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Unread 02-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #1
yellowrubicon
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Rubicon Trail Summer 2012 - realistic expectations?

I am planning an EPIC trip this summer. I live in VA and am planning a one month (perhaps even 5 weeks) trip out west. First to the Rubicon then on to Moab, then Colorado (Ouray??) then...??

I figure on spending two full days to run the Rubicon. I plan to start the trail on Monday morning (June 25th) and overnight at Rubicon Springs, then finish the trail the next day. I have some questions for those of you that have run the trail before and if you don't mind I'd like to pick the collective brain trust out there on a few things.

First, I have a 2006 TJ Rubicon with a 1" body lift, a 2" coil boost running 33s. Stock motor, stock 4.11 gears, warn 8000 lbs winch. Full Clayton engine/tcase skid plates and homemade rock rails. Here is a pic.


I am wondering, since I don't want to be jammed up in a traffic jam on the trail during the weekend, I figure I would start on a Monday. I am wondering how busy the trail is midweek? I don't want to be waiting hours sitting still waiting for others in front of me to get thru. But on the other hand, if I bust something, I don't want to be waiting for days between vehicles. My question then would be: On a weekday, how busy is the trail? Is it wise to run it during the week (M-F) or does it really matter?

Any idea what the weather is like in late June? I saw somewhere that there was snow on the trail thru June of 2011 but could not determine the extent (1 inch or 4 feet). Any thoughts?

And yes, I am nuts for driving 5500 miles at 12 MPG (towing this)

...but it's a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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Unread 02-20-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
XJohnnyC
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I'be always done the trail in late June. Fewer people and fewer mosquitoes. Only once, in '04, was there any significant snow. And I always do it mid-week, usually starting Thursday and finishing Saturday. You really shouldn't do it alone, but there will always be people out there, regardless of the time of the week.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
XJohnnyC
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Are you planning to go east-west or west-east? Rubicon Springs is closer to the east end. Going from Rubicon Springs to Loon Lake (or vice versa) is pretty ambitious for one day. It's best to plan for two nights' camping. One night at the Springs and another night at Buck Island Lake.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
yellowrubicon
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Was planning to camp at DLBliss Sunday night. Wake up Monday morning and drive around to Loon, then head east, Stopping at the springs, then head back to the DLBliss campground. I know I "should" run the trail with someone else, but who? I don't know anyone there and there aren't any organized runs planned then, so what to do? I will just be conservative and cautious. What else can I do?

I did invest in a "Spot" device to summon the calvary should the "oh crap" moment present itself. Yes, I know its not 100% but neither is a satellite phone or a ham radio.

So, take 5 days of food, water and some warm clothing, a tent, a sleeping bag, some bear spray, a sensible list of spare parts, 5 gallons of gas, a decent tool set, first aid kit, portable toilet and waste bags, etc.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
XJohnnyC
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Will you be alone or have passengers? There are some places where you definitely need a spotter.

Hell, I'd be up for another Rubicon trip. Is there any way you could do a Thursday-Saturday trip? That way, I'd only need to take two days off work.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:33 PM   #6
XJohnnyC
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And actually, a ham radio IS 100%. There is a repeater out there. Once, we came upon a rolled buggy that had the passenger pinned underneath. My buddy was able to use his ham radio to call for a helicopter, which arrived in about 30 minutes. The guy was in really bad shape, but he ended up making a full recovery. I now have a ham radio having seen firsthand how valuable they can be.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
yellowrubicon
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Alone. I tried talking the kids into going, but they are not into 4 straight 10 hour+ days of driving to get there. Not to mention the return trip or the week or two in Moab.

Unfortunately I have already made camping reservations and the place was almost full when when I made the reservations months ago. Must be a popular place around lake tahoe.

I was over at Pirate 4x4 poking around the Rubicon tread and might post up over there and see if anyone is planning to go and hook up with them. Hell, I just might run into a group Monday morning and just tagalong.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 12:57 AM   #8
Sccafire
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The Rubicon is a great place! This trip sounds like your first time. I would not go by yourself. You could start a thread here or Pirate or where ever to see if others might want to go. Winter this year has not been that bad so far. You should be okay.

As said before HAM is your best bet. Their is a repeater located on the trail that is linked to other repeaters. Also, there are people who monitor the repeater frequency for those that may need help.

You will also need a fire permit, even to use your regular camp stove. You can get them on-line and they are free. I don't have the link but I believe it is on Pirate somewhere.

Above all, have a good time.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 10:08 PM   #9
timatoe
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Thanks Scott I didn't know you could get them online.

Here's a link to the El Dorado and there's no mention of an online permit.... http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/passes/campfire/ Of course they haven't updated their site since Aug. '07

But here.... at the Sequoia there's a test etc. and you can print out a permit. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/pass...ire-index.html
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Unread 02-21-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
Sccafire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timatoe View Post
Thanks Scott I didn't know you could get them online.

Here's a link to the El Dorado and there's no mention of an online permit.... http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/passes/campfire/ Of course they haven't updated their site since Aug. '07

But here.... at the Sequoia there's a test etc. and you can print out a permit. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/passespermits/campfire_permit/campfire-index.html
Tim you can go here and get one in person. The link provided to print is not updated. As of right now the expiration date is wrong.

Tahoe National Forest
Forest Headquarters
631 Coyote Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
(530) 265-4531 (voice)
(530) 478-6118 (TDD)
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Unread 02-22-2012, 02:14 AM   #11
connor0770
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Like others have said I wouldn't do it alone. Traffic isn't as bad as you think it is. Especially going from loon to tahoe. You can get from loon to the springs in one day. The biggest problem is its a long day and you don't get to enjoy the trail as much. I would recommend going loon to buck. Camping and swimming. Then buck to springs and exploring the springs. Then springs up and out the next day. If you do some searching on pirate and Other sites, you should find lots of good info on the trail. I would highly recommend a HAM considering most everybody I know in SAR is listening to it waiting for a call on the 805. Good luck on your trip. I wish I could go with you and show you the trail.

-Connor
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Unread 02-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #12
timatoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccafire View Post
Tim you can go here and get one in person. The link provided to print is not updated. As of right now the expiration date is wrong.

Tahoe National Forest
Forest Headquarters
631 Coyote Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
(530) 265-4531 (voice)
(530) 478-6118 (TDD)
Yeah, that's where I normally go. My wife works there.
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Unread 02-23-2012, 12:41 AM   #13
plumber1
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Your weather in the area can change from nice to thunder storms in a few hours so make sure you have tarps and a coat. Also the Rubicon is closed certain times of the summer for the Jeep Jamboree and other events so you will want to check with the Forestry Dept. or others to be sure it open the dates you pcik. You may also wnat to spend a day or two in Tahoe if you have nevrer been there. And you may also want to consider at least a rear locker.
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Unread 02-29-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
yellowrubicon
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THANKS, EVERYONE for all the comments! Its probably too late to get up to speed for a Ham license this late in the game but I do have a CB, a cell phone, and a SPOT device. I do have a Rubicon (built just for running the Rubicon. LOL) so lockers are a given. After all the comments here, I think I'll plan on running the trail Monday, Tuesday, and head back to Tahoe on Wednesday. I'll post up some pictures/video on here after the trip. Thanks!
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Unread 02-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #15
connor0770
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You can get a HAM license in a weekend. I have read the book on it, just havent found time to take the test. Its pretty easy actually. I would def. recommend getting a HAM radio before the trip. I have multiple friends that sit on their HAM's waiting for a call from the Rubicon so they have an excuse to go wheeling (they are also in SAR).

Be sure to check out the pirate4x4 rubicon trail condition thread before you go. Good luck!
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