We finally checked Rubicon off the list! We had been avoiding this one simply because of all the rumors about parking tickets and towing in the neighborhood surrounding the approach. However, we figured that attempting on a weekday would minimize our risk, so we went for it, and it was worth it!
Thank you to David Wonser of http://www.skitahoebackcountry.com for the helpful approach advice. We followed David’s instructions for easy approach access: Drive 13.3 miles south of the “Y” in Tahoe City. Turn west onto Scenic Drive – across from Rubicon Realty office. Right onto Woodland, Right onto Brook, Left onto Crest, Right onto Forest View, and Left onto Highview. Basically, you’re driving as high up into this neighborhood as possible. At the end of Highview, a gate blocks a private driveway. Turn right up a small, unnamed side road and park here. Be mindful that locals do still say that you are at risk for parking tickets and towing.
The summit can be seen for most of the approach, making navigation relatively easy. Go past the water tower near the parking area and stay on the ridge heading toward the summit.
There is a fun fourth class scramble to the summit, where amazing views can be enjoyed. It’s also wise to scope the descent from the top because if you take a wrong turn, you’ll end up on a long hike back up through the neighborhood to your car.
This tour is famous for providing amazing, old growth tree skiing, and it did not disappoint! We were surprised by how much untracked, fantastic powder remained since it had been several days since the last storm, and we enjoyed every turn through perfectly spaced trees.
We lucked out and made it straight back to the car, with no parking ticket to be found! Win win. Mission accomplished.