Planet 4x4 - Snake River Off Roaders on the Rubicon

Planet 4x4 Trip Reports

Snake River Off Roaders run the Rubicon

Snake River Off Roaders running the Rubicon


Some of the members of the Snake River Off Roaders went and hit the Rubicon. Come and check out how it went.
Story and most pics by cajack

View all of the Rubicon Pictures HERE

15Sept. – Jack, Brent, Lavell (and daughter), and Scott met at Scotts house prepared to hit the road. Brent and Jack each had their rigs on single trailers while Scott had borrowed a “long” trailer from Chuck (Boise) for his Bronco and Lavell’s Sami. After the obligatory hello’s we hit the road for Blackfoot to meet Mickey and Michelle. This is where things get interesting. Somewhere along the road to Blackfoot the idea was proposed that the “long” trailer was long enough for 3 rigs

So we met Mickey in Blackfoot and then proceeded to unload in the Checkers parking lot and rearrange to put the Bronco, Sami, and Cherokee on one trailer towed by Brent’s pickup, leave Scott’s pickup at Mickey’s and then hit the road. Once this was done the trip to CA was actually uneventful, occasioned by several stops along the way with late arrival (1:30 am) at the campsite. Chuck was already at Lake Tahoe waiting for the group after enjoying some time in Nevada.

16Sept – Official trip to start on Monday but those at the trail head decided to make a short run up the Barrett Lake trail. On this run Scott’s Bronco began to bleed auto tranny fluid.

17Sept and 18Sept – Entire group meets at Barrett Lake trail head but Scott decides to take his Bronco into Placerville for repairs so trail group consists of Jack (TJ), Lavell (Sami), Chuck (CJ-7), Brent (Cherokee), and Mickey (Toyota).

Barrett Lake is an in and out trail that takes about 4 hours one way. It is a fairly challenging trail that needs lift and lockers. Big rocks and great scenery. We went in on Monday, camped, and out on Tuesday. Only breakdown I recall was replacement of U joint retaining straps on the rear U joint of Chucks CJ-7 – quick fix.

19Sept – Group meets at Loon Lake to take on the Rubicon. Scott is back from Placerville with repairs completed and we also added a friend from CA – Vic in a CJ-7, so we have 7 vehicles total. Start the trail through Gatekeeper and Chuck breaks a shock mount which shorts out a power line which goes to rear of vehicle. Line melted and electrics shorted. Some splicing and Chuck is up and running. We then get on the granite slabs. Going up one of the large stair steps Lavell breaks a rear axle. No replacement so he continues in 3 wheel drive.

Also some where along the way Brent breaks the main spring in his left rear spring pack but no real effect on performance. We had a good time working our way through the trial, picking our lines, and enjoying the scenery. That brings us to Little Sluice where Mickey and Brent test their rigs. Both did an admirable job and their vehicles showed the time and effort they have put in on them by performing flawlessly.

During this leg of the trip Scott’s Bronco is having power steering problems and he getting a real workout on his arms. We disconnect the pump and drain the oil to lessen the steering effort. We continue to work our way down the trail until Vic bends his drag link. This necessitates some sacrifice of a High lift jack handle and on we go. Lavells Sami is also acting up and shears the left front hub bolts so he is now right wheel drive only. This goes from bad to worse and Brent tows him most of the way out.

Vic bends the tie rod and we donate another jack handle and across the slabs to Buck Island lake we go where we “limp” into camp leaving Scott about 200 yards from camp where his rag joint has torn out. While we set up camp Scott, Lavell, and Adam form a new rag joint and get the Bronco into camp a couple hours later. – Enough for day one on the trail? Camp is pleasant but the weather is cool with a chance of rain or even snow.

20Sept – We awaken to a light bit of snow on the ground. Not enough to make things slick, but just enough to keep the dust down. Our original plans to run the trail backwards are scrapped and we are just looking forward to finishing the trail. We break camp (wet tents) and head out under cloudy skies but no more snow. Down Big Sluice, to Rubicon Springs, lunch just downstream from the springs, up Cadillac Hill.

Pictures at observation point and out we go. Fix a tie rod end on Vics jeep. Then on the way out finally break it which takes an extra 4 hours to go get a part and bring it back. Wait at the Tahoe staging area for Brent to go around to Robbs Resort and bring the trailer back. All in all a long, but good day. Plenty of carnage, good trail, good friends. Good time.

Others attending the run:
Kota – Chucks golden retriever
Adam – Jacks son – Rubicon Trail
Brandon and Hayden – Jacks son and grandson – Barrett Lake trail
Michelle – Mickey's wife
Alex – Vics son

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