Old Sluice

Pollock Pines, California (El Dorado County)

Last Updated: 08/31/2021
5 / 5 ( 6 reviews )
Zoom in to see trails...
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 0.65 miles
Highest Elevation: 6637 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Pollock Pines
Nearest Town w/ Services: Pollock Pines
Official Road Name: Old Sluice / Rubicon Trail
Management Agency: Eldorado National Forest
District: Pacific Ranger District


Highlight: Old Sluice
Old Sluice is a short, but near-extreme and almost forgotten section of the Rubicon Trail in the Eldorado National Forest outside of Pollock Pines, California. Where the more common Rubicon route travels across the lower granite slabs known as Indian Trail, this higher and more challenging route will seriously test your rig. Old Sluice is arguably the most difficult section of the Rubicon Trail. This is the reason most bypass it. With one obstacle after another, after another, after another, plus some serious views of Buck Island Lake and Miller Creek on the mountainside above Rubicon Springs, Old Sluice will keep an experienced wheeler entertained four a couple hours or more. If you're running the Rubicon for the first time and pushing just to get through it, Old Sluice is probably not for you... This trail is tough. If you feel you should bypass it, there is no shame in that, but if you're up for the challenge and your rig is built for it, you'll love wheeling Old Sluice.


Route Information

Technical Rating


Read more about our rating system


1. Old Sluice Trailhead - Turn Northwest (0 mi)
Just under a half mile from the north end of Buck Island Lake​, the Rubicon Trail splits. Take the western route to start on Old Sluice.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Loon Lake, California

From Icehouse Resort, take Ice House Road North 1.65 miles, and then follow Ice House Road to the left. Stay on Ice House Road for another 13 miles, and then turn right to stay on Ice House Road at Wentworth Springs Road. Take Ice House Road another 7.5 miles to the Loon Lake Dam. The Rubicon Trail Trailhead is on the other side of the lake. Enter the Rubicon Trail ( where the wheeling starts ) and follow Rubicon Trail for just over 5 miles, down the slabs and watch for the fork to the right / north with a sign for Old Sluice. If you reach Buck Island Lake, you have gone too far.



Trail Reviews (8)

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

G. Martin

Mapping Crew - California

G. Martin, gm4x4 on Youtube , is a California native, born and raised in northern California and now living and wheeling in southern California. He enjoys exploring new trails and setting up camp in the remote outdoors. You may come across him in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the mountains of Big Bear, in the central Sierras near Shaver Lake or any other dirty, rocky road in the southwest.
For individual use only, not to be shared.