D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay are effectively operated as the same State Park so why not walk a trail highlighting both!
The Rubicon... more » Trail along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe is a gem! It's easily accessible and has some of the best views on Tahoe. It's absolutely a hike one can look forward to repeatedly.
If you happen to have two cars, do it as a 6.6 mile one way trip, otherwise it's just over a 13.2 mile hike. With a pair of vehicles it will leave plenty of time to swim and visit Vikingshom...one of those "Must do" highlights on the Lake. I'd also given some thought to leaving a kayak at Eagle Point for the run back to the car left at Calawee Cove Beach...definitely next time!
Note: It is possible that there may be kayak concessions at these parks in 2012 or 2013!
The Rubicon covers a lot of terrain. There are flats, undulating short elevation gains and drops, and twists along some stunning shoreline cliffs. The trail dips into secluded coves, and along easily accessible shorelines in Emerald Bay. At both the beginning of the trail and end are a campgrounds, also along the south shore of Emerald Bay, you can find active nesting area for Eagles.
Tree coverage includes sugar pines in D.L. Bliss and overall coverage throughout the balance including ponderosa and Jeffrey pines, firs, incense cedar, and Sierra juniper.
Along the streams grow alders, quaking aspen, mountain dogwood, service berry and bitter cherry, and black cottonwood. Wildflowers include columbine, leopard lily, lupine, bleeding heart, yellow monkey flower and nightshade. The bulk of the brush includes ceanothus, chinquapin, currant, gooseberry, huckleberry, and manzanita.
Additionally the Parks have several other draws. Diving on the shipwrecks that dot the area, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, sailing, and power boating are all popular here. Mentioned before is Vikingsholm, the Scandinavian influenced and stunning historic vacation residence at the heart of Emerald Bay. Fannette Island in the bay is accessible by boat only.
One of the Rangers told me they also get quite a lot of traffic in the winter from cross-country skiers on the park’s roadways. The Rubicon is closed to travel during the winter for safety reasons. less «