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Old 07-18-2002, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Loon Lake slabs - Lower bypass around gatekeeper

Ok, I was reading another thread, and Aggro mentioned the lower route on the slabs that goes around the "Gatekeeper" is illegal. I was just wondering if he came up with that himself, or if the powers-that-be really consider this route to be "illegal".

I took this route for the first time on 4th of July, to get around the traffic jam at the swamp/Gatekeeper. As far as I know, this route has been there for a long time, so Im not sure if it's "illegal" or not?

It is a longer way around, but it is a nice way to go to get around traffic jams. But I don't want to use it if it's "illegal". And if it IS indeed illegal, we need to block off access to it.
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Not to say that it is not an "illegal route", but if it is infact not a sanctioned route then why hasn't the Forestry Service mentioned that to us when they ask us to block the bypasses for them and such?
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't come up with it myself. I have asked two rangers on two occasions about it, both said it was a "spur" trail and not the intended route. I believe they (usfs) dropped trees across that route a few years back, but the trees have been removed and the trail relocated to go thru. There are about 3 different trail "down there". One going to wentworth has been closed for alot of years. The other routes just go to the bowl. I am interested to hear status on this from "someone in the know" rather than just the local ranger on duty.
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought the trail was on my Eldorado NF map.

I also thought it got blocked 2 years ago during the pirate cleanup.

I'll look at my map tonight. I was up on turd patrol 2 years ago so I'm not sure. Maybe check your past cleanup reports...

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Old 07-18-2002, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a pic from Harold's http://www.rubicontrail.com site:

This shows the Loon Lake bypass that everyone assumes is part of the trail. For another discussion at another time, note that this is NOT part of the 'unmaintained county road' originally annexed by the county (that would be the entrance through Wentworth Springs).

Back on the subject: the trail I'm thinking of has spurs, and that's part of the confusion. When you cross the slabs, you go downhill, then pretty much turn to the right and head a little uphill (toward Loon) to the Gatekeeper/Carwash/Swamp (GCS on the map below). This line takes you into the top of the slab on the sorta-peninsula between the junction of Loon/Pleasant Lake.


The 'lower route' has been there and been well-established for at least 6 years, which is as far as my Rubicon experience goes back. In the last three years, its entrance has been widened immensely -- but then so has Walker Hill. (Hell did Soup Bowl even EXIST four years ago? Now THAT is a newish spur trail, for sure!)

I started with Harold's USGS image and added a rough track for the 'lower route' in orange -- it turns left and proceeds downhill (away from Loon), then cuts down a fairly loose, bouldered hill I've heard called the 'Rose Garden' (RH on the map below) The route continues through the trees to the bank of a small creek, then splits. One fork goes down and into the swamp proper (Creek on the map below), my guess is that this eventually comes out at Wentworth. The other route turns hard right at the river and heads back uphill, then zigs across to the bottom of the slabs. This is a well-hardened chunk of trail (with several braided spurs) that empties out right near where the Marlin Crawler Roundup (MCR on the map below) was held last year. There's almost always a water pit at the very bottom of the slabs, even late in the season. This trail goes through that pit or around it on the Loon side.

Again, that's a ROUGH route, based on memory. I have no GPS data in front of me. You get the general idea -- just don't try to follow it.

Also, FWIW, until we are sure about the disposition of this chunk of trail, we should probably all stay off it.

Special thanks to Mudmaid, for posting this picture for me!

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Old 07-19-2002, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What I wonder is where the FS land stops and Where the private land begins. The granite bowl is private property. A look at a FS map will tell you that. The FS may not care that there is a trail across "granite" leading to the PP. It all depends on where that line is. I know Mark Smith was agreeing to do GPS of the trail, IF it include ALL the options. I heard him say that at the meeting in Placerville.
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
It is a longer way around, but it is a nice way to go to get around traffic jams. But I don't want to use it if it's "illegal". And if it IS indeed illegal, we need to block off access to it.
Lance, I just got off the phone with Mark Smith and he said there is no problem with using the lower trail.

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Old 07-21-2002, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I have seen jeepers/wheelers use that lower trail for as many years as I have wheeled the con. I just never knew where they were coming out of except the bushal of trees that are down there. Everybody I asked about it didn't exactly know either, although they also noticed that several people have ventured that way.

I did notice when we drove through it is was a clean trail. And the wonderful part was that it appeared that everybody stayed on the trail.
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Old 07-21-2002, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cruzila


Lance, I just got off the phone with Mark Smith and he said there is no problem with using the lower trail.

Scott
Since it's his property, I guess that's all we need to know.
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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july 2005 update.

Use the gatekeeper entrance to the Rubicon. The lower route (if you don't know where it is don't ask) is not to be used. That is a request of land owners involved.

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