Lighthouse Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until September.
Made hike in the early evening. Very few people, but it was September and campgrounds were pretty empty.
Pretty steep incline in the beginning, view was amazing!!! We had a few opportunities to walk off the beaten path and get a better view of the lake.
Steep incline in beginning and end but the views are worth it. We saw a deer on our hike.
Really pretty, not too hard. Was followed by a coyote for a while.
Located a couple miles north of the beautiful Emerald Bay area of Lake Tahoe, DL Bliss State Park is known for its camping, beaches, and (particularly for this review) hiking trails. There is a day-use fee for entry into the park; if the ranger kiosk is unattended, you can use a self-serve pay box near the kiosk.
The parking area for the Lighthouse Trail is just inside the park’s main entrance. NOTE that while there are restroom facilities within the park, there are none at this trailhead. It is also important to note that the park is only open during the summer months, closing around the end of September.
From the marked trailhead you will begin a steady, fairly long and moderately steep ascent through a woodland area. The trail then flattens out a bit before you begin a descent toward Lake Tahoe and eventually to signage directing you toward the Lighthouse. You can descend down some granite steps to take a closer look at the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse itself isn’t all that impressive – it’s been described as looking more like an outhouse than a lighthouse – but the view of Lake Tahoe from there is beautiful.
After you go back up the staircase turn right back onto the Lighthouse Trail which will take you on a gradual, shady descent down switchbacks that eventually lead you to a paved parking area at Calawee Cove. Once you hit the parking area take an immediate, sharp right onto the Rubicon Trail. NOTE: If you need to use the restroom, there is a flush toilet available in this parking area.
On the Rubicon Trail you’ll begin another ascent up a somewhat exposed trail that narrows at certain points along the way and features railings that will keep you from tumbling into the lakeshore below. There are a couple of places where you’ll climb up some very steep granite stairs, but most of the ascent is fairly gradual, and the view of the lake is always there as a reward for your exertion. As you near the end of the trail, it curves away from the lake and back toward the forest. You’ll soon see a sign: going left will lead you to Emerald Bay, while going right will take you back to the Lighthouse Trailhead.
This 2.5-mile loop is rated moderate because you’ll have to deal with a good deal of elevation gain. The spectacular views throughout the hike make the effort well worthwhile.