Trail Safety

Visiting the Rubicon Trail for many is a once in a lifetime experience.  But nobody wants that once in a lifetime experience, to possibly end your life.

Wheeling and recreating in the wilderness, is just that..Wilderness.  While our sport/hobby is very safe when you are using proper precautions, a lapse in judgement can cause injury at best or death at worst.  However, there are many things you can do to make your journey and experience on the Rubicon safe.

  • Buckle Up!

Nobody plans to roll over their vehicle, but it can happen and happen fast.  What you can plan for, is wearing your seat belt.  Wearing your seat belt keeps you in the vehicle in the event of a roll over, and uses your roll bar to do it's job to keep you safe.   Over the last 5 years or so, there have been 2 fatalities that would be been completely avoided if the occupants had their seat belt on.

Recently, Jim Ingram had this happen in his JK.  Fortunately, damage was minimal.  Jim posted this photo on social media to show his mistake, but also make everyone aware seat belts were on and nobody was hurt at all.

  • Get an AirMed Network membership (AKA "Helicopter Insurance")

Accidents happen and many have nothing to do wheeling!   Sometimes things happen that need immediate medical attention, this is where helicopter service comes in to get you or your loved one to a hospital immediately.   Following list are actual things that have happened on the Rubicon, where a patient was put on a helicopter to the hospital.

  1. Fell down and compound fracture (exposed bone) of a finger
  2. A tree fell randomly and punctured a hiker
  3. A no seat belt wheeler was squeeze by the rig and survived
  4. Ejection and rollover
  5. Heart attack
  6. Bee sting
  7. Stroke
  8. Tripped, fell and hit head

AirMed Network (formerly CalStar/Reach) is not the only helicopter, but it is the most likely service to get you if needed. Getting a life flight to Roseville or Reno, is about a $35,000 ride that is often not covered by insurance.   A membership to AirMed for $65 (normally $85) for one year, will eliminate any out of pocket expense in the event of an accident.   RTF has membership base large enough to get a $20 discount to the annual fee.  Read about our IT guy Brett's recent need for the service, and he wasn't anywhere near the Rubicon.

To become a member, enroll at

Use the RTF code: 11113-CA-BUS

The annual cost for your entire household is: $65


  • Ham Radio

While there is a cell phone tree (near Benchmark) and a Cell phone rock (near Walker Hill), the Rubicon for the most part is devoid of any cell service.   If you are a regular user, the best way to keep communication with the outside world (yes, you can reach Sacramento) is a Ham Radio.  Getting a Technician License is super easy and it's the legal way to use a Ham Radio on the trail.   Visit our Trail Communications page for information about radio communications on the trail.