What permits are needed and where to get them
At this point no special permits are needed to drive the Rubicon Trail - it is a county road and open to anyone. However, the trail is closed every year for the Jeepers Jamboree on the days around the last weekend of July
If you plan of having a nice campfire you will need a campfire permit issued by the US Forest Service. If you don't have that permit you'll get a ticket. Starting 2003 the trail will be patrolled daily by Sheriff deputies.
Get your camp fire permit at the US Forest Service station a few miles outside Georgetown on your way to Uncle Toms - another station is on Hwy 50 just outside of Placerville on your way to Icehouse Road.
If you plan to use a non street legal vehicle - many of the new rock buggies have no registration - you will need a valid green sticker or red sticker on your vehicle. Ignore the requirement of valid stickers and the patrolling law enforcement guys (Sheriff, Ranger etc) will write you a ticket.The $21 DMV sticker is definitely cheaper.
As a non California resident planning to use a non street legal off highway vehicle you will need to aquire a non-resident permit. Mail or call 916-324-4442 for info.
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