Rubicon Trail

MODERATE 533 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Rubicon Trail is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
11.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,381 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

rock climbing

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

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. $10 fee for parking

walking
7 days ago

Awesome trail, worth the effort. It’s not too hard in terms of elevation, definitely recommend it!

8 days ago

Beautiful views. Lots of trees and views of lake

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful gem of a trail!! Hiked to Emerald Cove, took us just under two hours with stopping for exploration to get there-an hour and 20 on the way back. Trail meanders up and down along little coves of the Lake. A fair amount of other hikers passing through. Wonderful trail!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike along Lake Tahoe. Hard part was walking the mile up to the car from Vikingsholm

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike! Parked at DL Bliss State Park and arrived very early to get parking. Did not record it here but I think it’s about 9 to 11 miles.

hiking
26 days ago

We loved this hike, loved the variety of terrain, and it was the highlight of our hiking in Tahoe. It's a steep start but hang in there. I was very glad to have my hiking sticks for both the steep up and steep down on the return. The longer gentle uphill return was very easy. There are so many beautiful views, one more gorgeous than the rest. For a slow time of year, it was pretty busy. I don't think this would be very enjoyable during high season. It's 10.5 miles r/t to Vikingsholm according to FitBit and Google Maps. Definitely recommend!

26 days ago

Best hike my wife and I have ever taken. Breathtaking views, shade, well marked, not a lot of traffic. Inspires us to continue getting in better shape so we can hike the full length out and back! Highlight of our Tahoe vacation so far!

hiking
1 month ago

This is the most beautiful trail I’ve ever hiked in Northern California! Absolutely recommend & will definitely be doing again!

Did it today. Good Lakeviews and well maintained one. You have to pay to enter the park. There are places where you can get into the lake near emerald bay.

1 month ago

Awesome trail. One of my favorite hikes.

1 month ago

Did this yesterday with family. Spectacular!!! Everything about it. Up and down, rocky, flat, gorgeous views. We parked at Eagle Point campground and stopped at Calawee Cove beach. Out and back trail. about 7 miles there and back. Would definitely do again.

1 month ago

Great trail!

1 month ago

Okay rear

1 month ago

started at the rubicon trail in eagle point campground, went to calwee cove
and back. . beautiful views of the lake, cool rock formations, several water access points along the way. dont let the relatively flat terrain fool you. the distance and elevation change make this a worthwhile effort even for the avid fit hiker. our trek total was 15 miles due to some misnavigation. the swimming and rocks at calwee cove were a perfect mid hike refreshment. total time for us was 6 hours.

1 month ago

Hiked from Eagle Point campground to Cadawee Cove & back, and it was a varied & scenic trail with plenty of places to stop for a swim., good mix of sun & shade. Well-traveled but not overcrowded mid-week; I felt very safe hiking alone. Saw some folks in sandals without water, but if you plan to hike more than a couple of miles out, I recommend hiking shoes & sufficient hydration.

1 month ago

my favorite hike in the Tahoe basin. 80% of trail has lake views. trail is well maintained and plenty of shade. We took jet ski to D.L. Bliss beach and hiked to Emerald Bay and back.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a beautiful trail. Not too busy on a Sunday late August. Beautiful scenery. You go through the woods, lake views, you walk by the late for a bit. It’s a must see.

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful, well maintained trail, did six miles in afternoon low light and the forest and lake were stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful scenery throughout. I’ll be back!

1 month ago

amazing views

trail running
2 months ago

This is an awesome out and back trail. My new favorite trail run in California! There are some rock stairs, roots sticking up and part of the trail that you’re squeezed around rocks next to the cliff that can slow you down but this trail is beautiful! You have to get to DL Bliss early and pay $10 to get to the best parking but it’s totally worth it! The views are incredible. It’s up and down and if you wear a suit you can jump in a few different places!

trail running
2 months ago

Simply put, this trail is amazing for a runner. It's 12+ miles out and back. (Follow the directions to the parking lot above, and remember to bring $10 to pay for parking). We arrived at 7:15 on a Saturday and got a spot, but there are only about 10 spots next to the trail, so get their early. For a runner, this was one of the best trails we have ever run. Epic scenery, some elevation at the beginning, middle and end, and single track running. We were pretty much alone on the trail until we started heading back, and ran into alot of hikers, so had to play frogger - so might be even better to go earlier than we did to avoid the crowds on the return. Given the choice between this and Flume, I'm taking Rubicon hands down as the best trail run in the SLT area.

hiking
2 months ago

I attempted to pick up the trail in D.L. Bliss State Park, but the parking lot was full. A helpful ranger suggested I drive 1.6 miles to Eagle Point Campground as that lot "is never full." She was right about that. Bonus was that the Rubicon Trailhead was located just a few meters from the entrance to the day parking lot. Also, this meant that I was picking up the trail at the beginning, instead of in the middle at D.L. Bliss. As a regular hiker, I found the trail to be relatively easy to hike, just the distance and occasional climbs added to the difficulty. The scenery was beautiful! The beach areas could be crowded, but it was easy to navigate through the people. Well worth giving it a try... I'll be back to do it again!

2 months ago

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a regular, the Rubicon trail is a must! Walking at a leisurely pace with no breaks, it should take around 2.5 hours to walk one way, say, from D.L.Bliss SP to Vikingsholm. This route has more of a downslope, and therefore your return trip will generally be a gradual upslope. If you don't feel like doing an out and back, you can do a one way with some planning. One time when we were with friends, we took two cars and parked one over at Emerald Bay and parked the other at DL Bliss. There is also a trolly/ shuttle service that makes stops from Tahoe City to South Lake Tahoe that you can take advantage of if you don't feel like driving. (Go to the Tahoe Transportation District website to see fares and schedules.) Know that by 9:30 am the parking lots around Emerald Bay and D.L. Bliss are almost always full. My advice is to get to these places as early as possible to find parking and beat the crowds.

2 months ago

beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail offers it all. A great lake view, some elevation, and just the right amount of distance.
It was a great scenic workout.

hiking
2 months ago

Great view from the top. I hiked up to the lighthouse. I’m from Ohio so I’m not use to mountain trails. It would have been nice to have some arrows along the way.

2 months ago

Fabulous hike! Great views of Emerald Bay and just enough uphill to make for a great workout! The trail is in great shape!

hiking
2 months ago

A few too many stairs to climb for my liking but beautiful scenery.

3 months ago

Amazing trail

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