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Vikingsholm Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and rock climbing and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 1.7 miles Elevation Gain: 377 feet Route Type: Out & Back

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

rock climbing

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

waterfall

no dogs

Vikingsholm Trail starts from the stone observation area above Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, about 9 miles north of South Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada. This is a moderate dirt and paved road hike (with about a 400-foot elevation change) from the parking lot to bottom of Emerald Bay, but be prepared to hike back up. At the end of the trail you can take the Vikingsholm Castle tour available 7 days a week from mid-June until the end of September from 10am to 4pm. All tours are guided and take approximately one-half hour. You can also hike the short trail to Lower Eagle Falls which begins directly across from the castle or relax at Emerald Bay Beach. The authentic replica of the Viking castle is part of Emerald Bay State Park which was designated an underwater California state park in 1994. In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area. A nominal fee is charged. Bring a lunch and enjoy the fabulous view of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island from the shoreline picnic area. Pets are not allowed. Swimming, camping and boating are also popular Tahoe activities at the park. Visitors can access nearby hiking trails including the Rubicon Trail in D.L. Bliss State Park and Cascade Falls and Eagle Lake in Desolation Wilderness.

hiking
23 days ago

Very nice and relatively easy hike. The climb up slows u down, but it was windy and felt nice.

hiking
1 month ago

Have done this a couple of times. Always a great place to show friends and family Emerald bay! It’s cool to check out the home at three bottom and I believe they do kayak rentals in summer

1 month ago

Kid friendly, easy hike. All uphill on the way back. Once at the bottom, you can walk around the grounds and take a dip in the water.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Starts at highest elevation though and most of it is going downhill to the beach and emerald bay. The lake is fun to take a break and have a snack. We continued on up a short hike to eagle falls which was very pretty. Overall short easy hike with beach access.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Did the out-and-back to Eagle Falls. At first I thought what’s the point because clearly the best view is at the top, right where you start at the trailhead. It’s worth it though because the falls at the end are a gem and having lunch at the lake was blissful. It just snowed yesterday so it was slushy/snowy going down to the lake. Turning at the lake and coming up to the falls was a different story. Luckily there were large footprints I was able to step into, roughly 1 1/2 - 2’ deep. I’m 5’1” and sometimes I fell in further, sometimes to my mid-thigh. Definitely slowed my pace down. Only spotted five people down at the lake far off in the distance during these COVID-19 days.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views. But, wouldn’t consider it a hike. It’s more of a walk to viewpoint. Still, absolutely beautiful.

hiking
icy
4 months ago

Quite slippery during winter months, but worth the views!

hiking
6 months ago

Very scenic drive from s. lake Tahoe, keep your eyes on the road! Trailhead has great pic n 360 views. trail is easy down, very tranquil bottom with placid lake, trail is harder going up but v doable! short n sweet.

hiking
7 months ago

The incline back up killed me, other than that great views! Definitely recommend

hiking
7 months ago

Very easy trail. The only hard part is going back up. Trail is over crushed stone and paved asphalt. No rocks to scramble over. There are switchbacks where you can rest. I would not say it’s intermediate or moderate. Seen young and old do this trail. At the bottom of the trail there is a decent sized beach. Good place to rest.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a beautiful trail that walks you along the lake. Great views and massive trees. It is all downhill until you get to the Vikingsholm at the base which means it is all up hill on the way back. The trail is wide with even ground but can be a challenge for those who don’t hike. If you get tired just stop and take pictures. Very enjoyable!

hiking
7 months ago

Very buetiful hike. Should only take an hour.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

awesome views of the bay.

hiking
8 months ago

The trail is nothing special, but the views from the top as well as Vikingsholm itself are well worth it. Definitely pay the $15 to take the tour of the home, it’s a dream. Wish we had known about the kayaking available to the island before we got down there. Nice picnicking beach, too!

hiking
8 months ago

Tough getting back up and full parking lot issues, but so beautiful and worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail if you go mid-week and start early. Lots of space at Vikingsholm overlook at 7:45am. Don’t follow directions to trailhead in app, road was closed. Also you can’t get to the point at the end of trail without serious bush whacking. We went beyond that to where the trail meets the lake again, about 15-20 minutes further. Great views and very few folks in the trail. We also added a short hike to Lower Eagle Falls before starting the uphill part back to overlook. Well worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

It was not a difficult trail except on way back. But short with beautiful views and wonderful history! Take the tour if you’re interested in learning about this piece of history . Bring a lunch and sit by the lake. It’s gorgeous

hiking
8 months ago

Steep non-paved path on the way down, not difficult at all. I'm rating this a four-star we prefer a more challenging hike, although the elevation makes the trip back up "breath-taking." The views all along the trail are absolutely amazing and are among our favorite in the Country!! This is a must do trail if you're in the south Tahoe/Emerald Bay Area! And if you are hiking down, you might as well rent a kayak and head over to the island for more spectacular photo ops!

hiking
8 months ago

Not too hard at all. Beach was amazing

hiking
8 months ago

The trail is almost a road (non paved) and it’s kinda short. The beach is nice, but can get crowded. We rented a kayak and paddled to the island (also crowded). Went late afternoon so the sun hid behind the rocks before 6pm.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful but a climb

hiking
9 months ago

Very crowded, but that is to be expected at Emerald Bay. This could be one of the most beautiful spots on a Lake Tahoe. Take your swimsuit for a day at the beach.

hiking
9 months ago

Kid friendly. My daughter (15) who needs a hip replacement and my son (8) who only likes video games both did it along with the lower Eagle Falls trail. Touring the estate costs extra. Parking is tough and for a fee. Little museum and shop at visitors center. Very congested environment. Picnic tables available, restrooms available, water fountains for drinking water. Great views of Emerald Bay. The trail is a little intense for elders.

hiking
9 months ago

Got there at 9am and parking lot was full.. had to park a mile down the road.. walking back you can see Emerald Bay.. soo beautiful! Also a really great waterfall.. there was a man down there that thought he was a beaver, he was stacking rocks to make a pond.. LOL... the hike down was easy, which going down usually is, however after we toured the Vikingsholm house ( which i recommend) it was hotter out and the hike up was not nice.. LOL.. only because I dont do heat well and Im a bit in need of losing some weight.. however, I would do it all over again.. at the end of the hike it really is amazing.. so beautiful... pictures do not do it justice :)

hiking
9 months ago

10/10 would recommend for hikers of all levels. Get there early (8 AM recommend) to avoid parking issues. By 9:30 AM the parking lot is full and street parking seems to be a bit of a task.

hiking
9 months ago

Steep but not too slippery/gravelly. The bottom of the trail is a great place to spend some time swimming or hike the 0.2 miles to Eagle Falls (just follow the signs). Visitors center at the bottom sells ice cream bars :) lots of direct sun between patches of shade.

hiking
9 months ago

Took this trail to the Vikingsholm Castle. The walk down was fine. Coming back up was a bit more challenging. Parking at the trailhead is limited and costs. We arrived at 930 am and it was already full. parked probably a mile up the road on the shoulder. It was a nice visit with great views. worth the time and effort.

hiking
10 months ago

Great, little hike. Views down at the lake are beautiful and Vikingsholm is super cool!

hiking
10 months ago

Trail down is a bit bland but great views at start and end

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