the County to officially make it the County Road access.

The Slabs or Granite Bowl are actually mostly private property, located on what used to be the Ellis Creek OHV Route, now officially part of the County owned easement for the Rubicon Trail.

We didn't have to have any easements for the Wentworth access because it was already a long standing County Road.   Actually, the real Wentworth access takes off at Gerle Creek, goes behind Airport Flat, and cuts over to the Wentworth campground access road that we use.  But that is the historical route (County road).

Wagons traveled the Wentworth route and you can still find the blast marks where the pioneers were clearing a path for the horse and wagons. Look for spider blast marks on top of nearly flat rocks.

Wentworth Springs Road near the Devil's Postpile has some nice obstacles to negotiate. Legal bypasses are available here if you so choose.

FOTR has worked with El Dorado and Placer County to ensure that the Rubicon Trail stays alive, well, and open to all of us. We thank both counties for their help and commitment to the Rubicon Trail and its historical value as well as its value as a motorized recreation icon.

You can find more historical information on the Wentworth Springs Road by doing a Google type search.

  
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