Explore the most popular beach trails near South Lake Tahoe with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of my all time favorite Tahoe hikes. Perfect for a little off boat excursion, and dont forget to jump off round rock.

long trail. beautiful views of lake. highly recommend.

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked this today. Many opportunities for beautiful pics. Hike was pretty easy, just long. Not too many people on the trail which was great. Weather was perfect and trail was easy to find thanks to this All Trails App. Would do this hike again.

off road driving
8 days ago

The Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile-long route, part road and part 4x4 trail, located in the Sierra Nevada of the western United States, due west of Lake Tahoe and about 80 miles (130 km) east of Sacramento.

The western maintained portion of the route is called the Wentworth Springs Road; it begins in Georgetown, California, a hamlet in California's Gold Country. The road continues from its intersection with State Route 193 toward Wentworth Springs, where the trailhead for the unmaintained portion of the route exists adjacent to Loon Lake. The trail portion of the route is about 12 miles (19 km) long and passes in part through the El Dorado National Forest as well as the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The eastern maintained portion of the trail is called the McKinney Rubicon Springs Road, and leads to Lake Tahoe.

walking
11 days ago

Awesome long walk along the water with small waterfalls, and a walk around Emerald Bay. Nice that you can decide to turn back whenever you want

hiking
16 days ago

You can’t beat the lake views. We just finished this trail (a little over 12m round trip per our FitBits). We wanted to take pictures every 5 minutes. It ended up taking us about 4.5 hours. The trail was mostly easy to follow. It gets a little confusing through the campgrounds and in the waterfall area, but just keep going and it connects. There are signs. Because it goes through the D L Bliss state park and campgrounds, you’ll see people throughout your hike. Inclines and declines were moderate. You get a break with flat areas throughout. Lots of shade provided by the trees. Perfect hike for our 1 day in this area.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. It was a cold day so there wasn’t another person on the trail. Quite an elevation gain. Arriving at Dardanelles was so beautiful! Great spots for camping too.

hiking
22 days ago

This trail has tons to see. Long, but very worthwhile.

1 month ago

Did this trail today. Camp group was closed so that added 1 mike each way to get to and from the trailhead. It’s tough coming back up but worth it! It rained during the hike and parts of the trail were slick. Overall beautiful trail.

Beautiful, long but worth it. You walk along the lake and there is a portion of the trail that it goes into wilderness .start early because to many people during summer..

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail with amazing views of the lake!! Runs along the cliffs overlooking the water and through some forested areas. Spotted many ospreys in the nests along the way! Will do again if I come back!

trail running
1 month ago

Great for trail running. No snow on the trails.

hiking
1 month ago

wonderful hike along emerald bay. we started with the lighthouse trail and then headed to vikingsholm. no snow on the trail, it was in excellent condition and after the clouds blew away the mountain peaks were on full display. A ton of wild life were active and the pileated woodpeckers let us get within 5 feet to get some fabulous photos. the water was greenish blue and Crystal clear. A fantastic hike before the crowds show up.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10 mi on the Rubicon Trail! Sights are to die for.

Lovey easy walk with a bit of historic information about early estates on the land. It made me wish I got to visit the summer lake home with the Pope, family! Great views of the mountains that surround the lake. Also, nice stretch of beach for som sun.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for any visit to Tahoe. Beautiful lake views through the trees and some beaches along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Since it is still early in the season, Vikingsholm is not yet open for tours. So for those who want to extend their visit to this part of lakefront Lake Tahoe, I would recommend this 1 mile out-and-back trek. Even though the Rubicon trail extends for miles in either direction, you don’t need to hike the whole thing to give yourself a different vista from where all the tourists gather. You can leave the crowds behind the well-paved section and breathe some hiking bliss into your system for not a whole lot of additional time or effort. The terrain is flat, and would have been categorized as an easy hike if not for some parts of the single track that you hike on are still slippery with snow (as of 4/22). But the views are so worth it. We got good weather so the aquamarine hues really showed through the clear lake water.

Awesome views of the lake on the whole trail. Leads down to a beach.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail starting at Emerald Bay above Vikingsholm. Ample parking available ($5) fee if starting from this lot; an 0.5 mile walk down a wide road brings you to the Rubicon "trailhead." Additional parking available at nearby Eagle Falls Trailhead.

Having completed a number of short, snowy treks, I wanted to complete my Tahoe trip with a longer hike without crowds. On a Tuesday in April with sketchy, remarkably windy weather, there were few people on the Rubicon trail. The crowds thinned out substantially, opting to explore the Vikingsholm area or head up to Lower Eagle Falls. Some remained at the viewpoint near the parking lot.

Rubicon Trail runs parallel to the shoreline of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. At first, the trail periodically switches between singletrack and wide, with sporadic sections of gravel dotting the path. This continues until the Emerald Bay Campground. From there, the trail is primarily singletrack and adopts a more rugged demeanor. Though it's a mostly flat trail, there are intermittent sections of elevation gain and decrease. The heart of the trail seldom ventures more than 20 feet above the shoreline.

If any landscape can be considered objectively beautiful, this is it. Even on a cloudy day with fierce winds, Lake Tahoe retained its aquamarine hue with exceptionally clear water. Patches of snow along the shore contributed a unique wintry essence. Though the views of Lake Tahoe are vast and lack the immediate punch of a waterfall or alpine lake-and-mountain, it provides perhaps the most serene area in Tahoe. There are some small sandy strips and rugged shoreline access that allow calming breaks from hiking.

As of 4/10, there's sparse snow on the trail, mainly on the western portion of the trail. The Emerald Bay area is devoid of snow. There is snow/ice on narrow portions of the trail, however, that require some care to pass. It's completely doable in hiking boots or running shoes. Some (very) minor seasonal flooding and streams appear on the trail infrequently; this should clear up by the summer months.

If hiking from the D.L Bliss Trailhead (North), either hike through Lower Eagle Falls or don't bother with the Emerald Bay section at all. The Rubicon trail is ironically the least scenic in Emerald Bay, as some forest cover and wide paths detract from the trail's beauty. In short, there's little to see that isn't visible in the western portion of the trail. Lower Eagle Falls, however, is powerful and serves as an impactful reward to a tranquil hike. If you make it to Vikingsholm, there's no reason to not continue up to the falls.

Rubicon Trail offers the premier coastal hike on Lake Tahoe. It can be mixed with the nearby alpine Eagle Lake, paired with Cascade Falls, or culminated with a seasonal cruise to complete a full Tahoe day. Regardless of the weather, it's difficult to go wrong with this trail, and should be seen as a safe winter/spring alternative to more questionable conditions.

on Rubicon Trail

3 months ago

Amazing trails. Beautiful view

My husband and I completed this hike in two days- creating a little back packing adventure out of it. We did this trail in Oct. 2016. The hike was fairly easy (for the most part) with various scrambling sections over a few rocks. There were patches of snow in shaded spots but we mostly hiked along the mountain ridge and through several meadows. Take plenty of water!!! The altitude can really get to you if you aren't used to it.

We camped in Meiss Meadow along Meiss cabins and continued on the following day back to Echo Summit. I'd say the hardest part was Hawley Grade. It was a steep climb back to Echo Summit.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike all along the shore line!

hiking
6 months ago

We hiked this today and it was beautiful! Cool on the trail so dress in layers. Not too many people but enough to make it fun! The only bummer is you have to park at the top of the park and hike down to the trail head. Not bad when you are heading out but an uphill trek at the end.

hiking
7 months ago

Great views

hiking
7 months ago

The gorgeous views that are the destination of many hikes are with you the entire time!

Nice trail along Emerald Bay! Kind of just ends randomly

8 months ago

Did the whole trail today and loved it! Perfect weather and amazing views! Tahoe my ❤️

It was amazing views of Lake Tahoe the entire hike! I was constantly stopping to admire nature and was completely enthralled with the experience! I would do it again!

8 months ago

Fantastic - and if it's warm don't forget to take your swimming gear as lots of places along emerald bay to have a dip

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