Jeep Trail Reports

MJR Rubicon Run ’06

July 21-23, 2006
Lake Tahoe Area, Northern California

Day One: Friday

Breakfast at Icehouse started the day for most of the group. (Well, we actually got McDonald’s breakfast, but who’s counting?) We headed for the trailhead on time as it started to rain. It was a California rain though, just enough to dampen the road. We were actually glad to see a cloudy sky after the scorching drive north.

We were sad to see a rocky road where gatekeeper used to challenge our rigs. We were through in no time and on to the first group of granite slabs.

We were pleased to see new trail markers and signs to keep everyone on the same path. The rain ceased, but the clouds remained. We conquered obstacle after obstacle with little difficulty and no breakage.

Blktj was the first to give Soup Can Rock a try, but Matt was the first and only to conquer it. Matt returned a tug of the specialty spotter line when Erik decided to give Little Sluice a try. This year, not far off from last, this obstacle was less of a trail, more of a giant boulder pile. After a couple hours of trying, Erik chose not to sacrifice his door jambs and winched out of the obstacle. You wouldn’t know it by the giant grin on his face but he kinda got his ass handed to him.

We continued on, hoping to be at camp early enough to still enjoy the chilly water of Buck Island Lake. The clouds put on a gorgeous show for us all day long, as the sun peaked in and out to keep us at a comfortable temperature. With the lake in sight, everyone was anxious to take their lake-water shower and swim off the dirt. Evening brought about a short cloud burst as the sun began to set. The guys gathered to wrench and weld on Jason’s jeep, which suffered a broken front shackle hanger. It was successfully repaired with an on-board welder, and ready to hit the trail in the morning.

Day Two: Saturday

Everyone was up and ready to go relatively bright and early. Not far from camp, Sully’s jeep started making a horrendous squealing noise. He lost his serpentine belt idler pulley bearing! Miraculously, an incredibly well-prepared (anal) guy named Rick had a spare. Within an hour we were all back on the trail.

We encountered some traffic at the Big Sluice descent, as usual. Chris cracked his front track bar mount in the middle of it all. Not too far from camp, he decided to take it easy and fix it upon arrival.

Chris was the first to reach Rubicon Springs around 1PM and claim our favorite spot in the far corner of the slabs. We spent the afternoon chatting (in person), swimming and telling great/amazing/shocking stories. Viva Las Vegas!

Day Three: Sunday

We were starting to feel the effects of living outside for two days (including the jilldog), but everyone was still excited to get going in the morning. Right off the slabs, we were faced with oncoming traffic: runners! We wondered who in their right mind would be running opposite Cadillac Hill on a Sunday morning, but we were passed by these triathletes throughout the day. Cadillac hill was uneventful except for the regular backup. This time it was a Nissan Pathfinder holding us up. We know you’re thinking, “what!?” but so were we. At the top we posed for the famous photo and headed back to South Lake Tahoe to say our goodbyes.

Official Damage Report

Matt – Crushed front ARB bulkhead fitting
Chris – Water pump and track bar mount torn from axle, brake line
Tam – Track bar came loose
Kyle – Idler pulley fried
Jason – Shackle hanger torn from frame, bent drag link
Kurt – Melted spare tire

‘Til next year!


  • nick santilli says:

    I do not see a complete list of must have parts,or a list of must have camping equipment for the rubicon on any sites.please help.

    • Sarah Jacobs says:

      Hi Nick, you’ll need everything you can carry. Spares, tools, food, water, and a free-standing tent because much of the ground is rock. Once you’re in there, there’s no quick way out and you’re on your own. It’s the best! Does that help?