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.

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
9 days 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
25 days 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
27 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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.

2 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!

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is really easy for an active person. The terrain is flat and easy to walk on and the trail is very obviously marked. There are restrooms available as well which is nice. Love the water at the bottom and the short walk up to eagle falls!

This is definitely doable in regular running shoes and great for kids. I did this with my son when he was 3 years old and again 5 years later.

Easy hike but worth the trip to see the beautiful Vikingsholm at the bottom.

walking
3 months ago

Loved it. Was kinda hard for me but I’m out of shape. Did this in 2015.

Easy paved hike with amazing and iconic view of Emerald Bay. Relatively steep uphill to return to starting point.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautifull hiking. Great view to lake.

hiking
5 months ago

A fun little hike. First your hike down which is easy. Then you hike back up. Beautiful lakeside views at the bottom along with the castle. The uphill is definitely difficult but relatively short. I would say it's a moderate hike. I saw a lot of children and older people doing it just at a slower pace. More can be found on my blog (https://www.brisul.com/blog/2017/6/22/vikingsholmtrail)

Nice easy trail to walk on. The incline is steep coming back up but the path is smooth.

hiking
5 months ago

Vikingsholm is a joy to descend. The level of enjoyment of the ascension is dependent on how much cardio you do. In all seriousness this trail contains some spectacular views and the house at the bottom is truly unique. As with other trails in the area parking is a premium so arrive early or expect to drive around waiting for a spot.

Beautiful views and awesome waterfall

walking
5 months ago

We parked in the main lot right by the entrance and laid $10. Weather was good (around noon) and the views were pretty awesome! I’m 7 months pregnant and still completed the hike. So if I can do it, so can you. :)

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