Ride Spot Trip Reports

Rubicon Trail UTV Challenge

Rubicon Trail

The Rubicon Trail located in Northern California is world famous among 4×4 fans. The trail was established in the late 1800’s as a stage coach route between Georgetown and Lake Tahoe mainly to serve two resort hotels at Wentworth Springs and Rubicon Springs. After the hotels went out of business and the road deteriorated it was picked as home for the first Jeepers Jamboree in 1953. Since then it has gained international recognition and is considered the “Granddaddy” of all four-wheel trails – a 10 on most scales. The Rubicon Trail is actually an unmaintained county right of way – the Rubicon/McKinney Road.

What I envision for this “challenge” is to cover the trail in a UTV from Wentworth Springs all the way through the trail to at least the top of Cadillac Hill (Observation Point) and back in one day.

Why the challenge?

The Rubicon is a great trail that is primarily home to jeeps and other 4x4s.  UTVs are becoming more prevalent in the rock crawling arena, and this challenge is a great way to push the industry and enthusiast to rock crawl more with their UTVs.

For years, Jeep/Chrysler has used the Rubicon Trail as a proving ground for for their products.  UTV manufacturers should do the same. Manufacturers that would like their UTV tested and reviewed on the Rubicon Trail can contact Jon Crowley at jon@utvguide.net.

Bonus Points:

If tackling the normal route isn’t enough challenge for you, there are a few additional challenges that can be added for extra credit!

  • Choosing Little Sluice instead of normal bypass.

  • Choosing Old Big Sluice instead of the more traditional route down the slabs. 

  • Starting/Finishing at Airport Flat (also a good camp spot) and traveling up through Wentworth Springs.

  • Making it all the way to the end of the trail on the Lake Tahoe side.

This is nothing more than an unofficial challenge.  Nothing organized or sanctioned. You can do this on your own and submit pictures and/or video for proof.

Who is ready?

First Successful Trip – October 18, 2012

Polaris RZR XP 900 EPS Orange Madness/Blue LEPolaris RZR XP 900 EPS Orange Madness/Blue LEPolaris RZR XP 900 EPS Orange Madness/Blue LEPolaris RZR XP 900 EPS Orange Madness/Blue LE
Rubicon Trail – Completed the first ever Rubicon UTV Challenge.  Loon Lake to Lake Tahoe and back in a day! Read more: RZR XPs Complete the Rubicon Challenge

Rubicon Challenge Trip Reports:

Other Rubicon Trip Reports:

Rubicon Trail Information:

Help Keep The Rubicon Trail Open!
The Rubicon Trail is under attack by environmental extremist that don’t want off-road vehicles to use our National Forests. Do your part to keep the trail open by staying on the designated trail. El Dorado County Sheriff routinely patrols the trail, and will issue tickets to anyone that is off the trail.

Parking and Staging Areas:

  • Loon Lake
    Ample parking exists right at the trailhead, with overflow and oversize parking available in the gravel lot adjacent to the Loon Lake Chalet. There is a public toilet at the Chalet and a kiosk with trail information and a public toilet at the trailhead.
    Google Maps – Loon Lake Trail Head
  • Wentworth Springs
    Road-side parking is quite limited. There is a small area near the junction of Wentworth Springs Roadand 14NO5 that can accommodate a few tow rigs. There is also a fair amount of parking in the area of Airport Flat Campground. There is also a kiosk with trail information and limited parking at WentworthSprings campground.
    Wentworth Springs Rd – Trailhead – Google Maps
  • Airport Flat Campground
    Google Maps – Airport Flats Campground
  • Lake Tahoe
    There is a staging area with public toilets and signs.
    Google Maps – Staging Area near Tahoma, CA

More Resources:

Rubicon Trail – It’s In Your Hands from EDC Information Technologies on Vimeo.

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