Rubicon Trail, High Sierra, CA
This 22-mile stretch of High Sierra gnarliness is one of the most famous off-road challenges in the world, and a common testing ground for 4×4 manufacturers. From historic California gold country, set off into the El Dorado National Forest on relatively benign dirt roads, this trail starts easy, though the high Alpine lakes and endless granite vistas on your way to Lake Tahoe. Enjoy it while it lasts. More suited to high-clearance jeep-style vehicles than ATVs or motorcycles, the route will soon require you to crawl, winch, or rollover as you navigate huge, off-kilter slabs of granite and sketchy notches that you can either straddle or avoid by side-hilling. It’s very slow going, and you should plan on a few nights camping along the way.
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