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hiking
2 days ago

Great trail for any visit to Tahoe. Beautiful lake views through the trees and some beaches along the way.

hiking
4 days ago

Since it is still early in the season, Vikingsholm is not yet open for tours. So for those who want to extend their visit to this part of lakefront Lake Tahoe, I would recommend this 1 mile out-and-back trek. Even though the Rubicon trail extends for miles in either direction, you don’t need to hike the whole thing to give yourself a different vista from where all the tourists gather. You can leave the crowds behind the well-paved section and breathe some hiking bliss into your system for not a whole lot of additional time or effort. The terrain is flat, and would have been categorized as an easy hike if not for some parts of the single track that you hike on are still slippery with snow (as of 4/22). But the views are so worth it. We got good weather so the aquamarine hues really showed through the clear lake water.

Awesome views of the lake on the whole trail. Leads down to a beach.

hiking
15 days ago

Did this trail starting at Emerald Bay above Vikingsholm. Ample parking available ($5) fee if starting from this lot; an 0.5 mile walk down a wide road brings you to the Rubicon "trailhead." Additional parking available at nearby Eagle Falls Trailhead.

Having completed a number of short, snowy treks, I wanted to complete my Tahoe trip with a longer hike without crowds. On a Tuesday in April with sketchy, remarkably windy weather, there were few people on the Rubicon trail. The crowds thinned out substantially, opting to explore the Vikingsholm area or head up to Lower Eagle Falls. Some remained at the viewpoint near the parking lot.

Rubicon Trail runs parallel to the shoreline of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. At first, the trail periodically switches between singletrack and wide, with sporadic sections of gravel dotting the path. This continues until the Emerald Bay Campground. From there, the trail is primarily singletrack and adopts a more rugged demeanor. Though it's a mostly flat trail, there are intermittent sections of elevation gain and decrease. The heart of the trail seldom ventures more than 20 feet above the shoreline.

If any landscape can be considered objectively beautiful, this is it. Even on a cloudy day with fierce winds, Lake Tahoe retained its aquamarine hue with exceptionally clear water. Patches of snow along the shore contributed a unique wintry essence. Though the views of Lake Tahoe are vast and lack the immediate punch of a waterfall or alpine lake-and-mountain, it provides perhaps the most serene area in Tahoe. There are some small sandy strips and rugged shoreline access that allow calming breaks from hiking.

As of 4/10, there's sparse snow on the trail, mainly on the western portion of the trail. The Emerald Bay area is devoid of snow. There is snow/ice on narrow portions of the trail, however, that require some care to pass. It's completely doable in hiking boots or running shoes. Some (very) minor seasonal flooding and streams appear on the trail infrequently; this should clear up by the summer months.

If hiking from the D.L Bliss Trailhead (North), either hike through Lower Eagle Falls or don't bother with the Emerald Bay section at all. The Rubicon trail is ironically the least scenic in Emerald Bay, as some forest cover and wide paths detract from the trail's beauty. In short, there's little to see that isn't visible in the western portion of the trail. Lower Eagle Falls, however, is powerful and serves as an impactful reward to a tranquil hike. If you make it to Vikingsholm, there's no reason to not continue up to the falls.

Rubicon Trail offers the premier coastal hike on Lake Tahoe. It can be mixed with the nearby alpine Eagle Lake, paired with Cascade Falls, or culminated with a seasonal cruise to complete a full Tahoe day. Regardless of the weather, it's difficult to go wrong with this trail, and should be seen as a safe winter/spring alternative to more questionable conditions.

hiking
17 days ago

Road conditions up to the official trailhead are questionable; no snow removal during the winter months. Parking is available both at trailhead (currently closed) and alongside the road. Ice and snow remain on last 0.5 miles of road as of 4/9.

As others have stated, the trail begins on a rocky path. The rocks are cobble rather than pebbles or boulders. After warm rainfall and above-freezing spring temperatures, this trail was flooded under ~6 inches of water for a short section. Waterproof boots worked well. After Lily Lake, the trail is a mixture of cobble and paved, wide enough for an ATV but not quite a 4x4 trail. The immediate surroundings are poor compared to other Tahoe hikes.

Since there was significant snow accumulation over 7,000 feet, I turned back at Glen Alpine Falls rather than heading up to Grass Lake. Others have noted there's little to see after the falls. I didn't travel far enough to verify this, but based on satellite and heatmap, this seems correct. Assuming you park before the Lower Glen Alpine Falls, located right past the fire station, there are three main attractions.

The first is Lower Glen Alpine Falls, which can be reached by car and is a popular tourist attraction. Some call it the most popular waterfall in Tahoe (debatable, since Lower Eagle Falls commands attention). The second is Lily Lake, a swamp-like flooded basin that beautifully reflects Echo Peak. Lastly, the true Glen Alpine Falls, around 0.5 miles up the trail, is a rushing fall at the base of Tallac. Beyond that, there's Grass Lake an additional two miles further.

Even though the waterfalls are beautiful and Mount Tallac is always a surreal sight, this trail is little more than a decent outing. Paved portions and operational cabins/houses detract from the backcountry feel. Similarly, the two-mile section of relative uninterest combined with a wide track falter when compared to vicinity hikes, especially Aloha and Ralston. Keep in mind that I didn't hike the full trail, though, so take this review with a grain of salt.

on Rubicon Trail

1 month ago

Amazing trails. Beautiful view

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with incredible views of the lake the entire way. Would definitely recommend it! Went during first week of February and the trail was snow covered but easily walkable in regular hiking boots (though notably this was after a week of no snow and 50 degree temps). Note that you have to turn off the main road and drive an additional 1+ mile to get to the actual trail head- would need all wheel drive to do this, at least during the winter. Otherwise can park in the lot right off the paved road and walk to the trail head. You have to have a Sno-Park permit to park there between November and May. This can be purchased at nearby gas stations or online and print in advance ($5 for day pass).

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing Trail here one of my favorites so far!!

snowshoeing
3 months ago

I chose this trail and location for my first foray into snowshoe backpack winter camping.
Before I describe the trip and trail I will leave a word of caution: don’t park at the trailhead anywhere during the winter months. You will get “snow towed.“ I did!
Despite that headache, I had an awesome time blazing Pristine trails through 8 inches of fresh powder, which had just dropped the preceding week prior to my Saturday morning trip.
Despite being obscured by the snow, the trail was easy to follow and AllTrails map is spot on.
Gorgeous winter-scape and views. See pics.

Beautiful hike not to bad of an elevation gain

BEAUTIFUL hike, but let me tell ya, when its covered in snow there are quite a few tricky spots, and we lost the trail a few times. also the lakes are completely snowed and frozen over right now. enough that when I thought I was solid i hit the edge of the creek coming out and managed to fall knee deep in ice water. Definitely beautiful, but maybe wait til snow melts.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike once we were on the path but it is hard to find the path.

on Five Lakes Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Although there were a few spots I wished I had yakttax on, this was a wonderful hike. I was amazed by the frozen lake with a snowman built on it. The views are spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful mountainous hike.

Great hike. The first 100 yards were a bit icy given the time of year but after that the trail was clear to the top.

The road is blocked from hw50 so it’s an additional 1.8 mile walk in the snow/ ice to the trailhead. Awesome views though.

Great hike with stellar views. Have shoes that can handle snow y slush (it was a warm December day). Casual incline. Do it.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice short hike. A lot of switch backs since the start of hike is a very rapid ascent. Lots of slushy snow and melted ice causing wet boots. Need to come back in the summer since too much snow at the top to make it enjoyable without proper foot wear. Also no where to park except side of the road.

Signs that state: private property. Thankful to the owner that allows us to hike on this property.

There are also signs of Avalanche warnings!

You are in between squaw valley and within alpine meadows resorts so you’ll hear a lot of cars from the freeway and also pass by ski lifts on your way up. Don’t expect a private hike during winter ski season.

Good place for summer hiking but not for winter.

hiking
4 months ago

We did the five lakes trail hike with our kids (5 & 9) end of November and it was great. The trail is challenging when snow covered, but fun. It was just the right level for our kids. But you want to make sure to wear proper hiking shoes. The trail offers Great nature and views. The only downside: there are no garbage bins, so many people dispose their dog poop bags along the trail... or just leave their dog's droppings behind.

5 months ago

Beautiful views. Very flat most of the way—not a tough hike. You’re just walking along the lake.

hiking
5 months ago

We hiked this today and it was beautiful! Cool on the trail so dress in layers. Not too many people but enough to make it fun! The only bummer is you have to park at the top of the park and hike down to the trail head. Not bad when you are heading out but an uphill trek at the end.

hiking
5 months ago

Rough stone at the start, so wear sturdy shoes. Water had covered parts of the trail on 11/22 making it slow going as we had to hop across stones and logs, or go off the path to avoid the water. We only went for about a mile before turning back because the trail was difficult to navigate with dogs given the flooding.

hiking
5 months ago

Went the second weekend in November. Perfect weather. There was some snow along the trail in higher elevations but it was still a very a nice, easy hike. Beautiful views. We only saw 1 other person on the way up (around 8 am) then didn’t see anyone for the rest of the morning. On the way back down (around noon) we encountered several people making their way up but it was spaced out enough to not be an issue. It was quiet and peaceful. Parking was no issue in the morning. Will definitely be doing this again

hiking
5 months ago

It was awesome!

Beautiful views. You pass a lot of small cabins along the way so it is not a completely off the grid trail

Love this trail!!! Amazing views. Started hike in am so little icy in spots...slushy in others, but turns into fun snow near the top.

hiking
5 months ago

A bit slushy right now in the first mile or two. Would probably be better with a bit more snowfall. Have also done it in summer and it was great.

hiking
5 months ago

My husband and I did a short hike on this trail as we were leaving the South Tahoe area. We just did a leisurely 3 mile out and back. The views were lovely and the trail mostly flat. The weather was in the cooler side and a bit windy, but not too bad. This was my first time on the PCT and I hope to visit it again.

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
5 months ago

Well maintained beautiful hike. Beautiful views.

hiking
5 months ago

Great views

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