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“Tahoe Beauty, breath taking, speechless” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park
Hwy 89, CA 96145
530-541-3030
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Top Rated
$149*
and up
Lake Tahoe Semi-Private Photography Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Hiking, Motor-boating, Camping
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Attraction details
Owner description: This spectacular bay in Lake Tahoe is best approached by hiking trails.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Tahoe Beauty, breath taking, speechless”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Emerald Bay is the Crown Jewel of Lake Tahoe. This bay is absolutely gorgeous, breath taking, and will leave you speechless. We have driven highway 89 (West Shore of Lake Tahoe) and viewed the Bay in both summer and winter, and the views from above are a must. This trip we were fortunate enough to boat into the bay from the main part of the lake. The entrance to the bay from the main body of the lake is very shallow, and you must remain in the boat lane (between red and green buoys) or risk hitting several shallow granite rocks barely below the water. Once in the Bay, WOW! The water is so clear with visibility of 50 to 60 feet! The island in the center of the bay is accessible by boat or kayak, and you can hike on it, or like my kids did, jump of the rocks into the lake. The water was almost 70 degrees in late July, so it was refreshing and enjoyable. If you visit Lake Tahoe, you have to at least drive by and see Emerald Bay.

Visited July 2013
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Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
115 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Take the drive!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

The bay is beautiful! You will not want to miss this in the Tahoe area. Parking can be a bit iffy during mid day.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Breath-taking!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The spectacular vistas are worth the hair-pin mountain turns. Get used to seeing roof- and tree tops on the side of the narrow road on your way up. Don't panic! The view from the top is worth the drive. Go slowly so you don't miss the tiny parking area. Read all the posted historic markers. Next time I hope to have the time to visit the mansion below and maybe the island.
(On a political note: the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe has well-paved roads and guard rails, curbs and sidewalks in some places. The California side is lacking much of that. The roads are narrow, often without guard rails to prevent cars going over the steep drop next to the narrow road. Sure can tell which state has funds for maintenance!)

Visited July 2013
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Level Contributor
736 reviews
387 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Pristine but very crowded ...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

One of the most wonderful viewpoints in Tahoe with a nice and easy path down from the parking to Emerald Bay ... the old mansion, island (the only one in Lake Tahoe) and castle are all very interesting as are the falls.

The ease of access though does allow a lot of crowds to access this trail and park ... and it is quite an adventure finding parking if you arrive at any time other than early morning. If it were not for these massive crowds I would have given this 5 stars.

Visited July 2013
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
194 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Great stop on a drive around the lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Limited parking, no bathrooms, but an outstanding view! If you're lucky, you'll see the paddlewheeler down below. The trip around the lake is great on a motorcycle, BTW -- twisties from here S/E.

Visited June 2013
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