Rubicon Trail

MODERATE 75 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Rubicon Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until September.

8.3 miles 866 feet Out & Back




fly fishing


mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

sea kayaking

trail running


whitewater kayaking





wild flowers



Two parks in a day - D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay State Parks The Rubicon Trail along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe is a gem! It's easily accessible and has some of the best views on Tahoe. It's absolutely a hike one can look forward to repeatedly. The Rubicon covers a lot of terrain. There are flats, undulating short elevation gains and drops, and twists along some stunning shoreline cliffs. The trail dips into secluded coves, and along easily accessible shorelines in Emerald Bay. At both the beginning of the trail and end are a campgrounds, also along the south shore of Emerald Bay, you can find active nesting area for Eagles. Tree coverage includes sugar pines in D.L. Bliss and overall coverage throughout the balance including ponderosa and Jeffrey pines, firs, incense cedar, and Sierra juniper. Along the streams grow alders, quaking aspen, mountain dogwood, service berry and bitter cherry, and black cottonwood. Wildflowers include columbine, leopard lily, lupine, bleeding heart, yellow monkey flower and nightshade. The bulk of the brush includes ceanothus, chinquapin, currant, gooseberry, huckleberry, and manzanita.

6 days ago

My favorite hike in Tahoe!!! Views were spectacular. Next time I will pack a picnic lunch and walk down to the beach/water. There were some steep climbs in a few stretches but nothing too challenging. Highly recommend!!!

10 days ago

12 days ago

Very nice! Beautiful view!!

19 days ago

Beautiful views of the lake throughout! Couldn't have asked for better.

23 days ago

I'm actually going to review the hike to RUBICON PEAK, but cannot find the hike listed.
This is an aggressive but amazing hike from the Rubicon Properties neighborhood, Trailhead at the end of Highland Ave. It is approximately 2.4 miles each way. You will climb 2100 feet in a very short time. Bring water, snacks (we brought luch). The last 40 feet to get to the peak is hand over hand but the views are spectacular!!! Not a lot of room at the top, so your dogs need to wait about 40 feet before the last push. Look for trail markings, especially when the terrain comes out of the woods into the rocky area. We began around 10:00am so not too cold and we had good cloud cover so did not get too hot.

24 days ago

Good day hike. I went into it with no conditioning and was able to power through it. Beautiful views of the lake and well maintained trail.

First time to hike in Lake Tahoe and I am glad I chose this trail! We really enjoyed it. It got pretty busy later in the day so I suggest to start early.

25 days ago

Labor Day weekend made it tough to find parking but the trail was fantastic.

26 days ago

I love it! can't wait to go back

1 month ago

The rubicon trail was beautiful. The trail is along the lake shore and very well shaded too! It cuts across a few camp grounds when starting from the emerald bay entrance ( vikingsholm parking lot ). This is NOT a loop. The trail starts at vikingsholm parking lot and ends at rubicon point. Its nearly 4.5 miles one way. The intensity level is moderate. Lot of openings to the lake shore from the trail which makes it a perfect picture spot!

1 month ago

1 month ago

one of the most beautiful trails I've hiked.

1 month ago


1 month ago

one of my all time favorite hikes near emerald bay--my husband and I look forward to it every year. last time we hiked down to vikingsholm from that trailhead and out via Rubicon and my dad shuttled us, so it was a one way trek. lovely!

1 month ago

Came in at Bliss state park. Crowded on a week day. Had to park above the check in area. Joined the trail near the lighthouse trail entrance heading to Emerald Bay to swim. It's a nice trail, mostly dirt, sand. Up and down with beautiful views and great places to stop and swim before you get to the main Emerald Bay beach area. Just under 4 miles to main beach. Lots of the trail is shaded which was nice on our hot day. Very popular and crowded places. Parking is tough on weekdays and much worse weekends. Beach is nice, beautiful water but crowded with boats. Had bee issues and it made it almost impossible to eat anything on the beach. This hike and beach has always been a family favorite. There is a small bathroom in the beach area and one at Bliss before we hiked.

1 month ago

Second time this summer. It's warmer, less flowers and waterfall not as full - but still Tahoe BEST day hike! Took a good friend for longest hike in his 45 year old life. And you guessed it - he loved it!

1 month ago

1 month ago

Stunning views. The big payoff is Emerald Bay.

1 month ago

So beautiful

1 month ago