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Gold Country & High Sierra Region
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park © Gary OToole
Valley Quail ©
Valley Quail
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P.O. Box 266, 7360 West Lake Boulevard
Tahoma, California   96142-0266

Phone: 530-541-3030
Reservations: 530-525-7277
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.

The park features Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. The "Tea House" on Fannette Island, the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe.

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.

History of the Area
This natural treasure was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968. The park spans over 1,500 acres and includes two campgrounds.

The area's history dates back to the indigenous Washoe tribe who considered it sacred land for thousands of years. In the mid-19th century, European settlers arrived during the gold rush era.

In late 1800s Ben Holladay Jr., an entrepreneur from San Francisco purchased Emerald Bay property and built a summer home known as "Emerald Lodge". Later on Lora J Knight bought most of his properties including Fannette Island where she constructed Vikingsholm Castle which is now one of its main attractions.

It officially became part of California's state parks system in September 1953 after being donated by Harvey West -a lumberman from Santa Cruz.

 Hiking Trailyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
- Emerald Bay Boat Camp: Offers 20 boat-in campsites, available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- Eagle Point Campground: Provides campers with both standard and premium sites.
- D.L Bliss State Park: Located near the park offering family-friendly camping options.
- Vikingsholm Hiking Trail Camping Area: Allows backcountry camping for hikers only.

- Rubicon Trail: A moderate 4.5-mile trail offering stunning views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay, with access to Vikingsholm.

- Eagle Falls Trailhead: An easy-to-moderate 2-mile round trip hike featuring a waterfall; the path leads up towards Desolation Wilderness.

- Granite Lake via Maggie's Peaks South Summit Hike: This challenging route is approximately 8 miles long, leading hikers past alpine lakes and providing panoramic lake vistas from high peaks.

- Lighthouse Trail Loop at Sugar Pine Point State Park : Just over two miles in length, this loop offers diverse scenery including meadows, forests and beachfronts along the western shore of Lake Tahoe.

- Inspiration Point Vista & Cascade Creek Fall Trails : Approximately one mile each way; provides breathtaking views overlooking Emerald Bay on an accessible paved walkway.

- Lower Eagle Falls Short Walk - Less than half a mile but steep climb down steps for close-up view of falls cascading into bay below.

-Bayview Campground to Velma Lakes Loop- Roughly nine-and-a-half miles through dense forest terrain with multiple scenic overlook points throughout journey

-D.L Bliss State Park Balancing Rock Nature Trail- Easy one-kilometer nature trek showcasing unique rock formations within park boundaries

-Vikingsholm Castle Tour And Beach Access Path - Half-mile downhill stroll that ends at historic castle site where guided tours are available during summer months

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Area Campgrounds
Tahoe Valley Campground
1175 Melba Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Nearby Hotels

The park is located 22 miles south of Tahoe City.

Vikingsholm can be reached by parking in the Harvey West parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay. Take the trail, which is one mile in length and drops 500 feet in elevation to the house.

Fannette Island is located in the bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

The Boat Camp is on the north side of Emerald Bay, about 1/2 mile east of Fannette Island located in the bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, at the site of the old Emerald Bay Resort.

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California State Parks