“California State Park system’s premier glacial park”
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.
Emerald Bay State Park includes 2 campgrounds: Boat-In Camp (accessible by boat or foot only) and Eagle Point Campground (scheduled to open mid summer 2016). The scenic Rubicon foot trail wraps around Emerald Bay, with trailheads at Eagle Point campground, Vikingsholm, and DL Bliss State Park. The park features Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere and the "Tea House" on Fannette Island, the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe.
There is no vehicle access to the lakeshore of Emerald Bay or Vikingsholm. Visitors walk to the lake from the Vikingsholm Parking Lot (1 mile walk) or via the Rubicon Trail. Some visitors arrive by kayak or private boat.
Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the resting place for many boats, launches and barges used in the lake before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and used in the construction of Vikingsholm.
Visitors to Emerald Bay State Park enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, sightseeing and touring Vikingsholm in the summer months.
Visitors are welcome to hike down to Vikingsholm any time of year, but please be aware: In the winter, snow and ice can lead to hazardous conditions. Before deciding to hike in the snow, consider if you have appropriate footwear, clothing, food and water supply, and stamina level. Cell phones may not have reception. There are no services or drinking water from Oct - May. Restrooms are available year-round at the bottom. Round-trip to Vikingsholm and back is 2 miles with 400 feet elevation gain.
Vikingsholm Accessibile Information For people who have a valid ADA placard, special arrangements are necessary to reach the Vikingsholm area which is located down a very steep gravel road that is not open to private vehicles. Call (530) 525-7232 to check on the availability of shuttle service to escort people with mobility disabilities to Vikingsholm area. Reservations for this service must be made at least 24 hours in advance. This service is offered during Vikingsholm tour season: Memorial Day weekend - September.
Boating Emerald Bay Speed limit throughout Emerald Bay is a no wake zone area. Within 600 feet of shore it is 5 mph. Amplified music only allowed with a permit. El Dorado CC Sec. 9.16.040 Visiting Fannette Island - Pack it in/ Pack it out - Please help keep the island clean. Restrooms are available behind the Vikingsholm Residence - 50 yards straight from the pier. Please do your part to protect Lake Tahoe - boating inspections and launching facilities Boating safety and information specific to Lake Tahoe New Boating information on Tahoe for 2019 - TRPA
I can only speak on the view because it was closed during my visit. Definitely want to return when the weather is warmer, snow tends to keep it closed in the winter.
I kayaked in Emerald Bay last summer and wish I would've had days and days to soak up the beauty. Parking was very full, the trek down is a few steep descents that are rough climbing back up later in the heat, though they are mostly smooth and as wide as a road and filled with tourists climbing up and down. But the beach and the water and the kayaking experience was absolutely worth it. Rent a kayak on the beach and check out the Island, for sure.
Truly a hidden gem!
SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!! One of my favorite places to go during the summertime! There is a steep walk down the hill to get to they bay and a steep walk up but it is definitely worth it to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the bay!
The state parks (Emerald Bay and nearby D.L. Bliss) were closed (in early June???) and had no information posted whatsoever about trailheads, etc. Correction, D.L. Bliss did have one map posted about the area, but nothing you could take with you and it didn't tell you how to access the trails. I had found a map online before leaving home but didn't see information about the parks being closed so didn't bother to print it, to my regret. There is a lookout point between the two parks, and ideally they could post a map there for people interested in hiking, but that was not the case. After trying to find something for 45 minutes, we finally backtracked and pulled off the road near the entrance of the Emerald Bay campground entrance and walked down to try to find something. The campground was under construction (and therefore deserted), and after following the road for a while we finally found a trailhead for the Rubicon trail hidden by a small amphitheater.
The views from the Rubicon trail were great, so I'm really glad we persevered. We saw several osprey and had a pleasant hike. I would recommend this to anyone, if they can find it! But maybe that's California's point, to make it ridiculously hard to find the trail so they're not overrun? Who knows - word of advice, print the map (http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/506/files/DLBlissEBayFinalWeb073114.pdf) before you go!!
Note: EBSP's website does say the Eagle Point Campground is closed for summer 2015, but does not make it clear the park entrance is closed as well. For someone not familiar with the area, this is rather confusing!
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Emerald Bay State Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm
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- State park or forest
- Max Length
- 18 ft
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