Cadillac Hill Rock Flight Success

In 2018, Vickie Sanders at El Dorado County began laying the seeds with Placer County to assume control over the maintenance of the Rubicon Trail from Loon Lake through to Lake Tahoe. The Rubicon Trail has never been a high priority for Placer County, so El Dorado County began the process to get an MOU (Memorandum of Understand or Formal written agreement) in order to take control.  In 2019, with the MOU secure, Vickie began planning a very important project on Cadillac Hill.  At the very popular Steve Morris history of the Rubicon speech at Jeepers Jamboree, Steve stated that in his opinion, the road base at Cadillac Hill was 10 feet lower in some areas from his first visit.  This erosion over the years lowering sections of the hillside needed to be addressed. However, the amount of natural rock around Cadillac Hill had been used in previous projects.  It was clear that a helicopter would be required to fly rock available at the Gerle Addit, an ENF facility (Loon Lake, spillway, and tunnel rock from the ’50s) to Cadillac Hill.  Vickie secured a grant from the OHV Fund to hire the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane from Siller, but the grant required matching funds.  In early 2020, the Rubicon Trail Foundation voted to provide the $32,000 of matching funds required to execute the grant.  The project was on!

In April, when the weather on the trail became more clear, Siller was able to confirm availability for the weekend of May 15-17.  However, any project like this requires manpower and Jeepers Jamboree, with years of experience doing work on Cadillac Hill, stepped up to provide the crew required to complete the work.  Rubicon Trail Foundation provided support by feeding the volunteers, in addition to the previously approved matching funds.

On May 15, the rock began being flown to Cadillac.  There were 3 RTF directors, 3 JJ directors, and 5 JJ volunteers for a total of 10 people on site for rock delivery. Rock was laid down on cyclone fence and the fence was pulled over and secured with hog rings.  More rock was placed over that blanket of rock, for final securing.

Final work below V Rock

In total, 264,000 lbs of rock was flown to Cadillac Hill and a couple other locations. Overall the project was a major success and a great example of El Dorado County, State OHV Fund, Rubicon Trail Foundation donors, and trail volunteers to ensure an important project on the trail is completed.

By Ken Hower Trail News 3 Comments

3 Comments

  • I’m Bob (Boomer) Springer’s daughter .. from the time I was a little girl (now 72) I felt I knew every rock, every bend of the trail from camp to the highway .
    I was able to drive dads Jeep once we hit the trail .. I was 10 and I was driving the trail. When I was an adult, with my husband in the passenger seat, and my aunt in the back, and I was pulling a trailer (cook crew) I got too close to V rock and my left tires slipped off the side… I got on the CB and yelled LB needs help ! They came a runnin! Guys made me drive while they held and pushed the Jeep so it wouldn’t completely go over the side ..
    The picture you are showing of V rock reminded me of my special memory!
    You are doing a great job for future generations to make memories… my dad is looking down and smiling!
    My brother, niece, nephew, great-nephew and son have all experienced the magic of the Rubicon.

    Thank you! Stay safe!

    Linda (Springer, Brown) Hansen

    Linda Hansenx,
    • What a great story Linda. I know there are a lot of trail users, that carried that love from childhood. Ironically, I used to cry “don’t get stuck Papa”, but I still loved going.

      Ken Hower,
  • Awesome, thanks for all of the hard work.

    Patrick Blake,
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