“Outdoors & Recreation in South Lake Tahoe, CA”
In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area. Emerald Bay State Park includes 2 campgrounds: Boat-In Camp (accessible by boat or foot only) and Eagle Point Campground (closed through 2015). The scenic Rubicon foot trail wraps around Emerald Bay, with trailheads at Eagle Point campground, Vikingsholm, and DL Bliss State Park. The park features Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere and the "Tea House" on Fannette Island, the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe. There is no vehicle access to the lakeshore of Emerald Bay or Vikingsholm. Visitors walk to the lake from the Vikingsholm Parking Lot (1 mile walk) or via the Rubicon Trail. Some visitors arrive by kayak or private boat. Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the resting place for many boats, launches and barges used in the lake before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and used in the construction of Vikingsholm. Visitors to Emerald Bay State Park enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, sightseening and touring Vikingsholm in the summer months.
I kayaked in Emerald Bay last summer and wish I would've had days and days to soak up the beauty. Parking was very full, the trek down is a few steep descents that are rough climbing back up later in the heat, though they are mostly smooth and as wide as a road and filled with tourists climbing up and down. But the beach and the water and the kayaking experience was absolutely worth it. Rent a kayak on the beach and check out the Island, for sure.
Truly a hidden gem!
SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!! One of my favorite places to go during the summertime! There is a steep walk down the hill to get to they bay and a steep walk up but it is definitely worth it to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the bay!
The state parks (Emerald Bay and nearby D.L. Bliss) were closed (in early June???) and had no information posted whatsoever about trailheads, etc. Correction, D.L. Bliss did have one map posted about the area, but nothing you could take with you and it didn't tell you how to access the trails. I had found a map online before leaving home but didn't see information about the parks being closed so didn't bother to print it, to my regret. There is a lookout point between the two parks, and ideally they could post a map there for people interested in hiking, but that was not the case. After trying to find something for 45 minutes, we finally backtracked and pulled off the road near the entrance of the Emerald Bay campground entrance and walked down to try to find something. The campground was under construction (and therefore deserted), and after following the road for a while we finally found a trailhead for the Rubicon trail hidden by a small amphitheater.
The views from the Rubicon trail were great, so I'm really glad we persevered. We saw several osprey and had a pleasant hike. I would recommend this to anyone, if they can find it! But maybe that's California's point, to make it ridiculously hard to find the trail so they're not overrun? Who knows - word of advice, print the map (http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/506/files/DLBlissEBayFinalWeb073114.pdf) before you go!!
Note: EBSP's website does say the Eagle Point Campground is closed for summer 2015, but does not make it clear the park entrance is closed as well. For someone not familiar with the area, this is rather confusing!
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Emerald Bay State Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm
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