Emerald Bay State Park

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General Information

Emerald Bay State Park is located at Lake Tahoe in Northern California, just south-east of Tahoe National Forest, north-east of Eldorado National Forest, and just west of the Nevada border.

The park is popular for both, its Winter and warm weather activities. Regardless of the season, this this is simply an extraordinarily beautiful and breathtaking place. Imagine camping in the area and waking up to the view of the lake and white-capped mountains in the background. There you are, half-awake, and maybe drinking some coffee from a thermos, probably thinking you are still sleeping because the view in-front of you is just too surreal.

Picture yourself standing there, with your family or friends probably still sleeping, quietly enjoying the lake and the mountains, while the greenery around you still has the freshness of the morning mist.

Note: If you are driving to the park, all road entrances have an $8 fee.


We currently do not have any record of trailheads in this park.

Routes and Trails You Can Travel

We currently do not have any record of good routes in this park.


There are many miles of hiking trails at the park. All parking lots that get you to the trails, charge a fee.

Some of the popular hike at the park is to Vikingsholm castle or Eagle Falls. The Vikingsholm castle is a replica of a type of Scandinavian castle that were made there around 800 A.D. Eagle Falls is just a beautiful place that you won't regret visiting.


Climate and Weather

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In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite.

In 1994, Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park. Under the cover of water, there are many sunken boats, ramps and barges that were used on the lake before the turn of the century.

A little bit about the history of Vikingsholm Castle: Mrs. Lora J. Knight of Santa Barbara purchased the area in 1928 when the area was still undeveloped. Her nephew, Lennart Palm, who was a Swedish-born architect, designed what was to be her a home at the park, and what is now known as Vikingsholm Castle. There are 38 rooms at the castle, and tours are provided by the park.


There is plenty of wildlife in the park and nearby forests. Keep in mind that there are bears that live in the area. Make sure you understand how to behave in case you encounter a bear on your trip here.

If you are camping in the area, use of metal food lockers is required to keep the food out of the reach of bears. These food lockers are available at the camp sites.




Other Plants

Camping Possibilities

Its been mentioned before, but it is worth mentioning a number of times. There are bears in the area. Before you camp here, please familiarize yourself with all the safety information that the park provides its visitors.

Especially important is that people use the metal food lockers that are designed to keep food unreachable by the bears. Once you familiarize yourself with all the safety instructions, you can get to know the camp grounds.

The main camp ground at Emerald Bay Park is the Eagle Point Campground.

Other Information


There is plenty of parking at the park. None of the parking is free. During busy visiting times, the parking lots tend to fill up pretty quickly. People are able to park on the sides of the roads, but be careful - not all roadside parking is legal and the rangers at this park do hand out parking tickets. Make sure you check whether it is legal to park wherever you are planning to park.

Driving Directions

Emerald Bay is accessible by Highway 89. It is located 22 miles south of Tahoe City.

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Park Map

Photos From This Park

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Hiking or Walking Groups Nearby

Group Name: Sacramento Backpacking

Group Description: Sacramento-area based group with a preference for multiple-day excursions into the backcountry.

Upcoming Hikes

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Past Hikes

Yosemite NP This Weekend! | 99.9 km away

Date: Friday, 6-24-2011

Description: There are 2, with 2 different days and times: Chilnualna Falls Friday AM; A rather uphill, 4 mile one-way hike to outrageous flowing water not normally seen in Yosemite, plus fishing for true "gems"...gorgeous, natural Rainbow trout in pools above the Falls. All "jewels" experience CPR: Catch, Photograph, and Release. Come Saturday: One of the best, best views in all of the Yosemite Valley area, without having to ascend Half Dome: Sentinel Dome instead! It's a 1.5 mile, quite easy-to-moderate-at-the-end stroll/hike...sssshhhhh! Keep this one close to you...so much worth the bit of effort!