Rubicon Trail


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Of all the trails in the world, The Rubicon Trail is the one and the only trail to top them all. Located in the Sierra Nevada, the Rubicon Trail is located directly due west of Lake Tahoe crossing rivers, lakes, and granite in the El Dorado. So popular is this place, auto manufacturers regularly use this trail as the gauge to test their new vehicles on.

The trail technically begins in Wentworth Springs, but the typical 4×4 enthusiast is looking to start the trail at Loon Lake. The first obstacle encountered is Walker Hill which is a climb up a rocky section to a notch that is either straddled or side-hilled. After which the trail continues on to the Soup Bowl, a series of ledges that are difficult to climb in short wheel base vehicles and/or low ground clearance.

The most difficult section of the Rubicon Trail is The Little Sluice. In 2012 the Little Sluice was in sense destroyed because it was so difficult that most, if not nearly all, bypassed the obstacle. The reason for doing this was because so had to bypass this part of the trail and in doing so drove onto private property. Even with the damage done to the Little Sluice, it is still difficult to pass.

Once pass the the Little Sluice, the trail continues on to Buck Island Lake, The Big Sluice, and finally into Rubicon Springs where events like Jeep Jamboree, Toyota Land Cruiser Association’s Rubithon, and Marlin Crawler Round-Up take place. Rubicon Springs has plenty of room for camping, emergencies helicopter landing area, and breath taking views. Most people like to hold up here and camp for the night.

Finishing off the Rubicon Trail, after a good night rest is Cadillac Hill. Cadillac hill is bunch switchbacks that lead up to the observation point in the rutted section of the trail with exposed tree roots. At the top is Observation Point over looking the Rubicon Trail you just drove. Once you have finished taken in the sights and sounds, take a dirt road to Lake Tahoe.

Special thanks to JK Experience for the photos.