This information is intended to give the reader an idea of what type of vehicle is needed to run the Rubicon Trail. These are recommendations only; it is up to you to be safe and thoughtful when using the trail.
Using a Stock Wrangler
If you have the driving skills, a brand new stock Wrangler can be driven through the Rubicon, taking the bypasses. Most people should expect sheet metal damage, at a minimum. Larger tires (33”), a lift kit (3”), body protection (rocker guards) and a locking or limited slip differential should be considered to prevent damage.
Requirements from CA4WDC
The following list is from the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs. These items are required to partake in a CA4WDC sponsored event. This is a good starting place to prepare for a Rubicon run.
- Roll bar or full cage or factory hard top
- Functional Parking brake or Micro-Lock Tow strap or rope. (recommend rated at 2 times the vehicle weight)
- First aid kit (what do you want when you are hurt?)
- Jack capable of lifting the vehicle and a tool capable of removing lug nuts (don't forget your wheel locks)
- Spare tire equal to or within 3 inches of existing tires on the vehicle. (no temporary spares).
- Fire extinguisher with gauge indicating good/full, appropriately stored.
- Seat belts for all passengers.
- Antennas must not exceed 4'6" (except when longer antennas/whips are required by certain OHV areas).
- Adequate attachment points front and rear, i.e., tow hooks, receiver, etc. Tow balls are generally not recommended.
- Battery hold downs (no bungee cords)
- In case of trouble, carry an oil spill recovery kit. These can be picked up the kiosk at no charge. The kits are provided by El Dorado County.
Vehicle accessories you should consider:
- Hand tools
- Spare parts
- A spare tire
- Onboard welder
- A fire extinguisher
- A Winch rated at roughly twice your vehicle’s weight, preferably equipped with synthetic rope
- Extrication hardware (tree strap, clevis, dowels, chain, etc.)
- A tow strap
- Work gloves
- A Hi-lift jack
- Adequate attachment points for towing (tow hooks!)
- A roll cage
- High quality seat belts
- A functional parking brake or Line Lock device
It is legal to drive any street licensed vehicle from any US state on the Rubicon Trail.