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Ice skates are spectacular on frozen water, yet they are dreadful everyday footwear. I consider the Jeep Wrangler equally as specialized.

Difficult as it may be, the reality of the matter is that there are a lot of vehicles in the United States that can make it through the daunting stretch of dirt, rocks and elevation changes that is the Rubicon Trail. That said, there isn't a single production vehicle available today that can navigate the off-road playground with as much aplomb as the Jeep Wrangler.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is one of the most capable off-roading vehicles on the planet, and Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road has taken notice. The Wrangler Rubicon has been named 4X4 of the Year by the magazine, beating the Dodge Ram Power Wagon for the honor.

New V6 Shows Us The Way Up The Mountain

Since 1985 (and since 1990 as a non-profit group), Tread Lightly! has been teaching its members to treat their surroundings with respect while traveling off the beaten path. Apparently, people using the famous Rubicon Trail in Northern California haven't been treading lightly enough, as the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has ordered that both El Dorado County and the Forest Service take the lead in cleaning up the trail.

2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4x4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Click the pic above to see a gallery

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