Rubicon Trail

Guided Trips on the Rubicon

The Rubicon Trail is quite possibly the most famous Jeep trail on the planet. Originally a stagecoach road through the high Sierra Mountains, the “road” has become an iconic test of endurance and skill through breathtaking granite mountains - twelve miles that can take four days and provide memories that last a lifetime!

No previous 4x4 experience is required. A Barlow’s certified trainer will guide you through the trail, and provide you with tips and tricks to build your 4-wheeling skills and help you learn all about the wonderful Rubicon Trail. Multi-day guided trips on the Rubicon are available seasonally from early July through early September. There are no facilities or accommodations anywhere on this primitive trail and no shortcuts out. Once you begin the trail, you are committed to run the entire length.

To learn more about vehicle requirements, click here.

For basic information on what to pack and what is provided, click here.

Participating drivers must be 18 years of age or older. Jeep rentals require 25 years of age or older, driver's license, credit card, and full-coverage auto insurance in the renter's name. Please email or call us if you have questions.

 

Scheduled Group Trips

1-Day Rubicon Rock Crawling Course

Try out the trail and hone your skills!

What better place to learn rock crawling than on the trail that spawned the sport and gave its name to the most capable Jeep ever produced? Start out mild and gradually work your way up to bigger and bigger rocks, learning about how the vehicle works, and how to analyze terrain for yourself. Experience Wentworth Springs, Postpile, and Granite Bowl. Led by Barlow Adventures' certified guide, Nick Cimmarusti.

Rubicon Tours Booking policy: Full payment required to book tour. 
Cancellation policy: 60 days or more notice is 75% refund. 30 days or more notice is 50% refund. Less than 30 days notice extends no refund. No refunds for unused portions of the trip.
Use your own approved 4x4 rig:
$750 per vehicle


None available at this time. Please see Custom Guided Trips below.


 

3-Day Rubicon Tour

Experience the famous Rubicon Trail, under the guidance of friendly and professional guides. The small group size guarantees personal attention and an enjoyable and relaxed trip pace. Three days and two nights on the trail. Recommend 12 years of age or older for children. Led by Barlow Adventures' certified guide, Nick Cimmarusti. Included with this trip:

  • Guided round-trip from Georgetown CA
  • Max group size: 10 guests
  • Camping equipment: tent, air mattress, sleeping bag, pillow
  • Plenty of delicious food and beverages

Rubicon Tours Booking policy: Full payment required to book tour. 
Cancellation policy: 60 days or more notice is 75% refund. 30 days or more notice is 50% refund. Less than 30 days notice extends no refund. No refunds for unused portions of the trip.
Use a Barlow Jeep: $3,950 per Jeep, 1-2 people
Use your own approved 4x4 rig:  $2,450 per vehicle, 1-2 people (additional cost for 3 or more) 


None available at this time. Please see Custom Guided Trips below.


 

Custom Private Rubicon Trips

Barlow Adventures also offers custom private guided group trips across this iconic trail. Each trip can be tailored to the needs of your particular group and trips generally cover 2-4 days on the trail with nightly camping under the stars. Simple guide service, or full trail support "glamping" may be arranged for your family or corporate group, team building or production crew. Rent super-capable Barlow Adventures Jeeps (vehicle transport costs apply), or bring your own modified rigs (by prior approval of an instructor).

Please fill out and submit the form below to speak with a Barlow Adventures representative about planning your custom guided Rubicon Trip





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Note: Due to heavy snows, Rubicon trips are only available in the summer months.

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About the Rubicon Trail

The Rubicon Trail has a long and storied history. Beginning as an Indian trail across the High Sierra, it later evolved into an important east-west route between Lake Tahoe and the gold country around Georgetown, California. Used for transporting lumber and supplies for most of its history, the first motorized vehicle traversed the trail in 1908. Today, the Rubicon route is 22 miles of county road in El Dorado County, California, with 12 miles consisting of some of the most rugged and challenging 4-wheeling on Earth. The trail is a testing ground for Jeep, and their Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model is named for it.

For a complete history by the Rubicon Trail Foundation, click here.

Some Things You Should Know

4-Wheeling

The Rubicon is first and foremost a rock-crawling trail. Don't come looking for mud-bogs or sand, this is a land of granite boulders where slow and steady going is the rule. It takes 3 - 4 days of intensive 4-wheeling to cover just 12 miles of trail. And the trail is always changing; sections that may have been easy to navigate last season can become eroded into new and daunting obstacles in a matter of months or weeks. Expect unimaginably difficult driving terrain, long days, lots of time in and out of the Jeep, and dirty everything. This is not a trail for stock 4x4 rigs. Vehicle damage can and does occur, and we have developed a list of minimum recommended vehicle specs and modifications for rigs on our trips. 

Driver Experience

Our Rubicon Adventures are open to 4x4 drivers of all skill levels. Little or no 4-wheeling experience? No problem. Our expert guides and instructors will bring you through with both ego and vehicle intact. Slow and careful is the rule and safety is our goal. After conquering the Rubicon, you won't be a novice anymore!

Weather

Summertime weather along the Rubicon is generally clear and mild, with a daytime high temperature of about 80º F (27 C). Nighttime lows are around 50º F (10 C). Rain is scarce in the summer, but occasional afternoon thundershowers do sometimes occur. Frost and a light dusting of snow is possible (but unlikely) in the late season. Barlow's recommends layered clothing and a lightweight jacket.

Camping

Spectacular High Sierra scenery, refreshing mountain lakes, warm days and star-filled nights are the rewards for the hard-won miles of the Rubicon. Barlow Adventures' experienced guides know the best campsites, and can provide much of the necessary gear for your trip. Tents, pads and sleeping bags can be provided, as well as cookware and a propane stove. But remember, there are no hotels, showers, trashcans or Starbucks anywhere along the trail. Primitive tent camping is the rule out here and guests should be prepared to pack in what they need, and then pack out their trash and waste. Barlow Adventures is a member of and advocate for the US Forest Service's Tread Lightly! program. Our goal is to leave as little trace of our passing in the backcountry as possible. We travel lightly on the land in order to preserve this unique experience for future generations to enjoy. Please see our post on what to bring on the Rubicon for more detailed information.

Meals

Years on the trail have allowed us to work out meals that are delicious and satisfying, yet with easy to carry ingredients. We are happy to make provisions for special dietary needs, and please don’t be shy about requesting your favorite snacks, beverages, or general eating preferences—we have limited space to carry provisions, so we would much rather carry the stuff that we know you will like! Menus vary, and can be custom tailored to your taste.


 

More Information

Each of our guided Rubicon Trips is a custom, unique experience, and there are more details involved in planning a trip than can be covered easily on this website. For the fastest response, please fill out and submit the form above and a Barlow Adventures representative will contact you to discuss the specific needs of your group. Or you can call us toll free at 888-928-JEEP.

For more general information about our guided Rubicon Trips, please see this post covering Frequently Asked Questions.