Archives for category: – Campgrounds

The Rubicon Trail is one of the toughest in the country. Though some of the most truck-destroying obstacles have reportedly been made less trecherous in recent years, the trail is still a grueling, 12-mile challenge. If you’re interested in tackling it, check out this video review from Terraflex. It’s one of the first I’ve seen that gives a good overview.

This is a 10-out-of-10 difficulty trail. Stock trucks can make it with difficulty but should expect damage. According to the video, 35″ tires, lockers, and 3″ of lift could be considered baseline for making through without undue stress.

If you do go, do your research, and don’t go alone. I’ve included some links below to get you started.

Thanks to Greg from gadmachine for suggesting this video.

Links:
Rubicon Trail Foundation (vehicle and general prep.
)
County of Eldorado (trail conditions)

WCXC: Rookies on the Rubicon (a 7-part series on this site of man’s first time on the trail)

Rookies on the Rubicon• WCXC
Loon Lake trailhead and amazing overflow sluice (trail starts beyond the shack) Photos: Caleb Knight and Jeremy Knight. Story editing: Nik Schulz

This is an multi-part post written by Jeremy Knight about his first time on the Rubicon.

Rookies on the Rubicon, Part 2

Loon Lake Trailhead

As the day grew closer, I continued my internet research and Erik sent me YouTube clips. I could tell that he was having second thoughts. Some of the video was daunting: people breaking things, people rolling over and doing major vehicle damage, people getting hopelessly stuck. What were we thinking? Did we really have any business doing this sort of thing? Or would we be like hikers on Everest, wearing tennis shoes and looking really foolish while begging for a piggyback ride to safety?

One thing I noticed in the videos was that nobody was driving an FJ. They were all Jeeps, mostly modified Rubicon’s, or buggies, but no FJs. Well, there was one video in which a guy in an FJ tried to clear a nasty rock shelf and ripped his entire rear bumper off. I tried to ignore that one, it almost looked deliberate. I finally found a blog called Last Great Road Trip that told a story of a group of FJs that successfully went through during the 2013 Rubithon event, a sort of Jamboree for Toyotas. Unfortunately they were all highly-modified with long-travel kits, 35s, and re-geared axles. To top it off, they were guided by some guy named “Woodie” who apparently knew all of the trail’s rocks by name. Only one of them escaped without body damage. Read the rest of this entry »

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If you’re planning a trip up to BC, check out this post on the best campgrounds in British Columbia.

CBDT 763
Photo: Gregory McDonald

Read the whole post here.

Our last morning out on the CBDT found us patting ourselves on the back for finding such a great campsite. I made us a special breakfast of fresh crepes and hot Masala chai, and we soaked up the sun and the view.

While we were eating we heard some yelling from the road but thought it was hunters. Then, a few moments later, we saw a man walking through the woods towards our camp. He was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and, when he got closer, we could see he was Latino. We called out, “Hello? Hello?” and got no response. We were a little on edge when he walked out of the woods, into our small clearing and stopped. Read the rest of this entry »

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Back on the CBDT on Forest Road 23. Photo: Nik Schulz

Read the whole post here.

After a little target shooting and a bit of breakfast we got back on Forest Road 23 and continued up the California Backcountry Discovery Trail. We weren’t sure where we would stop for the night but since we were passing by Ruth Lake again, only this time at much higher elevation on the ridge above the lake, we thought we’d find something there.

I don’t know if it had anything to do with my totem pants — a pair of white jeans I painted in the style of Pacific Northwest native art and which seem to convey good fortune on many a situation 🙂 — but we were blown away by the beautiful spot we found.

Read the rest of this entry »

CBDT 601
Ruth Lake: Photo: Gregory McDonald

Read the whole post here.

On this part of our trip up the California Backcountry Discovery Trail, we spent a couple of nights at Fir Cove Campground on Ruth Lake. After leaving there we found one of the nicest remote campsites of the trip. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our camp at Watts Lake. Photo: Gregory McDonald

Our fourth day on the California Backcountry Discovery Trail, found us waking at Watt’s Lake. Our goal for the day was to zig-zag east to Ruth Lake. Unlike Watts Lake, Ruth Lake was bigger than a swimming pool and actually had water in it. From what we’d heard, it was quite nice.

To get there we took 1S07 and 1S11 past the Lassics Botanical Area. One of the mountains looked like a little volcano but our Forest Service stated that this wasn’t the case.

CBDT 4:5 - 02
Photo: Gregory McDonald Read the rest of this entry »

Photo: Gregory McDonald

Our goal for the third day of our trip was to reach the intersecting forks of the Van Deusen River, in the Six Rivers National Forest, southwest of Ruth Lake. I figured we might find a good campsite there. So, at about 10:30am, we broke camp and left our site at 22N63 behind. Read the rest of this entry »


I went on a nice little solo trip up to the Sierra Nevada this past summer, found some great back country camp sites, and thought I’d share them with you. Keep these in mind for next summer when the snow clears.

See the map at the end of the post for exact locations. Read the rest of this entry »


Photo: Natalie Menacho

On the homeward leg of our Southwest Trip we made a quick stop in the Santa Ynez Mountains, which were pretty pleasant. We didn’t have time to hit the trails but if you’re looking for an interesting road in that area, my maps (and Google) show about 10 miles of dirt that run along the spine of the mountains northwest of Santa Barbara. The road is called West Camino Cielo (Forest Route 5N12). There’s also Arroyo Burro Road (Forest Route 5N20) directly north of Santa Barbara and east of Hwy. 154.

Towards the end of Gibraltar Road, before the reservoir, there’s a nice little swimming hole. See map for location. We weren’t the first ones to discover it. It’s a popular spot in the summer so unfortunately you’ll have to watch out for glass and bottle caps. Read the rest of this entry »