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Rubicon Trail official founding home page where you can find everything about the Rubicon Trail and Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR). Rubicon Trail activities, events, trail rides, guides, restrictions and workdays are listed here, as are Rubicon Trail contacts and links. Welcome.

FOTR NEW Home Page for Friends of the Rubicon here.

Know Before You Go
tips for getting Rubicon ready


Please visit our new FOTR Home Page and get the latest and greatest information. You can always come back here if you are seeking something not on the new home page.

All our signups are on the New Home Page. Thanks for visiting.





New Home Page of FOTR

START HERE page of FAQ's

Trail History

Trail Access

Best Times to Run the Trail


Start Here for more about the Rubicon Trail

Sign Up Buttons Down Below (Keep scrolling).

Visit Tw0-Point Plan to Manage the Rubicon Trail

Cop Car Law EnforcementSpider Lake Closure 2004 and Closure 2005

See the Rubicon law enforcement Patrol Vehicle (now retired). It is a good idea to make a car donation if you have a car you are no longer using. Why should it end up in a junkyard somewhere when it can be donated to charity?


Big trucks, big jeeps, big rigs and big rocks -- that is what the Rubicon Trail is about. If you ae looking for big trucks, be sure to also visit the SEMA show pages of my web site. Big trucks are all over the place at SEMA.

Rubicon Trail Newsletter November 2003 (Historical)

See the new Recreational Leadership Training Course for Volunteers!
10 Module Correspondence Course with over 200 pages of tips and tricks for leading volunteers. Developed by Del Albright
It's all about Leading Volunteers to Victory!
Learn More and Sign Up Here

Read what the USFS has to say about FOTR

How do I get (email) involved?

Where do I get more info?


Sign me up for Friends of the Rubicon.

How do I donate to the Rubicon Trail

Camping along the trail and Using Rubicon Springs

Oil Spills, Fluid Cleanups

Getting involved in Land Use in general?

Rubicon/Soda Springs Ownership and Use

CB and HAMM Radio Channels

Great article all about the Rubicon Trail (G. Wakefield)

The Rubicon Trail is the undisputed mecca of four wheeling in the USA. Many folks from all over the world travel the Rubicon Trail every year.  One count done in 2001 said that 35,000 wheelers traveled the Rubicon Trail over a four month period. The Rubicon Trail is one place folks like to test their driving skills while enjoying some of the most beautiful Sierra scenery you can imagine.

Laced with pine and fir trees, intermingled with Sierra granite, the Rubicon Trail is not only challenging, but spectacular. Used from the 1800's as a travel route for cattle and sheep herders, it also served as a trade route for the Native American indians long before other settlers came along. The Rubicon Trail is only about 14 miles long, but it's history is long standing and rich. Read more Rubicon trail history here.

The Rubicon Trail is is home to the Jeep Jamboree and Jeepers Jamboree. Every year hundreds of anxious wheelers travel the Rubicon Trail with guides from these great outfits. Both companies provide awesome adventures on the Rubicon Trail, so if you want to travel the Rubicon Trail for the first time, this is a great way to do it.

You can access the Rubicon Trail from either the West side or the East side. Most folks enter the Rubicon Trail from the west, and travel east. The more used part of the Rubicon Trail starts at Loon Lake or Wentworth Springs, and ends up in Tahoma near Lake Tahoe.  It takes a weekend to do the trail right. Get more Rubicon Trail directions here.

Be sure to camp along the way as you travel the Rubicon Trail. Many nice camping spots are available. Spider Lake, Buck Island Lake and Rubicon Springs are the most famous camping areas. Swimming during the summer is a given. The lakes are refreshing and crystal clear along the Rubicon Trail. Read more on camping along the Rubicon Trail here.

The Rubicon Trail is a county road, belonging to Eldorado and Placer County. Most of the Rubicon Trail is in El Dorado County. Officially, the Rubicon Trail is classified as an unmaintained public road. It travels through USFS and private lands. The entire route is maintained by the Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR).

FOTR is an informal coalition of users, volunteers, commericial operatores, private landowners, local, state and federal agencies, as well as environmental interests. Working cooperatively under the Rubicon (Trail) Oversight Committe (ROC), all these folks help keep our Rubicon Trail open, maintained and available to all of us.

Here's an article on the Rubicon Trail that I wrote for several newsletters and magazines.

The Rubicon Trail

By Del Albright


The Rubicon Trail is the most famous four-wheel drive trail in the world.  Rated on a 1 to 10 scale as a 10, the Rubicon Trail has no equal.  The high Sierra Nevada mountains granite slab vistas, dotted with pine and fir trees, and laced with alpine meadows and creeks, makes for an experience you’ll never forget.


The Rubicon Trail has been around for thousands of years, starting as a native American trade route, then a gold mining route during California’s gold rush, and later as a wagon trail through the central Sierra Nevada mountains, and finally as a four-wheelers Mecca. 

In 1991 the County of El Dorado established the Rubicon Trail officially as an non-maintained public road (right-of-way), ensuring public use of the Rubicon Trail.  More Rubicon Trail history.


The Rubicon Trail is located in Northern California near Lake Tahoe . The beginning of the Rubicon Trail historically was Georgetown, CA, but now most people travel to the trail from Hwy 50 to  Loon Lake or the Wentworth Springs Road.  Traveling west to east (the most used direction of travel), the trail ends on the west side of Lake Tahoe at Tahoma.

As you traverse the Rubicon Trail, you'll encounter obstacles like the Post Pile, Walker Hill, Little Sluice (with bypass), Spider Lake , Old Sluice Box, Chappie Rock, Buck Island Dam and Lake , Big Sluice, and then the bridge across the Rubicon River .

From there on, it's Rubicon/Soda Springs, Cadillac Hill and finally, Observation Point. Take a photo here. Everyone else does because it shows that 1) you made it; and 2) a huge portion of the Rubicon Trail terrain is right behind your rigs in the photo. :)

June, July, August and September are the best times to run the Rubicon Trail (except for the last week of July and the first week of August when the trail is reserved for the exclusive use of Jeepers Jamboree folks). Run the Rubicon Trail when you make dust.


TIRES: I recommend no less than 31" tires, and that's only if you're ok with dragging bottom a lot. Have good skid plates for sure. Have tires with good sidewalls, like BFG's with a 3 ply side. They're my favorite. To many folks, 33 inch tires are barely adequate. That's what I used to run and I drug a lot; but they are very doable for the Rubicon.   More about tires and vehicle modifications.

LOCKERS: I suggest you have one locker in the rear. For me, with plenty of pavement driving, I am partial to ARB Air Lockers. They really do the trick for me. Plus I can disengage them while on pavement.   More on ARB, a long-standing sponsor.

ACCESSORIES: Have a Hi-Lift jack and a CB along, as well as your first aid kit. Extra water is always a good idea, as well as some survival stuff (food, blanket, fire starter). A Power Tank is a great accessory also. Read more on on board air and Power Tank. Accessorizing your rig smartly is important. You can find these and other jeep and truck accessories online."

LIFT/SUSPENSION: This is a never ending debate, but I suggest you tackle the trail with no less than 2.5 inches of lift. 3 or 4 inches would be better. Again, be prepared to do some bumping and grinding. Use a spotter; be careful; and don’t' be afraid of a tow strap. Any type rig can make it through the Rubicon Trail if properly outfitted with lift, off-road tires, and if you're running a truck or truggy, the right truck accessories.

Here's a good place to look for rig mods and accessories.

CLUBS/GROUPS: I recommend you tag along with a Rubicon Trail experienced group for your first time out. Get the books and maps that show the trail; stay on the trail; and learn from folks who have done it before

Join the BlueRibbon Coalition -- support Del's efforts with your membership.

If you're a CA/NV resident, join the CA4WDC also. We are partners in keeping the Rubicon Trail alive and well.


No individual agency has primary jurisdiction over the Rubicon Trail, which runs through both private property and USDA Forest Service lands of the Eldorado National Forest (and some on the Tahoe National Forest, Placer County side) .  It is (and has been) a cooperative effort to manage the Rubicon Trail, considered a "public road" by the local and federal agencies.

Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) is the informal coalition of groups and individuals dedicated to keeping the Rubicon Trail open and available to all recreationists. We are working with Placer County , El Dorado County , the USFS, private businesses, many organized recreation groups, and other land management agencies to ensure our famed Rubicon Trail remains as one of our crown jewels of motorized and mechanized recreation.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation is our non-profit (501.c3., public benefit corporation) partner where we ask donations to be sent. They sit on the Rubicon Oversight Committe with FOTR to help us guide the future of the Rubicon.

You can join our effort simply by emailing me to get on the FOTR email list and by reading the Rubicon Trail Home Page.  You can support the Rubicon Trail and FOTR efforts by buying our t shirts and sending donations. Buy FOTR goodies here by dropping me a note. Read about donating here.

We are also about responsible use of the Rubicon Trail. We don't advocate building new bypasses or using shortcuts around the established trail and existing bypasses. We advocate obeying the rules and the law, as well as trail ethics.  We now sit at the table as an official permanent member of the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) that will guide the future of the Rubicon Trail.


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