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Organization Title

Emerald Bay State Park

Phone Number

(530) 541-3030

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 18 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 18 Feet

Park Hours

The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Please call the park for the current visitor center hours.

Driving Directions to Emerald Bay SP

The park is located 22 miles south of Tahoe City.
Vikingsholm can be reached by parking in the Harvey West parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay. Take the trail, which is one mile in length and drops 500 feet in elevation to the house.
Fannette Island is located in the bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.
The Boat Camp is on the north side of Emerald Bay, about 1/2 mile east of Fannette Island located in the bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, at the site of the old Emerald Bay Resort.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.


Location/Directions

Picture of Emerald Bay

The park is located 12 miles north of South Lake Tahoe.

Vikingsholm can be reached by parking in the Vikingshom parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay.  Access to lower Vikingsholm is via a steep one mile trail that drops 400 feet in elevation to the house.   WARNING:  Visitors with medical conditions or mobility issues should not attempt this hike.  THERE ARE NO RIDES OUT. 


Fannette Island is located in the bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Dogs are not allowed on any trails or roads into Emerald Bay, nor on the beach.  Dogs are only allowed in the campground and must be on a 6' leash.  Dog regulations are enforced year-round.

Vikingsholm Parking Lot

Fees for parking are $10/ vehicle.  When the entrance station is un-staffed, fees are due by self-registration.  The pay machine accepts cash (exact change) or credit card.  Fees for parking are good for any California State Park during the date of purchase.  The Emerald Bay area has limited parking and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to obtain parking.  Overnight parking is not allowed, even with a valid USFS backcountry permit, or a Boat Camp reservation. The parking lot is open from sunrise-sunset. Parking regulations at the lot are strictly enforced. 

Drones

In the interest of public safety and the preservation of resources, all State Park Units in the Sierra District are closed to unmanned aircraft, also known as “drones,” “quad-copters” and similar, over the state lands under the operational control of California State Parks.

 

Attention: Bear-Proof Cooler Owners

Bear-Proof Cooler image

BEAR-PROOF COOLERS
(Yeti, Pelican, Yukon etc.) MUST be secured with locks per manufacturer instructions in order to meet Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) standards Failure to do so may result in a Food Storage Citation and up to a $1000 Fine Title XIV CCR 4323(b)


Camping

The Eagle Point Campground (drive-in) is scheduled to be open and on reservations starting June 14th, 2018.  Fees vary by site.
 
The Emerald Bay Boat Camp (boat access only) will be on reservations starting June 7th, 2018.  The Emerald Bay Boat Camp will be open on a first come first served basis starting May 24th, 2018.  Fees for camping are $35 per night. Vehicles may NOT park overnight at the Emerald Bay Vikinsholm Parking lot OR at the D.L. Bliss State Park beach lot (Calawee Cove/ Lester Beach). Vehicles registered to camp at Boat Camp may park at the D.L. Bliss Balancing Rock Nature Trail Head/ overflow lot when displaying a valid camping reciept.  It is approximatley 3/4 of a mile from the overflow lot to beach access.  Please click the make a reservation link for availability, or call 1800-444-7275 (PARK).  
 

The Boat-In Campground

Alert
The Emerald Bay Boat In Campground is CLOSED for the season.  
 

During the summer, sites are $35 per night. Reservations may be made at reservecalifornia.com, or by clicking the reservation link.

The campground is located on the north side of Emerald Bay, at the site of the old Emerald Bay Resort. Buoys are available, and camping takes place on land in the lakefront campsites.  There is no designated boat launch area in Emerald Bay or at D.L. Bliss State Park.  Overnight parking at the Vikingsholm Parking lot and the D.L. Bliss State Park Beach area is strictly prohibited. Boat campers with reservations may launch non-motorized vessels at D.L. Bliss and may park their vehicle overnight in the Balancing Rock overflow parking lot with a valid camping receipt displayed.

Seasons/Climate

Summer temperatures range from about 75 degrees during the day to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to a low of 20 degrees; during extremely cold winters Emerald Bay freezes over. Eagle Point Campground and Boat Camp are closed in winter.  They are generally open from late May or early June through Labor Day.  Please call for specific dates.

History

In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area.

Emerald Bay State Park includes 2 campgrounds: Boat-In Camp (accessible by boat or foot only) and Eagle Point Campground (scheduled to open mid summer 2016).  The scenic Rubicon foot trail wraps around Emerald Bay, with trailheads at Eagle Point campground, Vikingsholm, and DL Bliss State Park. The park features Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere and the "Tea House" on Fannette Island, the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe.

There is no vehicle access to the lakeshore of Emerald Bay or Vikingsholm. Visitors walk to the lake from the Vikingsholm Parking Lot (1 mile walk) or via the Rubicon Trail. Some visitors arrive by kayak or private boat.

Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the resting place for many boats, launches and barges used in the lake before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and used in the construction of Vikingsholm.

Visitors to Emerald Bay State Park enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, sightseeing and touring Vikingsholm in the summer months.

Visitors are welcome to hike down to Vikingsholm any time of year, but please be aware: In the winter, snow and ice can lead to hazardous conditions. Before deciding to hike in the snow, consider if you have appropriate footwear, clothing, food and water supply, and stamina level. Cell phones may not have reception. There are no services or drinking water from Oct - May. Restrooms are available year-round at the bottom. Round-trip to Vikingsholm and back is 2 miles with 400 feet elevation gain.

Vikingsholm Accessibile Information

For people who have a valid ADA placard, special arrangements are necessary to reach the Vikingsholm area which is located down a very steep gravel road that is not open to private vehicles. Call (530) 525-7232 to check on the availability of shuttle service to escort people with mobility disabilities to Vikingsholm area. Reservations for this service must be made at least 24 hours in advance. This service is offered during Vikingsholm tour season: Memorial Day weekend - September.

Food Storage Locker Information

Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. All food, beverages, and tolietries are required by law to be stored in provided food lockers unless food is being prepared or eaten. The inside dimensions of the food lockers are 36" deep, 43" wide, and 22" high. Violators will be cited.

Emerald Bay State Park(Photograph by Mike Fuller)
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park is the California State Park system’s premier glacial park – owing its spectacular scenery and dramatic alpine peaks, ridges, and crystalline lake to the scouring action of glaciers that existed at various times during the Pleistocene Epoch (11,500 to 1,800,000 years ago). Glaciers as thick as several hundred feet buried all but the highest peaks of the Sierra and tongues of ice pushed down from the Sierren crest and gouged out stream canyons, scraped off soil and weathered rock, deposited moraines and carved out lake basins.


The full Geo Gems report
  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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Available Activities and Facilities at Emerald Bay State Park

BOATING
Boating
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Boat-in/Floating Camps
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Beach Area
Swimming
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Museums
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Outdoor Showers
Drinking Water Available