GMRS radio communication has been gaining ground for years for vehicle to vehicle communications when wheeling. As the benefits of GMRS vs CB Radio has become clearer, organizations like Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) have been switching to GMRS. If you weren’t familiar with FMCA, they are currently the largest 4-Wheel drive club in the United States.
In 2007, Dennis Mayer from Auburn Jeep Club was on-site during a roll-over where someone was seriously injured. Given the location on the trail, getting to cell service was hours away, Dennis felt helpless without access to Ham radio to call for help. In 2009, RTF’s first fully funded project was building a Ham Radio repeater structure at Spider Lake which linked to the powerful “805” repeater. In addition, RTF began teaching Ham Radio classes which at this point near 800 users have been licensed. This improvement to radio communications on the trail would save many lives and misery, making fast medical helicopter pick up possible.
Ham Repeater structure
However, most of the times users simply need to call a friend that is on trail within the Rubicon Trail. So in 2022, the RTF Board voted to add a GMRS repeater to the Ham Radio which would enhance the ability for more users to have quality in-trail radio communications. The Auburn Jeep Club donated $2,500 to make this happen and this summer the new GMRS repeater will be installed.
Please visit our Trail Communications page to learn more about the configuration, ie: Channels and frequency depending on your radio.
Doug Barr let us know about the reroute taking place – PLEASE READ
The Rubicon Trail will be closed to through traffic at the Tahoma staging area for paving Monday June 21st through Friday June 25th! Access will be allowed from the west as far as the Buck Lake Trail.
The Tahoma staging area will be getting a long overdue asphalt paving as will the last section of access road. Repairs will also be done to the access road. At this time, no lines will be painted to control parking. It will be up to the users to determine how best to use the area. Painting might happen in the future.
The five days of closure is for the safety of the crews working and to speed up the process, as they won’t have to deal with vehicle traffic.
The paving is being done to reduce erosion and dust within the Lake Tahoe Basin.
There will be reroutes available through Blackwood Canyon. Although longer, it will give users to see other routes in the area. Coming out, the easy reroute is Forest Road 03-04 over to Barker Pass and then Forest Road 03 down to the lake. The more adventurous reroute would be the Hobbit Trail (16E76) to the Red Cabin Trail (16E79) and then take the Middle Fork Trail (15N38) down to the lake.
Meeting Purpose: For agencies to provide an update to the user community of issues and topics related to the Rubicon Trail and to get public input on grant applications for 2021.
Agencies providing Updates:
California State Parks Off Highway Motor Vehicle Division
Callan from State Parks introduced the new Deputy Director, Sarah
Sarah announced the 50th Anniversary of OHV and looking forward to meeting with everyone
Jenn discussed grant cycle- March 1st Applications Due, May 2-3 Public Comment, June 7th Final Applications Due, Sept. 2nd Post Awardees
El Dorado County
Vickie provided a report that there was an increased usage in 2020 on Trail.
Weekly pumping was done on the restrooms
Helicopter project put 829,400 lbs rock on trail
Gabions were placed in some locations
Justin has moved out of state and Prescott will be taking his place
Adopt-A-Trail- areas not adopted – Loon Lake Intertie #1, Ellis Creek, walker Rock, Buck Island- if interested contact Vickie
Project List- looking for Kiosk volunteer and someone to do Buck Island Rest Stop, & special events
Other project to use excavator – Walker Hill Wall to the right of hillside due to erosion. Improvement for Axle Rock, finish climb before Bowl
Education Campaign is FIRE
Grants Applying for- Group Op (rock at Soup Bowl), education, maintenance, restoration & planning
Finish the following projects- Pumpkin Patch, Property Line, saw Tooth & Scout Hole
Jeep Corporation working with Electrify America who is working with County on charging stations- there are no locations as of yet
El Dorado County Sheriff’s -Michael Seligsohn will be in charge of patrolling the trail. Background in boats but looking forward to Rubicon.
Placerville County Sheriff’s- Chris in charge of OHV on trail – looking forward to collaboration and being on trail more.
Bob asked if they are sharing patrol and -Michael Seligsohn said they are each in charge of their own counties. Bob wants to work with each of them on JJ. Chris mentioned he would love to collaborate and be on trail more.
Tim Peterson will be returning as well as Steve, Craig & Eddie for El Dorado County side.
Peter introduced himself and talked about snow removal and making users and community happier. John Arenz commented on the great job with snow removal.
John Arenz and Del Albright mentioned a desire for Placer County to be more involved on trail. Peter mentioned that there is not the political will to do so.
Tahoe National Forest
Joe Chavez talked about work done at mud hole
Tim Green asked if this was a temporary work around or permanent as the trail holds history. Joe said temporary. Tim mentioned that if the trail site moved it raises concern of losing historical parts of the trail.
Joe mentioned that they will not have big grant funds available this year but has 98,000 lbs of rock to fill from Barker Pass and the work they started in 2020. Will need volunteers to spread rock.
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Mike mentioned that they are paving the staging area. John asked if they were putting lines and he said no. John agreed
Bathroom pumping will be done this year
Looking for volunteer for bathrooms
El Dorado National Forest
Karl mentioned that they are putting more dumpsters towards Loon Lake side
Not sure if they will have restrictions around campgrounds or not.
Over the last several years, there has been an increasing problem with Placer County, contractors, and local homeowners using the Tahoe entrance to the trail as a snow repository. Those of us who live in snow country know how hard it can be to find a place to store snow when plowing and clearing roads, but taking the snow from one public road and placing it in another is not a solution, it only migrates and exacerbates the problem.
Doug Barr (of The Other Rubicon) and Ron Briggs (Tahoe FOTR lead) have been working on this problem for several years and have asked RTF (and just about anybody they can think of) for help. RTF has gotten involved at the level of attending meetings, making phone calls, and offering help with education. Our stance is that we are not asking anybody to DO anything, but we are insisting that they DO NOT move snow onto the Rubicon McKinney Road, an open public road. As Mr. Barr points out, this is an illegal act.
Recently RTF directors attended a public Zoom Meeting (it was cancelled in person) with Placer County representatives and neighbors. At that meeting we stated our position and offered to create and place signage to remind folks not to dump snow in the roadway. Here is our follow-up letter:
Part of education that often is not noticed is working on the trail and collaborating with others. The Tahoe National Forest Service reached out to us, Friends of the Rubicon, Jeepers Jamboree, and the CA OHV Division to get some much-needed work on Cadillac Hill & Observation Point not to make it easier but to keep the trail preserved and open for all.
Joe Chavez, the Tahoe National Forest OHV Resource Tech put together this great PowerPoint presentation.
The picture above was to stabilize the bottom of Morris Rock, reducing siltation and damage from oil spills. Using RTF trailers, large rocks were loaded and brought to the site by volunteers, and then placed by the excavator. This creates a rocky challenge for trail users and prevents future damage…win win!
The Rubicon Trail Foundation is federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail. The Rubicon Trail Foundation acts as the support for Rubicon work projects, Friends of the Rubicon, and as a liaison with local government organizations. This support can range from getting approval for projects from the appropriate agencies, to feeding the volunteers, to buying the supplies needed to maintain the trail. We also fight the efforts of others to close or restrict use of the Rubicon Trail System. All funds raised help to enhance the future health of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round access.
Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail users and supporters. These include trail users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and Rubicon event organizers. For more information on getting involved or supporting the Rubicon Trail Foundation please call us at 888-678-2426 or visit our website at www.rubicontrail.org.
Last Fall, Edio Delfino and All Coast Builders (www.allcoastbuilders.com ) and James Hardie Building Products (www.jameshardie.com), offered to El Dorado County via Rubicon Trail Foundation to donate materials and services to rehab all the Rubicon toilets with new more durable siding.
Last week, with coordination from RTF and All Coast Builders, seven of the ten Rubicon Rest Stops (trail bathrooms) were stripped and rehabilitated with new concrete siding and trim provided by James Hardie Building Products. This was a coordinated effort to move material, strip, and re-side the public bathrooms with a superior product that will last for decades and be non-combustible, resistant to sun, wind, animals, and insects.
The result is a transformation!
Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to thank El Dorado County Parks, All Coast Builders, and James Hardie Building Products for their collaboration to make this project possible. Look for the rest of the toilets to be updated and all to be painted to their former colors before season end.
Each toilet was rehabbed removing rotten wood, and woodpecker holed wood.
They were properly wrapped for the elements.
Arnold’s rock toilet was in the worst condition, given it is one of the oldest toilets on the trail. It now has decades of new life.
There you are enjoying your trip and then snap, pop, creak! What is that dripping now?
El Dorado County has been providing spill kits for several years now, implemented by the El Dorado County Environmental Management Dept. and funded by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board. However, the Rubicon Trail Foundation knows that you may head to different areas to explore or like to have spares in your rig or just need the Bio Response. We have the Bio Response and spill kits on our website just for YOU. If you are local (Placerville area) we can possibly meet up with you or if you need them shipped order below.
In the Kit your will find an absorbent pad that is used to soak up oil off the ground or even water, an RTF oil rag, and there is also Bio Response in there that is friendly to the environment. Just follow the directions on the bottle on how to use. You will find Disposable bins at the trail heads for safe disposal of your used Oil Spill Kits.
One of the best ways to prevent spills is to do a simple pre- trip inspection of your rig and address any issues before you get to the Rubicon. Tighten bolts replace gaskets and such.
If everyone does their part the Rubicon will be Oil free.