Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Lake Tahoe (California)  /  Nature  /  Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe (California)

Categories: Bodies of Water, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
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.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • We recently returned to the site of our marriage here on the cliff overlooking Emerald Bay and Vikingsolm. It's such a popular and beautiful nook of Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, the State Park service d...  read more »
  • We drove around Lake Tahoe and ended at Emerald Bay. It was absolutely breathtaking. I cannot recommend it enough. The water and the landscape is perfection. The short walk down to the lake is worth i...  read more »
  • Absolutely must-see! Water, mountains, mature forest - one can spend entire day walking around. Very well maintained trails and vista point. On another side of Emerald Bay there is a mile-long walk do...  read more »
  • 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.
  • This is an amazing place, so much so that the beauty is hard to describe. God made his creativity, beauty, and love for us evident on the water, rocks and trees. It is fun to imagine living in Vilkingsholm back in the day, or rowing to the island for morning tea. A peaceful, but rugged life, I am sure.
  • Heaven on earth! Astounding views of mountains, waterfalls, basin, Lake Tahoe. Hike down to the basin and dip your hat in one of the many water falls and streams to stay cool. At the basin, visit the scandanian style Vikingsholm house for $10 pp or just peal in the windows. Take a swim in the crisp, crystal clear Lake Tahoe or rent a kayak to visit the old tea house on the island.
  • One of the most photographed places in the world, Emerald Bay is absolutely beautiful. It is the gateway to some pretty great hiking and awesome swimming areas. You can visit the Vikingsholm mansion, enjoy a picnic at Eagle Falls, or start a backpacking trip into Desolation Wilderness. During summer be sure to get here early for a parking spot. Be careful driving through here, the roads can be sketchy and there can be a ton of people walking on the highway.
  • 1st time to Emerald Bay. We parked just past the parking lot for Vikinsholm and hiked down. The beautifully tree covered beach and view of Fannette Island were amazing. We weren't prepared for the beach or kayaks, but will definitely come prepared next time. The hike is on a wide paved road, but is pretty steep.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 8​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m