It should be clear by now, for Jeep lovers and non-Jeep lovers, that the Rubicon Trail is synonymous with the brand. For most of us, it’s hard to think of a time when the name wasn’t associated with the most off-road capable Jeeps found on and off the road. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of this relationship between the trail and the brand, Jeep has joined forces with Jeep Jamboree USA to celebrate the anniversary and embark on the challenging track in Lake Tahoe with 450 enthusiasts and 125 Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators.
The Rubicon Trail Jeep Jamboree: 70 Years On
If you didn’t know, the Rubicon Trail is located in northern California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and consists of 22 miles of some of the most challenging off-road terrain in the country. This year’s Rubicon Trail Jeep Jamboree covered 17.5 miles of that and challenged participants to traverse rocky terrain with elevation changes of 5,400 feet to close to 7,000 feet.
The first Jeep Jamboree started in 1953, when Jeep enthusiast Mark Smith and his friends trekked across the Sierra mountains on the Rubicon Trail to Lake Tahoe in 55 Willys Jeeps. One year after that, Willys Motors got involved, and you should have a pretty good idea of the remainder of the story. The Rubicon Trail is considered the ultimate test for Jeep products and was used as the benchmark test for a Jeep to obtain the “Trail Rated” badge. Today, the testing standard has changed slightly, as every Jeep with the badge must succeed against a series of tests in five categories: Water Fording, Maneuverability, Traction, Articulation, and Ground clearance. We’ve previously covered that Jeep’s CEO is raising the bar for the badge, but that doesn’t mean The Rubicon Trail isn’t without its challenges.
The video below is filled with smiling faces, thick forests, and a convoy of Jeeps. The rules for the event are straightforward: only Jeep Wranglers with skid plates and rock rails are allowed. You can have a modded vehicle, but if it’s too big, it will be turned away at the company’s discretion so as not to damage the car or the trail. Unsurprisingly, many of the slew of Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators seen in the video are the Rubicon trims, where Jeep even took a special moment to highlight a 20th Anniversary Rubicon 4xe. It’s a Jeep video, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the shameless plug. Overall, it’s a good video to watch when you have the time to do so, and it might cause you to add the trail to your bucket list.