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Spider Lake Reopened

Spider Lake Closure AreaThe Spider Lake closure which went into effect on July 15, 2004 by order of the Eldorado National Forest and El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, ended November 10, 2004. The area is again open to the public. This closure was the result of human waste/sanitation issues around the high Sierra Nevada Spider Lake. The Rubicon Trail has no sanitation facilities and uninformed users were leaving human waste dangerously close to water sources. Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) has been working with governing agencies for three years to get sanitation methods in place on the trail, but as of yet, no good solution has been found.

The Rubicon Trail runs through solid granite areas, with very shallow soil profiles. The shallow depth of the soils, combined with the solid granite prevalent throughout the area, make standard toilet options impractical. Further, because of the serious nature of four-wheeling required to traverse the trail, standard pumping trucks and extraction methods are not practical either.

FOTR, as well as other clubs, have been cleaning up the trail and removing the human waste for years.  But this year, the trail use increased dramatically and the human waste disposal became a real significant issue. There are no designated camping spots around Spider Lake, it is a dispersed camping area. So campers were spreading out over a wide area, and camping too close to the lake.

To prevent future closures, please stay at least fifty feet from the lake. If your vehicle is leaking, do not park it anywhere that spilled fluids will drain into any streams or bodies of water. Please do not camp near the lake and always pack out all of your waste using a portable toilet. For more information on portable sanitation systems, please visit Del Albright's website.

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