Rubicon Trail Snow Run
Rubicon Trail Entrance - Wentworth Springs Rd., January 2010
We hauled Dave's 2009 Polaris RZR S and my 2010 Polaris
RZR S up to the Rubicon last weekend to see how far we could get into
the Rubicon. The goal was to head up the Wentworth Springs Rd.
instead of the Loon Lake route because the steep granite slabs around
Loon Lake can be a bit treacherous.
The road isn't plowed just past the turnoff to Look
Lake. From there, you can unload and ride in legally over the
pavement (as long as there is snow on the road that restricts normal
traffic). The paved road had been traveled on by some full sized
vehicles with a wider stance than us so that made the drive interesting.
It was like being at Disneyland on Autotopia except you would sometimes
just pop out of the tracks for some random reason. It was probably six
mile from there to the "trailhead" where the road turns to dirt. On
thing to note is once the snow hits, you should only drive on the trail
if there is enough snow to cover the dirt. There is a big fight between
off-roaders, environmentalist and also water quality boards, and this is
one of the tools they are using to close down access.
Trail leading into Wentworth Springs Campground
The weather was warmer than I expected and the snow was
melting pretty quick. We made it to the Wentworth Springs Campground (Google
Maps) without any issue. Just a few creek crossings and packed
and rutted snow. Wentworth Springs Campground lies at 6,000 feet
and is situated alongside Gerle Creek.
Wentworth Springs Campground
Once you leave Wentworth Springs Campground, the rock
crawling portion of the trail begins. But depending on the amount
of snow, and if the snow is packed down well enough, the trail can be
completely different than in the summer. Since the weather was fairly
warm, we had several instances where the snow/ice under us collapsed.
The RZRs are light enough so this didn't happen very often.
We made it past some spots on the trail that are tough
in the summer, but were pretty much a cakewalk for us.
Once we broke out to a large slab area that was facing
south-west, the warm temperatures to its' toll. The snow was mushy
enough to the point that we were getting high centered and this is where
a UTV without tracks typically comes to a stop. From the point
where we stopped, there was a adopt a trail plaque from the El Dorado
Jeepherders club, and we could see the Loon Lake damn in the distance.
A bit father up the trail, and I think we could have made it all the way
in past Ellis Creek and to Little Sluice.
One other thing to note about winter travel on the
Rubicon Trail. This is unforgiving territory. Do not travel
alone, and make sure you have proper equipment to spend the night in
case of breakdown. It may be very difficult, if not impossible to tow a
broken rig out.