Rubicon, West Side

Total Miles


2,057.55 ft


8 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time


Trail Overview

The Rubicon is our all-time favorite. It's a mix of gorgeous scenery and very challenging terrain. Our group camped overnight at the halfway point below Buck Island Dam. Trail is under constant scrutiny by environmental groups; stay on designated route at all times. ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes are allowed. U.S.F.S. fire permit and portable toilet required. Official map and accurate trail information available free at

Photos of Rubicon, West Side

Rubicon, West Side
Rubicon, West Side
Rubicon, West Side


Difficult: West Side is dominated by open granite tracts interspersed with tight boulder fields and tall ledges. Lockers, lifts, 33" minimum tire size and skilled driver recommended. Optional Little Sluice and Old Big Sluice significantly increase difficulty.


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

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Trail Time
Jun 27, 2023
Cj Arnesen
Feb 01, 2023
1981 Jeep CJ

Access Description

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 thetrail). 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).

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