Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe (California): Hours, Address, Emerald Bay State Park Reviews: 5/5

Emerald Bay State Park
5
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
This spectacular bay in Lake Tahoe is best approached by hiking trails.
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5.0
897 reviews
Excellent
745
Very good
127
Average
14
Poor
3
Terrible
8

In79days
Las Vegas, NV44 contributions
Paradise Mismanaged
Aug 2021
The natural beauty of the area is undeniable. But the park is so poorly organized, and there are so many equally beautiful parks around Tahoe, we'll never go again. For example, as an alternative, Sand Harbor on the Nevada side is as beautiful, and so much better run.

The parking at Emerald Bay is a nightmare, even on quiet days. We paid for parking, supposedly valid for all lots in the park, and displayed as instructed. But we were given a parking ticket because we were 'in the wrong lot'. Different lots within the park are run by different agencies, but that is poorly communicated, and unless you know the system, you are quite likely to get caught like we did. When we hiked down to the beach, kayak rentals were all closed, although the Ranger at the top of the trail didn't know this, and simply referred us to the website. The reason given was that the 'air was too dangerous to breath', although it was't too dangerous to allow tourists to hike, pay for parking, or for the Rangers to patrol and hand out tickets. Sand Harbor by comparison has a simple parking system with a gate, flashing signs that warn if parking is full several miles from the pro, and fully staffed kayak rentals
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Krishnan R
Hayward, CA105 contributions
Amazing scenery of the Lake & Sierra Nevada Mountains
Aug 2021
Great place to enjoy the view and the mountains. My friend & I came here around 6:30PM, where it was less crowded. The view is amazing and breathtaking and I recommend it.

Only downside is that it was very smoky and hazy due to the wildfires, which obstructed some parts of the view.
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

8-drank-was-merry 🧳 🛫🍛🍻🍸🍨
Naples, FL4,465 contributions
Heaven on Earth
Jun 2021
Emerald Bay is one of the most picturesque locales in the region. Located in Southwest Lake Tahoe.
The park is a great place to hike and picnic. You can also enjoy boating, swimming and kayaking; or just relax in nature. The Vikingsholm mansion is a nice historical stop. For a small fee you can take a tour (highly recommended).

Near Vikingsholm you can rent a kayak (single - $25 for 1 hour or $35 for 2 hours) to get to the island. Or if you have your own boat you can get there.

The island is currently named Fannette Island but has also been referred to as Hermit island after an interesting local caretaker, Richard Barter or Captain Dick, that roamed the area in the 1800s.

During the 1920s, Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight had Vikingsholm built, as well as the Tea House on Fannette Island. During the summer months, she would take guests to the island for high tea.

It is an enjoyable little kayak excursion to the island. Not a lot to do there, except hike up to the Tea House and take some photos. The MS Dixie is a large paddle boat that takes tours around Lake Tahoe, as well as Emerald Bay.

Be aware access to the island is restricted February through part of June to protect the breeding habitat of migrating geese.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ashlee H
Madison, WI189 contributions
Beautiful Scenery!
Jul 2021 • Business
Very pretty area, but busy! There is a very small parking area at the park (fee required), but there are also parking areas around as well, but it’s along the side of the road so keep an eye out for vehicles.

There was several hiking trails as well around the area along with a beach at the bottom for public access. This would be a great area to rent water equipment (we didn’t so not sure where there would be a place near by) as the bay is very calm.

A very pretty location and I would highly recommend visiting!
Written July 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rommel L
chino hills, United States16 contributions
Emerald Bay Hiking
Jul 2021 • Family
Emerald Bay State Park was just about 30 minutes from Tahoe City. Parking is limited. But if you do find parking, it is $10 parking fee. The hike down the lake is an easy 1 mile winding path. At the end is a sand beach access to the lake with a pier for a platform swim cannon ball.

Just a little further from the parking to the right is also an easy lower and upper eagle falls hike. The falls was small. Probably bigger after the winter months.
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ChrisM
Glen Head, NY319 contributions
A MUST SEE in Lake Tahoe
Jun 2021
The breathtaking views are a must see in Lake Tahoe. Get there early! Limited parking. I can see why everyone I know said it should not be missed while in Tahoe
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott Griest
Manhattan Beach, CA250 contributions
Amazing Hiking and Beaches
Jun 2021
Absolutely beautiful park with hiking and beaches. Best to visit by boat that you can rent from the local marinas, but that's pricey.

Tip: Go early in the day (before 9am) if you can before the wind picks up. Most likely the water will be glassy smooth and the visibility is incredible (plus lots of parking available then!)
Written July 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

orrdin
New York641 contributions
Amazing bay
Jul 2021 • Couples
The water is emerald the views are amazing and the hiking is good. Really can’t miss coming here if you’re in the area. Come early because parking is hard to come by.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jonathan B
Colorado Springs, CO279 contributions
Beautiful Place
Jul 2020 • Solo
I love this place. I proposed to my wife there, planting her emerald engagement ring on the beach, then telling her the bay is named for the gems found there. I asked her to look for emeralds while I filmed her. She good-naturedly searched for me until she found the ring.

This place is so beautiful, it is good for any occasion.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shanelle
Santa Monica, CA2,222 contributions
Picturesque Park with a Variety of Activities
Jun 2021 • Family
Picturesque park with hiking, water sports, and even a castle. There’s very limited parking at the Emerald Bay Beach lot ($10 to park) so either get here early or park along the highway and walk. When we got there at 9:30am on a Saturday, the lot there as well as at the Eagle falls trailhead were already full, so we had to park about a mile up and walk down. It’s a mile long walk downhill to get to the beach / Rubicon Trail / Vikingsholm Castle. There’s a visitor center where you can buy tickets for a tour of the Vikingsholm Castle or use the public restrooms. There are picnic tables at the beach.

There is a kayak rental place that’s first-come, first serve (they offer single and double kayaks for an hour or all-day basis). The water was super cold and there weren’t a lot of people swimming when we went. We also went down the rubicon trail for a short while, which was paved and flat. There was a good amount of shade at that trail but you should wear sunglasses because the sun was very strong. It’s an extremely short walk to check out the lower falls from the parking lot. There are benches along the emerald bay beach trail for you to rest should you need to. Overall, the park is great for a variety of activities, for all ages.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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