Emerald Bay State Park, a National Natural Landmark in renowned for it's natural beauty and geology, making it a great stop during any visit to the Lake Tahoe's lakefront. Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is a fantastic place for kayaking, riding a standup paddleboard, or scuba diving, where you will be able to see the remains of many boats in addition to plants and fish. Emerald Bay offers amazing architecture, like the Vikingsholm, one of the states finest examples of Scandinavian architecture, and The "Tea House" on Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe's only island and a great place for afternoon tea. Summer temperatures range from the mid 70's in the daytime to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to a low of 20 degrees. Dogs are allowed in the park, but they are not allowed on trails, sandy beaches, or in the Vikingsholm area. The park is open sunrise to sunset.

hiking
14 days ago

Visited on 6/11/18 with our 3 year old. Hike down was fairly easy for all of us, but it was loose gravel. Got to the bottom to find out tours stopped at 3:30.

Beautiful trail, especially in the winter. The steps get very icy, so wear good boots!

A short and sweet little trail with a beautiful waterfall. There was a ton of snow on the trail, so some good snow boots are a must.

beautiful for a nice winter hike.

hiking
1 month ago

I was here mid-week in mid-November and saw very few people. The trail (road) down is unremarkable but wow... That's an amazing piece of architecture at the end. It's definitely worth it for that and for the opportunity to spend some time lazing on the shore of the stunning Emerald Bay.

Easy hike, lots of people, beautiful views.

Boring walk, but worth it when you get the beach at the end.

on Vikingsholm Trail

walking
1 month ago

A great trail to go with kids. Really nice views of Emerald Bay. We went with a 1.5 and 3.5 year old and they really enjoyed it, especially the beach at the end! It’s very easy on the way down, and steep on the way up (for just about a mile, so totally doable!) Arrive early for parking! Parking area is $10.

super super steep but so pretty... it really is worth the hike back up

Hiked this up from Vikingsholm after completing Rubicon Trail. Ascent very steep.

Fun & easy hike! I even saw families with little ones (ranging ages 4-10ish), so good for family fun. It’s currently off season right now, but during season (I wanna day it’s Memorial Day to Labor Day? Ish?) you can take a tour of the Vikingsholm Estate. Definitely planning on going back for that! Beautiful views!

walking
3 months ago

I loved the history and melancholy this place brought, to spend a summer in the forest nestled between majestic mountains and the gorgeous blue Tahoe, what could be more relaxing from our hectic lives! I hope you can find close by parking outside the fee area and ready yourself to descend down into history. The tour was simple and short with quick photo ops but your $10 goes to a good cause to protect history as well as the beauty of the area. the missing 5th Star is for the crazy crowds! timing is everything to avoid the worst of it. I hike because I love solitude in creation which this does not provide, so go for the history and not the adventure of the hike. it was a nice little work out to push yourself at 90 to 100% of your effort back up the hill and then you'll feel you've accomplished it all, just don't run over the other tourists struggling up the hill, they deserve a great experience too!

We loved this trail! Easy enough for the kids! Get there early as it gets super busy and parking can be difficult to find. Gorgeous views.

backpacking
3 months ago

Nice, easy to walk trail, a little steep, but well worth it when you see the Vikingholm mansion, beautiful architecture, and spectacular views. Very nice little beach out front (bring your swim suites)

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail.. breathtaking views.. good for solo hikers as there is just the right amount of foot traffic.

A good family hike on a gorgeous day in Tahoe. Reliable shoes a must as the gravel trail was easy to slip. Our 5&7 yr olds held up well. Took the Vikingsholm tour and walked along the beach before ascending.

hiking
4 months ago

I would consider this an easy hike for someone that has hiked before. If you have not hiked then it’s going to be a harder time. The loop is a very easy type, If you go all the way to the lake it is harder and obviously it does take longer.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful view of Emerald Lake. The castle was very unique. Easy walk down harder to walk up. I would do it again for the kayaking out to the island. Where good shoes do not use flip-flops.

Great walk down to house but going up check your heart rate

hiking
4 months ago

A good trail to see Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm from up close. Fairly easy with a moderate climb back to the parking lot.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail leads you through Vikingsholm and connects to the rubicon trail, but the map on here is incorrect.

You Can’t get past the lower eagle falls vista point unless you are in very good shape and can scale mountains fairly easily. Not worth the hike up, just turn back at Vikingsholm if you don’t plan on continuing onto rubicon trail.

4 months ago

Arrive early for parking! There are many places along the road outside the parking area and you’ll save $10. There are trails on the South Lake Tahoe side so you don’t have to feel you’re walking in traffic. Nice hike with many excellent viewpoints and photo ops. It’s pretty much one long switchback down to the beach area where you can picnic, swim and enjoy the views of emerald bay. Be sure to take a tour of the house and get it’s history! There is also a short (0.3 mi) hike starting from the gift shop to the base of eagle falls. There are stairs but they are well cut and the falls are well worth it.

Be prepared for that long switchback out. It is very doable. Wear good shoes! The climb back can be hot and sun exposed midday and early afternoons

hiking
4 months ago

Get there early to find parking. This trail starts downward and connects with Rubicon. Beautiful waterfall. The hike back was up hill yuck

hiking
4 months ago

We couldn’t get a parking spot near the trail entrance, but once we parked further down around the bend it made more sense to walk down the paved carriage road that joins up with the Rubicon trail. It made for a longer hike — almost the length of Emerald Bay— but the views from above were amazing. We enjoyed touring the house which seems to have had some recent restoration— it looks great. I also appreciate that the gift shop by Vikingsholm now has some snacks. The ice cream treats helped power us back up the hill! There are some amazing campsites along the Rubicon trail. A great day.

hiking
4 months ago

Short, easy hike, Emerald Bay was cold to swim in which was really nice during the summer. Also came during the winter when it was snowing, beautiful.

hiking
5 months ago

Short but sweet. Hiking out was a bit of a chore due to the grade and, after swimming all day, we were feeling it. We passed two guys hauling an ice chest full of fish back up, bless 'em. Totally worth it to swim in the bay and sit by the trees.

hiking
5 months ago

I had been wanting to hike down to the castle for some time now but I chose the wrong day. I arrived at 9am and it was so heavily trafficked with all the end-of-summer vacationers that it took me almost an hour just to find parking.

Besides that reservation, it is a short but sweet trail descending down to the beach with stunning, scenic views. There was a bit of incline coming back up but nothing too challenging. I would definitely do it again on a less busy day.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hiking spot gorgeous view!

Awesome views of the lake. Beautiful forest scenery. Mostly down hill one way. Nice treasure at the end Vikingholm was breathtaking. would definitely recommend.

5 months ago

We enjoyed this hike. Would recommend for beginners or if you're hiking with children. We found trails very easy. Beautiful waterfall with great views of Emerald Bay!

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