El Dorado County Sheriff Jeep’s

Filed in Jeep, Off-Highway by on November 13, 2017 • views: 186

The Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile-long route, part road and part 4×4 trail, located in the Sierra Nevada of the western United States, due west of Lake Tahoe and about 80 miles east of Sacramento. The Rubicon Trail is legendary with off-road enthusiasts, and Jeep even named one of their models after it. Thousands of off-road enthusiasts flock here, and its the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office job to keep everyone safe.

The Sheriff’s Off-Highway Vehicle Patrol (OHV) Unit started in 2001 with the purchase of four All-Terrain Vehicles, and related equipment from a California State Parks OHV Grant (who also have park rangers patrolling the trail), and also with funds from Off-Highway Vehicle (Green Sticker) Registration. They also now receive funds from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The primary purpose of the OHV unit is to provide patrol, education and enforcement services to users of the Rubicon Trail recreation area, and to bring the trail back to a safe, enjoyable status.

The deputies received advanced medical training and attended the Wilderness First Responder School specifically designed to prepare them to provide aid during emergencies in remote areas. The deputies are supplemented by other specially trained deputies that will spend the summer roaming the trails and camping in the basin. All of the deputies assigned to the OHV team have spent a weekend training with long time Rubicon fixture, Merlin Scott and his team.

The deputies patrol in two, marked, Jeep Wranglers equipped with the normal complements of lights, radios, etc. that any patrol car has, in addition to, specialized equipment to deal with medical emergencies, vehicle rollovers, rugged off-road travel, and overnight stays on the trails.

In 2016, the Sheriff’s OHV unit contacted 2,654 vehicle and 7,158 Rubicon Trail users. 90 warnings were given to trail users for problems that included trespassing, alcohol related violations and illegal campfires; seven citations were given for violations including registration infractions, illegal campfires and resource damage. According to a 2016 report;

Every year the deputies who work this assignment have to deal with major incidents that range from vehicle rollovers to lost or injured persons. Ten incident reports were taken, including one fatality, multiple search and rescues and several other assists were conducted by the OHV Unit,” concluded the report.

Trail users have commented that they have returned to the Rubicon Trail after an absence because the patrols have returned the “family friendly” atmosphere. Sergeant Brown shared a story about a minor mechanical failure the OHV team experienced on the trail. When the trail users found out the deputies had a problem, rigs from all over came to offer assistance. The fact that the other trail users were willing to go out of their way to help the deputies says volumes about how the off-road community feels about the team and their efforts.

Although government agencies provide the majority of the funding for the OHV team, many sponsors have provided support through donations. The El Dorado Sheriff’s Office Off-Highway Vehicle Team would like to thank the following sponsors:

  • Jeep Corporation – Mark A. Smith Edition Jeep
  • Jeep Jamboree USA
  • Varozza 4×4 Outfitters
  • Poly Performance
  • Synergy Mfg.
  • Poison Spyder
  • Falken Tires
  • Raceline/Allied Wheels
  • FOX shocks
  • ARB
  • Two Guys Trail Gear
  • Jeepers Jamboree
  • Friends of the Rubicon
  • Rubicon Trail Foundation
  • Artistic Photography by Tami
  • El Dorado County Parks and Recreation




Click the photos to enlarge.




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