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Rubicon Trail is a 16.4 mile heavily 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 April until September.

Length 16.4 mi Elevation gain 2,306 ft Route type Out & Back
Camping Hiking Nature trips Running Beach Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Fee No dogs
Description
Waypoints (34)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

D.L. Bliss State Park is CLOSED to vehicular traffic for the winter (approximately mid-October). When the park gate is closed, pedestrians may park at the Visitor's Center near highway 89 and access the park from sunrise-sunset. It is an approximately 1 mile hike from the Vistor's Center to the closest Rubicon Trailhead, and a steep 2 mile hike to the beaches. All park regulations apply during the off-season. No restrooms or water available. SUMMER: $10 fee per vehicle is due for entering the park 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.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

D.L. Bliss: The park is located 17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, a couple of miles north of Emerald Bay. Latitude: 38.9779 Longitude: -120.103 Park Office Telephone: (530) 525-7277 Summer (530) 525-7232 Emerald Bay: The park is located 22 miles south of Tahoe City. Park Office Telephone: (530) 541-3030 Dogs are allowed in the parks on roads and developed areas only. They must be kept on a six-foot leash and in an enclosed vehicle or tent at night. Dogs are not permitted on the trails, on beaches or in the Vikingsholm area. Seasons/Climate, D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay: Summer temperatures range from about 75 degrees during the day to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to a low of 20 degrees; during extremely cold winters Emerald Bay freezes over. Camping: Between the parks there are 268 family campsites, each with a table, food locker and stove, plus nearby restrooms and hot showers. Although there are no hookups, some sites at D.L. Bliss will accommodate trailers up to 15 feet or motor homes up to 18 feet. Emerald Bay can accommodate trailers up to 18 feet or motor homes up to 21 feet. The D.L. Bliss group campground will accommodate up to 50 people, with a limit of 10 cars. Reserve all campsites by calling (800) 444-7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov. Twenty primitive campsites are reachable by boat. While the parks themselves have no launching facilities, boats can be launched from private facilities about 6 miles to the north or south. Scuba diving is allowed in the underwater park. D.L. Bliss SP facilities are closed during the. The campground is open from late May through Labor Day. Please call for specific dates. Emerald Bay: Eagle Point Campground and Boat Camp are closed in winter. They are generally open from late May or early June through Labor Day. Please call for specific dates. There are Black Bears in the area. See the parks websites for more information during an encounter. Food Storage Locker Information Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. All food, beverages, and toiletries are required by law to be stored in provided food lockers. The inside dimensions of the food lockers are 36" deep, 43" wide, and 22" high.

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 89 north 10 miles to D.L. Bliss State Park. There is a fee for day use parking.

Weather
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Reviews (899)
Photos (2157)
Recordings (689)
Completed (2016)
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Derrick Sheetz
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Hiking

Amazing hike with great views. Not too difficult for modest hikers.

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maryland acog
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HikingGreat!

Gorgeous trail and few people. Started around noon today. Parked just off the highway at the gate to the Emerald Bay State Park / Upper Eagle Point campground. Walk down the campground road to the trailhead. Took us about 2 hrs with lots of stops to go down to Vikingsholm and then back to the Upper Eagle Point campground. It’s also worth it to add on the brief side trail on the Overlook trail.

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Rob Soltren
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Hiking
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SABA MIRZA
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking

Incredible! 14.3 miles and 7 hours based on my route from DL Bliss through to the lower camp sites at Eagle Point and back, with 1 longer and two short breaks. From DL Bliss, stay left/low at the fork and go through the Rubicon campground rather than taking the paved access road up (unless you are feeling claustrophobic and want brief exposure to some cliffs and more elevated but less dense forested areas before reconnecting with the main trail). Eagle Point camp sites in the low 70s (the closest I could get to Eagle Point) give great views directly across to Rubicon Point, which I thought was a sweet spot to turnaround. Varied trail with lots of microclimates and terrain. Leave your hiking sandals at home as gravel and pine needles prevail underfoot.

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Barbara Schuelke
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Backpacking

Great views!

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sabine morrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiked in from DL Bliss about 1/3 of the trail and about 1/2 from Emerald Bay another day. Beautiful scenery all the way around. Hiking shoes preferably as it is dusty. I did not encounter but a handful of people at 7am. That does change quickly. It is narrow in spots and therefore not the perfect trail for social distancing. No worries on our part. We slipped our masks on when warranted. Limited parking and 1 mile steep walk down to trailhead at EBSP. Wonderful area. Loved every minute of it!

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Gall Raiman
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Hiking

Magnificent trail Loved it hiking towards sunrise at 7:15am

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Taty Knight
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Hiking

Gorgeous all the way!!!

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Kenton Shimozaki
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HikingGreat!

Well-maintained with beautiful views of the Lake. Heavy traffic during summer months with trailhead parking lots filling up early. Plenty of spots to stop and eat lunch along trail. Easy to moderate elevation change.

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Dan Richardson
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Hiking

One of the best ... incredible views at every turn for miles.

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Kyle Lee
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HikingGreat!

There isn't a single turn on this trail that isn't picturesque. Easily added an hour just for taking photos. This is the hike I would recommend the most to get the full beauty of Lake Tahoe. Got the the parking lot right at 7am when the gate opens and only ran across 3 people before the camping spots. $10 to park for the day. Plenty of places to stop along the way and swim in the lake. I will do this hike for sure again. Easy terrain, did it all in bedrock sandals.

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Bryan Sather
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Hiking
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Stefan V.
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Hiking
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Michael Cobos
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Hiking
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Rolando Flores
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Running

Awesome!!

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Frances Pollaro
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Hiking
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Julie Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
Hiking

Lovely trail. Hiked from DL Bliss State Park to Vikingsholm, which was around 6.5 to 7 mi out and back. We were confused as to where the trail started, so we waited until 0700 to purchase the $10 day pass and parked in a lot past a couple of campsites. Got parking easily and no one was on the trail until 0900. You're hiking alongside the lake for the majority of the trail. Lots of beautiful sites, critters, and small areas where you can go down stairs and access the lake. The hike is easy for the most part. Hiking back is a bit moderate because of the slight incline. Bug spray is a must and sun protection if hiking past 0900. It was 55°F at 0700, so bring a jacket if hiking early!

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Ivetta Vlasiouk
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Hiking
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Emma Cleary
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Hiking

really beautiful trail, more easy than moderate. gorgeous views of the lake all around. decent amount of shade. I got here at 9am on a Wednesday and they said I was one of the last cars in before the parking lot was full, so go early. on the other hand, I think this trail would be nicer in the late afternoon because the sum would be on the other side of the mountain and you'd get more shade. water is gorgeous. small waterfall was a pleasant surprise but was nice to splash your face with some cool water. moderately busy trail with other hikers and runners

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Mohammad Al-Rubaie
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Hiking

Nice hike!

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Marcio Alves
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Hiking
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Chasity Testa
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Hiking

Absolutely stunning trail. If you start at DL Bliss state park and pay the $10 day use and take the trail to the castle and back you will do 9 miles in and out. Trail is very well marked with some steep elevation changes at points and then a mile or so of flat trail. Beautiful views almost throughout entire hike.

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Steve Glander
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Hiking

Serenity

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Gladys callander
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Hiking
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Juliet Siro
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HikingGreat!
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Griz Castillo
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HikingGreat!

Short lovely Hike!!

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Yonatan Graber
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HikingGreat!
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Ferran Rodenas
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HikingGreat!
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Keith Ozanne
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Hiking

Incredible! Did In the middle of the day and was pretty hot. Glad we brought our swimsuits to cool off in the water!

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Lauren Freedman
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Hiking

Great walk. Went to the lighthouse and volkingsholm. Didn’t see a need to go past that. Started at the cove so I didn’t have to walk down Lester beach road.

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