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Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe (California)
(4.8/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Emerald Bay State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay, a National Natural Landmark. Park features include Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. The architect was Leonard Palme, who was hired by his aunt Laura Knight to design and build Vikingsholm. The park contains the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island. The park is accessible by California State Route 89 near the southwest shore of the lake. Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe's most photographed and popular locations.In 1969 Emerald Bay was recognized as a National Natural Landmark by the federal Department of the Interior. In 1994 California State Parks included the surrounding water of the bay as a part of the park, making Emerald Bay one of the first underwater parks of its type in the state, protecting the various wrecks and other items on the bay's bottom.The 1533acre park was established in 1953. It is located directly south of D. L. Bliss State Park.Summer temperatures at the park range from the low 40F at night to mid-70F during the day, and during the winter visitors will usually experience temperatures between 20and. During harsh winters the bay freezes over. The bay is about 1.7mi in length, and about two-thirds of a mile (1 km) wide at its widest point.
Use our Fallen Leaf vacation trip planner to visit Emerald Bay State Park on your trip to Fallen Leaf, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Its an amazing view. We did complete round of Lake Tahoe, its worth. We loved the hiking near Emrald Bay. Eagle Falls, very sweet water. My son loved the whole place. The driving is fun also. 
  • Great view! Went on a weeknight in November, no issues with parking at all. No hiking needed to see the amazing view, but if you can climb a few rocks there are some good views of the waterfall as wel...  more »
  • Emerald Bay is completely gorgeous! Beautiful emerald green water just as the name suggests. We did not hike to the bay but rather took a boat cruise around it due to time. (Look for my boat cruise re...  more »
Google
  • So many happy faces everywhere. Folks are willing to schlep their families down a hill to get to this beautiful sanctuary. Bring your watercolors and sketchbook and swim suit. There's camping too. I'll probably do that next time. Or maybe swim out to that stone tea house on that beautiful island. Highly recommend.
  • Parking is really tough. Only two small parking lots on Emerald Bay Road. Majority of people park on the side of the mountain on Emerald Bay Road. Once there it's about a mile walk (paved) down to Emerald Bay. Water was cold (went in August) but crystal clear. Looked like there was gold flakes floating in the water. Very cool experience.
  • This is a great place to visit. When you arrive, you will find a parking lot next to the highway. It fills up fast so you'll want to show up early to get a spot. If you don't get a spot in the main parking lot, there are other lots you can go to but the hike will be much longer. Also, you have to pay a fee to park in the lot (I think it's $20 but I can't remember for sure). After you park, you walk down a switchback trail to the lake shore. I would say the distance is probably around a mile or so. At the bottom, you will see some enormous trees and an old mansion that is now part of the state park. The mansion was closed when we were there so I don't know what it's like inside. The trees, shore, and bay are amazingly beautiful. There is an area where you can swim (and change clothes) so be sure to bring your swimsuit.
  • This is the an attractive place as you will get to see the views of Lake Tahoe and the fannette island. A best vista point to snap a selfie.
  • Emerald Bay overlook area provides breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe's pristine water. Located just west of the NV-CA border, this State Park is nestled in a beautiful cove of Lake Tahoe. Several trails and a warterfall can be accessed from this amazing location.