Rubicon Trail/Emerald Bay Loop – Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails
If you’re in the mood for a day long hike that covers a lot of the shoreline, then this is the hike for you. The Rubicon Trail is home to constant views of the azure waters of Lake Tahoe, historical sights like the old lighthouse, rocky points and sandy coves. Although the elevation change is minimal, it’s a moderate 4.5 mile hike from D.L. Bliss State Park to Emerald Bay. The Indians called Lake Tahoe, the “Lake in the Sky” and as you gaze at the puffy white clouds reflecting in the mirror-like surface of the lake, the reason why will be as crystal clear as the water itself. Along the crushed-granite trail, you’ll see cliffs drop dramatically 600 feet into cornflower blue water a little ways past Rubicon Point.
Among the Douglas firs, Jeffrey Pines, and incense cedar trees sit natural rock figures and an undisturbed osprey nest. You’ll pass both sunny and pleasantly shaded paths on your way to switchbacks leading to the sandy shores of Emerald Bay. Scattered wildflowers, fantastic views of Fannette Island, and the tea house of legends that sits atop it welcome you to gorgeous Emerald Bay State Park. Wildflowers popping up along the bay include monkey flower, columbine, lupine, and leopard lily. There are many excellent lunch and swimming spots at the sandy coves where the trail touches the lake. Enjoy the most scenic views Lake Tahoe affords as you picnic. Public beach access is available at both state parks, and you can participate in a myriad of water sports at either.
You can choose to stop at Emerald Bay, or extend your trip two miles further to also encompass Vikingsholm. Vikingsholm mansion is a particularly interesting site to behold – perhaps as beautiful as it is out of place. Scandinavian architecture wraps around this sod-roofed, 38 room mansion built in 1929. 30 minute guided tours are available between 10 and 4 every half hour daily through the end of September. To get to D.L. Bliss State Park, take Highway 89 north 10 miles from South Lake Tahoe. There is a fee for day use parking, and pets are not allowed.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Sunday Drive: Tahoe’s grand circle (sfgate.com)
- Experience the Tahoe Rim Trail this summer on FREE Guided Hikes (yubanet.com)
- Agency keeps Tahoe’s Emerald Bay open to boaters (sfgate.com)