Rubicon, West Side
Rubicon offers beauty and brawn and a lot of fun. ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes are allowed. There is camping available if you want to take a few days to play on the difficult terrain, but there are some rules you must follow if this trail is to remain open. A U.S.F.S. fire permit and a portable toilet are required, and you must stay on the designated route at all times.
The Rubicon Trail has a long history dating back to 1844. Rubicon Springs once had a hotel, but in 1908 it was destroyed by 8-ft.- deep flood waters. Even today, Rubicon Springs is closed much of the winter due to flooding. The first Georgetown Jeepers Jamboree occurred in 1952 and still continues today, the last weekend of July. More history at www.rubicontrailfoundation.org.
From U.S. Hwy. 50, between Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, head north on paved, wellmarked Icehouse Road. Turn right after 23 miles (left here goes to Wentworth Springs, an alternate way to drive to the trail). Stay on Icehouse Road another 9 miles until you cross Loon Lake Dam. Bear left downhill after dam to reach start. Gas available on Hwy. 50 at Kyburz, 8 miles east of Icehouse Road (Credit-card pumps open 24 hours).