Spider Lake Reopened
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
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
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