Off-road vehicle enthusiasts and officials from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission (OHMVR) met on Sept. 14, for a tour of the historic Rubicon Trail.
Dan Canfield, who is the Planning Manager for the OHMVR, said that about 35 off-road vehicles participated in the ride that went from Loon Lake to Spider Lake. Along for the ride were members of the OHMVR Commission, representatives of the Central California Water Board and the US Forest Service, El Dorado County Supervisors Jack Sweeney and Ron Briggs, off-road vehicle enthusiasts, and members of the public.
One of the stops along the route was at Ellis Lake where there are plans to build a bridge. Funds for the project will come from a federal grant obtained by El Dorado County. Canfield said the bridge should be built by next summer. There are also ongoing efforts to maintain the trail and prevent erosion and pollution.
On Sept. 15 the Commission held a public meeting in the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chambers. Canfield said the meeting attracted about 20 to 30 people. They heard a presentation by El Dorado County on their efforts to sustain the trail and ensure continued access. Sweeney and county staff also highlighted the cooperative relationship they have established with federal and state agencies in protecting the trail and public access.
The Rubicon Trail is 25 miles long, with 12 miles of it in El Dorado County. It is historically important because of its long time use, first by the Indians and later by different groups seeking a route across the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was home to trappers, ranchers and water merchants. In the early 1900s, milk trucks used the trail and a hotel was built along it.
Driving the trail became increasingly popular in the 1950s when Jeeps came into production. Because of its difficult nature, travel is limited to those either walking or driving an off-road vehicle. Thousands of people travel it every year from Memorial to Labor Day.
Canfield said the tour and meeting were “very positive experiences” with the trail functioning as a “good economic driver” for the county.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.