Updated: Jul 10, 2019
It was a very sunny 4th of July weekend so the “Adventure Team” with a new recruit to the family we set off to the famous Rubicon Trail – its so close it could be in our back yard. For those not in the know, the Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile-long route, part road and part 4x4 trail, located in the Sierra Nevada of the western United States, due west of Lake Tahoe and about 80 miles (130 km) east of Sacramento.
Our new recruit “Johnny” was sporting a brand new Hydro3 Premium Insert – he was itching to test it out on the dusty Rubicon trail, so we formed a three-rig group aptly termed the “Rubicon Trio” – with all three rigs adapted with the Hydro3 package.
After staging at 7-Bells for coffee in Auburn we made the one and hour-half drive on highway 49 and 193 through Cool, CA with a gas/ice top off at Georgetown. The Red JK was parked at the trail head just for show and tell purposes at Loon Lake. We divvied up into two for door Jeep Wranglers and hit the trail.
The Loon Lake route is shorter, first crossing the Granite Bowl, a large open rock valley that leads to the passage called the Gatekeeper. A short distance beyond Walker Hill is the Soup Bowl. The Soup Bowl is a short climb with a series of ledges that are difficult to climb.
After passing the Soup Bowl, the Little Sluice awaits.
The Little Sluice, also known as the Sluice Box or simply as "The Box", is close to Spider Lake. Such can be bypassed in two ways for vehicles that cannot ascend the main trail. The most common bypass route is to the left of the obstacle known as the long bypass.
Both routes lead to Buck Island Lake. The granite slabs are off camber but are an easier and much quicker route to take. Now that was a party spot where the true value of Hydro3 came into play. We cooled off and soaked down a host of kids, parent's, and sobered up a few partier's who’d been on the trail since the 4th.
As this was an in-out trip we made the lake our mid-point. So that meant a full-on Rubicon nigh drive on the way back to Loon Lake.
All in all, a great show of wheeler's and happy campers.