9 Rules for Rockiní the Rubicon Trail

Aug. 09, 2016 By Valerie Douglas, Photos by Valerie Douglas and George Peters
George Peters navigates his JK over the last bit of granite slab before making it to Buck Island Lake.

The Rubicon Trail. It should be on your bucket list of must-drive trails. It was on mine. I can tell you from experience that there are certain ways you want to experience the Rubicon and absorb all of its breathtaking views as you drive across the granite slabs. The first is to drive it with a small group, but note: you may want to take your time and camp for a night at Rubicon Springs, or even Buck Island lake. The other way to do it is with Jeepers Jamboree or Jeep Jamboree in July/August.

The Loon Lake welcome sign greets you for your next adventure.

Jeepers Jamboree - Unplug, Unwind, and Have Fun!
Why am I writing about this trip? Itís dubbed ďThe Grand Daddy Of Them AllĒ for a reason! If you need to disconnect from the world, meaning no cell phone, then this might be a trip for you. If you want to hang out with your friends and have a fantastic time for three or four days (depending on what you choose), then this trip is for you. If you want to enjoy amazing food, ice cream, beverages, a live band in the evenings, and kick back and relax, then this is a trip you need to go on. Once a year, unplug from the world, talk to people face to face and have fun!

Vehicles of all makes trek into Rubicon Springs for Jeepers Jamboree.

Kingpin woes. If you break on the trail, there are several spots that have tools and will help you repair your rig.

Case in point: this year my passenger seat opened up the week before the trip. I made a call and found someone that needed to do exactly what I described and disconnect from the world for a few days. Of course, it didnít hurt that he knew how to use a camera (heíd won an Oscar and two Emmyís for his for his achievements in the film industry, so I think he was qualified to handle the job). But, he had also never been wheeling before, and boy was he in for a surprise!

The Buck Island Repair crew is here to help you fix your junk so you can get to Rubicon Springs and relax.

Along the trail there are several Trail Crew that help spot you through obstacles.

ďI didnít know what to expect from this trip, other than I knew I was going rock crawling Ė which I have never done Ė camping and would be out of cell phone range,Ē said my co-driver, George Peters, owner of the Ultimate Arm and first-time attendee of Jeepers Jamboree. ďIt sounded perfect. I can say I had no idea that a group of off-roaders could get along so well. Everyone had fun, all 1,700 of us at Rubicon Springs! And wow, I had no idea that this group was that thirsty!Ē

How many miles is it to Cadillac Hill?  This is the sign that greets you as you drive into Rubicon Springs.

How Jeepers Jamboree is Different than Other Events
If you attend Jeepers Jamboree, donít expect to spend three or four days wheeling. Thatís not why you are there. Youíre there to have a great time, relax and party. Meals are included in your registration fee, so just bring snacks in case you get hungry between meals. The only driving you will be doing is from Loon Lake to Rubicon Springs. Set up your camp, grab a cold one, air up your flotation device, and hit the water and enjoy the majestic beauty of the granite rock and old pine forest that surrounds you. Leave your worries, cares, and negative attitude behind. Youíre stuck at Rubicon Springs until Sunday. Donít worry, youíll love it by the end of your adventure.

Breakfast with your favorite people from the night before! This year there were 1700 people total for Jeepers Jamboree. 300 volunteers and staff, and 1400 attendees.

Rules to Keep in Mind While At Jeepers Jamboree

Rule #1:
Make Smart Choices

Rule #2: HAVE FUN! Youíre there to party! Donít be Debbie Downer, or the one that needs an IV because you drank until your Check Liver Light was on for hours. Please see Rule #1.

Donít forget your flotation device! The GenRight Offroad crew stepped up this year and brought a swan and a flamingo. They like to have fun!

Rule #3: Pack plenty of adult beverages! But if you donít, there is a full bar in Rubicon Springs, so bring cash to pay your tab! Oh, make sure you check out the bar topÖ.it is entertaining to put is mildly.

Rule #4: Pack plenty of water and Gatorade/Pedialyte. Youíll need hydration and electrolytes throughout your adventure.

Floating on Rubicon Springs is a must for Jeepers Jamboree.

Rule #5: Apply sunblock frequently or you will get burned.

Rule #6: Donít be a dick. Weíre at Jeepers Jamboree to have fun not fight.

Eric Filar of Motive Gear heads into main camp on Saturday night to hopefully win big, or at least have fun!

Rule #7: Donít forget to eat! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at main camp daily!

Tragically White plays an acoustic set at dinner on Friday while attendees enjoy steak, potatoes and corn on the cob.

Rule #8: If you like a certain kind of music, donít forget your stereo or boom box. GenRight usually has music at one end of the main springs and Nitro Gear or JKS has it on the other side of the springs, but at camp you may want some tunes! Enjoy the live band in the evenings. This year it was Tragically White, one of the best cover bands in the nation, and they are fellow wheelers too!

Attendees, like the crew from the Dirty Dozen, do the wave as they wait to see if they won a prize on Saturday night.

Rule # 9: Donít lose your wrist band! On Saturday prizes are given away after dinner. This year over $90,000 in prizes were given away to attendees and your wrist band has your entry number printed on it for the give away.

Alex, Jake and Daniel enjoying a delightful adult beverage from the bar at Rubicon Springs.

Remember, what happens at Jeepers Jamboree, stays at Jeepers Jamboree! For more information, visit http://www.jeepersjamboree.com/.

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