Vikingsholm Trail

MODERATE 134 reviews
#3 of 6 trails in

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 and walking and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
360 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

hiking

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.

12 days ago

Great trip,
Limited parking, a must see castle! Thanks

14 days ago

I was huffing and puffing on my way back up (I blame it on the altitude) but it was worth the views!! Lots of kids, being carried, and plenty of dogs.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views of Emerald Bay! My husband and I were able to complete it with our 2.5 year old in his pack and our 2 month old in my front carrier. It was a little tougher on the way up because it’s pretty steep, but definitely doable. You can continue on the trail down to emerald bay and see Vikingsholm castle. We brought lunch and ate at one of the picnic tables. Vikingsholm is only open to tour in the summer, but it’s still beautiful to see.

walking
2 months ago

Hiking down pavement isn't my forte- lots of non hikers on this one. The view and being right on Lake Tahoe is awesome and gets you right up to the shoreline. We continued to Emerald point which is more of a trail with minimal elevation change. Back tracked up to parking lot. The elevation going back up to the parking lot is the challenge and can get you out of breath if your not physically fit.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, and Vikingsholm. Easy hike down; slightly more strenuous going back up, but well worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

Very pretty hike. Easy. Great views of Lake Tahoe and several waterfalls. Great for all ages and skill levels.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice short and relatively easy hike. Fairly steep trail with nice views of Emerald Bay and takes you to the coastline where you can check out a beautiful mansion once owned by a wealthy landowner and now by the parks service (There are tours available in the summer every half hour.). Parking is $10.

hiking
4 months ago

Parking is difficult at this time due to one row of the parking lot being worked on, so arrive early if you can in order to get a spot.
If you are someone whom doesn't like the heat, the return hike is better done in the morning because there is very little shade on upper part of the trail.
The trail is nice and wide and is definitely down all the way and UP all the way back.
The view of the bay at the bottom.of the trail is very nice.
We did the home tour and it was a nice, simple tour. You pay $10 to park & $10/person to do the tour.
The $10 is worth it for the tour.
Make sure to take the time to do the .5 mile hike to Lower Eagle Falls.
It's a beautiful little waterfall.

hiking
4 months ago

about 1 Mike each way from the parking lot, the uphill on the way back is a pretty good workout. be sure to hike eagle falls which is another quarter mile past the vikingsholm.

hiking
5 months ago

Though labeled as "caution, steep" this trail is Easy-Moderate. A wide, well groomed path leads down 1.0 miles to the castle, a dock and paths around the bay. Absolutely worth the return trip uphill (a solid incline walk that'll warm you right back up if it's chilly out).

Great trail to take to admire the beauty of the bay up close.

hiking
5 months ago

Parking is a fiasco, but it is absolutely worth it! Emerald Bay is stunningly beautiful. Vikingsholm is incredibly unique and something to see. The hill to get down to it may be a bit steep for some on the way back up, but just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

hiking
5 months ago

Scenic walk ... parking hardest thing ... not enough spaces.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a beautiful easy down hill hike to the beach and Rubicon Trail and Vikingholm. Hike back up trail is strenuous for a 71 year old. Took one hour to go .8 miles, with stops to rest back and hips. But overall this a good hike and worth the pain.

hiking
5 months ago

Steep one-mile climb down and back. The top of the trail provides some striking views of the bay and other features.

Vikingsholm itself is nicely preserved and has been well maintained by California State Parks. The tour is just the right length, and the history discussed is very intriguing.

hiking
5 months ago

This was the first time my family and I decided to do a hike on July 26, 2017. The walk was easy to get to the castle, but it was closed and didn't open until 10:30a.m so we decided to walk about 5-10 more minutes to check out Eagle falls and it was so worth it. The waterfalls were beautiful! We started the trail at 8:15a.m and it was not crowded, but by the time we were heading back around 9:30a.m people were arriving and parking was getting hectic so I recommend arriving before 9:00a.m. The walk back had some uphills, but was manageable. I saw people of all ages and there are plenty of benches to stop and rest when needed. I recommend this trail to any beginner hiker. Definitely check out Eagle Falls!

hiking
5 months ago

Easy 1 mile hike down to Emerald Bay Vikingsholm and beach. Very chill.

hiking
6 months ago

The sign at the start that says "steep trail" was a little bit misleading, at least for me. A very fast, easy hike down to a beautiful grass-covered castle and popular beach area. If you're looking for a quiet and solitary hike this one is not for you. But if you don't mind a lot of people then this hike is fast, easy, kid friendly, and fun! Definitely recommend for the scenery at least.

6 months ago

Nice wide paths make this an easy trail. lots of foot traffic and grassy beach area at the bottom. kayaks available for rent.

6 months ago

fun hike

hiking
6 months ago

For a more interesting hike to Vikingsholm, I recommend starting at the eagle point campground. There is plenty of parking, the trail is more scenic, and less steep. The trail to Vikingsholm from eagle point is 2 miles each way and includes eagle falls. I thought the tour was overpriced. For $10 each, it's 20 minutes guided and 10 minutes wandering around.

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