Aerial view of the Rubicon Trail, photo by the Rubicon Trail FoundationRubicon Trail has long been a favorite for off-roaders, but if you’ve been keeping up with the latest news from or other side by side blogs, you’ve probably seen this hotspot in action as top industry leaders like to test their rides on this trail.

Rubicon Trail is located in the El Dorado National Forest, in the Sierra Nevada – just a bit west of Lake Tahoe and 80 miles east of Sacramento, CA. It’s about 22 miles long and it’s part road and part 4×4 trail, making it a haven for side by side riders as well as a host of other off-road vehicles, Jeeps, and trucks.

Historically, this trail runs from Georgetown, CA to Tahoma, CA and it started off as a Native American trade route. Eventually, over time and as more people settled in the region, it became a stagecoach route. In the early 1900’s, tourism in the Lake Tahoe region started to boom and with it came additional communities and attractions dedicated to enjoying the great outdoors.

In 1952, a group of residents from the Georgetown area got together and organized a Jeep tour of the Rubicon Trail, including more than 150 people in 55 Jeeps. This sparked the off-roading popularity of the trail and even today, the tradition continues with four-wheelers organizing events to take the same trip in the last weekend of July each year.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, interest in the integrity and maintenance of the Rubicon Trail grew with the California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs working closely with the U.S. Forest Service and Lahontan Water Control Board to maintain the water quality of Lake Tahoe and the Rubicon Trail.

Over the next few decades, a number of improvements were made to the region and the trail itself, but it wasn’t until 2010 when El Dorado County secured a grant to bring the trail up to California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division standards that there was a concerted effort to maintain the trail. In fact, 2010’s grant-driven improvements were the first organized maintenance projects since the 1930s.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen some monumental developments on the Rubicon Trail, including a historic agreement between El Dorado County and the U.S. Forest Service that locks into place a definition of the trail through the forest and formally puts the County in charge of the road itself.

Today, thousands use the Rubicon Trail for off-roading events of all types and organizations like the Rubicon Trail Foundation work to maintain its integrity and keep it open for use for side by side riders and adventurers on four wheels. Camping and recreation opportunities abound on the trail and around the area, making it an awesome destination for any UTVer.

Here’s where you can grab a copy of the trail map and start exploring. To learn more about the Rubicon Trail, visit the Rubicon Trail Foundation or you can start planning your visit with these details.