Rubicon, Fordyce and others

R3

Offroad Committee Lead
Member 2024
Blue Ribbon Coalition
VA4WDA
Advanced planning is beginning for a west coast trip. Two bucket list trail are The Rubicon and Fordyce.
When looking at 2025 Aug/Sept. Thinking 8-10 days travel, and 8- 10 days of the trails and Cali sites.

Just starting to research and looking for a good tight crew. Plan is to drive out camp along the way. This worked very well on the South Dakota run.
It will be a long ride out , great salt lake might be a good distraction then it is off to Nevada....

I know of three that are up for this...if you are interested... Jump on the thread. Reached out to JP (West coaster) for some good info...

Big thing to watch with Fordyce is the water crossings and timed damn release... While I would like to avoid a event run, it might be the best way to experience this trail.

Required:
Jeep well prepared
Minimum of 35 inch tires
Winch mandatory
Recovery gear
VHF GMRS radio.

Spare parts.

I know @CookieMonster and @granitecreep have explored the area before. Initial thought is a week+ in Cali with 4-5 days transit each way.

If interested chime in and we can begin laying out a plan

Red Jeep out
 
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The Rubicon was a great experience and the trail lives up to the hype.

My initial thoughts:
Always check the outhouses for snakes
I wish we had planned on taking 3 days on the trail instead of 2
Bring way more water than you think necessary
Pack a swimsuit and some watershoes, there are several swimming holes
Lake Tahoe is a great place to hang out for a bit afterward to let your brain recharge

Enjoy your trip!

I am currently brainstorming how/when to get out to Moab in 2025. My next trip to CA might be for Dusy Ershim.

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I’m definitely interested. This summer I’m planning on doing the Rubicon again with friends in late June before it gets mobbed.

Fordyce is a bigger challenge- I’d recommend min 37 for that vs min 35 for Rubi. Even with that you may need to bypass some winch hills. Its easiest to run in Aug with Cal4Wheel’s Sierra Trek event because they work with PG&E to limit the water levels at the dams. Otherwise it can hit or miss at water crossings (might swallow you, might not). I’ve run it once on 40s. None of my friends did (mix of 35s/37s).

Dusy looks grueling lol. None of us were ever up for 30mi of getting pinned between a rock and a tree (over and over and over). Anyway you can do that here!! :D
 
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I’m definitely interested. This summer I’m planning on doing the Rubicon again with friends in late June before it gets mobbed.

Fordyce is a bigger challenge- I’d recommend min 37 for that vs min 35 for Rubi. Even with that you may need to bypass some winch hills. Its easiest to run in Aug with Cal4Wheel’s Sierra Trek event because they work with PG&E to limit the water levels at the dams. Otherwise it can hit or miss at water crossings (might swallow you, might not). I’ve run it once on 40s. None of my friends did (mix of 35s/37s).

Dusy looks grueling lol. None of us were ever up for 30mi of getting pinned between a rock and a tree (over and over and over). Anyway you can do that here!! :D
Thanks for the input. from the research I am starting to do a larger tire on Fordyce looks to be more advantageous. The water crossings look Killer too. I hear ya on the flow rate. Had to rescue a rig some years back that began to get carried away and the driver panicked. had to drive all the way cross country to have the rig washed away. I want to touch base with the club out there too. Maybe the event is the way to go or maybe just before or right after for a quieter run. All good input.
 
The Rubicon was a great experience and the trail lives up to the hype.

My initial thoughts:
Always check the outhouses for snakes
I wish we had planned on taking 3 days on the trail instead of 2
Bring way more water than you think necessary
Pack a swimsuit and some watershoes, there are several swimming holes
Lake Tahoe is a great place to hang out for a bit afterward to let your brain recharge

Enjoy your trip!

I am currently brainstorming how/when to get out to Moab in 2025. My next trip to CA might be for Dusy Ershim.

View attachment 8298
Thanks for the trail report. I understand the trail is rock from start to finish. Camping along the trail? are there established sites or just as you find them?
 
So the trail is full of granite slabs, there is also the occasional spot of dirt and several good places for camping.

Here are the areas the foundation recommends for camping

If you look at the trailsoffroad page for the trail, they note which waypoints are good for camping with a tent icon.

Rubicon Soda Springs is a private camp ground and has tons of great camping spots. It is also deceptively long, you cross the bridge into the area and you might still have 40-60 minutes of rock crawling to your camping area. I believe you fill out the form online, then maybe a month or two later you'll get an email confirming. And then there is another confirmation phone call some time later. Check out their site.

We started early (departed ~6am) from south shore, aired down at Loon Lake (~8am) and ate lunch just down the hill from soup bowl, crossed the rubicon soda springs bridge about 5:15, found our campground well after 6pm. I was mentally drained. Splitting this long day into two days would have been more enjoyable and allowed for more time to play on the obstacles and a chance to take the harder routes.

I've also seen some people turn it into a 5+ day trip by running it one way, turning around and then running it back the other way.
 
So with three trail on the list:
- Rubicon (2 day) 22 miles
- Dusty Ershim (3 Day) 30 Miles
- Fordyce (1 Day) 12 miles

Question arises is where to drop tow rigs and trailers central to all three trails?. These are point to point runs as well which dictates Street licensed rigs.
Looking at the Rubicon trail my Off road trailer would likely make that and maybe Dusty as well. Fordyce looks like a killer trail 9-10 out of 10.

Thinking either take on Fordyce first or last.... being the hardest of the three.
 
I don’t have a trailer - for the Rubicon IIRC people who do drop them at / near Tom’s Cabin campground area. We usually camp about 1mi from the trailhead down one of the many boat-ramp trails that lead to the lake. It’s awesome.

Fordyce has a staging area near the highway but the Sierra Trek grounds are all the way around about an hour away. Easier to drop them, drive and camp at the trailhead.

Dusy- I’ve been near it. There’s all sorts of random camp spots nearby.
 
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