Sierra Nevada Adventures Single Day Rides

Rubicon Canyon Ride


Ready to EXPLORE the famous Rubicon Canyon on an amazing combination of twisty canyon roads and remote dirt roads through dense forest and steep river canyons on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Your OFF-ROAD explores the majestic Rubicon River Canyon downstream from the world-famous Rubicon four-wheel-drive trail on your ADVENTURE.

The Rubicon Trail of Northern California is world-famous among four-wheel-drive fans and those who seek adventure. Many people ask, where did the name Rubicon come from? What’s the history? Well, the Rubicon Trail crosses the Rubicon river at a remote location known as Rubicon Springs west of Lake Tahoe and just north of the Crystal Range in the Sierra Nevada.

Early settlers named the Rubicon River after its counterpart in Italy – a small scenic river 150 miles north of Rome. Historically speaking the name “Rubicon” has more significance than just the name of two rivers. Julius Caesar put the name Rubicon in the history books and anyone struggling with Latin in school probably still remembers the Rubicon in connection with Caesar’s famous words “alea iata est!” – “the die is cast!”. The significance of Caesar exclaiming “alea iacta est” was that by crossing the Rubicon, he was at the point of no return; he was declaring war on Rome. So, “crossing the Rubicon” means, you went beyond the point of no return.

The earliest known history of the land now known as Rubicon Soda Springs dates back to September 1844 when the Stevens-Townsend-Murphy horseback party crossed the Rubicon River. They were likely the first Euro-Americans to see the Rubicon River and pre-dated the first county road that immigrants began using in 1856. The first cabin was built in 1869 and established a shopping station called “Hunsaker Springs,” by George and John Hunsaker. Within a few years, the first water rights for the Rubicon River watershed were acquired and plans were developed to pipe water to San Francisco at the cost of $500,000 per mile. Several years later the mineral water from the springs began being bottled by the Hunsaker brothers and packed out by mule train to nearby Georgetown and McKinney’s on Lake Tahoe. Described as a place where “hunting was excellent, game plentiful and the scenery grand,” in 1887 Placer County contributed $500 toward the construction of a wagon road from Tahoe City to McKinney’s. The regular stagecoach would leave Georgetown on Tuesdays and return on Friday for a round-trip fare of $10. The same year, George Hunsaker obtained the title for Rubicon Springs from the Central Pacific Railroad Company for $100 and included 40 acres. Hunsaker turned around and sold the 40 acres a year later for $5,500 in gold coins. Based on the increasing reputation of Rubicon Soda Springs, plans for a Rubicon Springs Hotel with 16 sleeping rooms and the resort area were described as a place where “The atmosphere is bright, clear, pure and invigorating, imparting new life to the overworked brain and underworked body of busy life.” After six seasons of operation by Sierra Nevada Clark, the original 40 acres were sold back to Hunsaker for $3,800 in gold coins. Throughout the next 50+ years, the acreage of Rubicon Soda Springs changed hands a number of times as the popularity increased and the access improved from stagecoach to motorcar, and all the properties were acquired by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E,) who started work on the creation of a water system of the high mountain lakes and rivers to support their electric production. In 1953, the first Jeepers Jamboree crossed the Rubicon, creating a new brand of guests into Rubicon Soda Springs that would continue and grow over the ensuing years to come. After a corporate change of hands in ownership over the next 30 years, the Rubicon Soda Springs Group bought the parcel known as Rubicon Springs from Bohemia Inc., in 1985 with the intention of maintaining and preserving the history, nature, and integrity of the area so loved and used by outdoor enthusiasts.

Your adventure explores the majestic Rubicon canyon including the mighty middle fork of the American River Canyon through a diverse landscape of dense forest and deep river canyons including a remote grove of giant sequoia trees. Your off-road adventure explores amazing remote dirt roads and historic wagon routes from the California Gold Country. “Don’t forget your camera”



Single-Day Ride (20 rider max)

This dual-sport adventure ride is designed for medium (650cc+) to large (1200cc+) adventure bikes.
Off-road terrain is rated “mild to moderate” and "challenging" with lots of adventure.
Ride distance approx.: 200 miles round trip (75 miles dirt roads)
*Gas stop (125-mile range required)


MEETING TIME: 8:45 am (ride starts at 9:00 am) 

MEETING LOCATION: Starbucks in Folsom

*Starbucks 195 Placerville Road Folsom CA 95630

Note: Ride returns to Folsom CA (approx. 5 pm)


MEALS: (Meals Not included)

*Bring water, snacks, and lunch



-Hampton Inn and Suites Folsom, CA 155 Placerville Rd, Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 235-7744

*If you plan on truck/trailering your bike, there's parking available at Hampton Inn & Suites

Note: additional hotels available in Folsom CA


More details are listed under "Book this Ride"


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