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Tahoe Day Hikes - South Lake
you are an avid hiking, or just out for a day stroll in the wilderness,
Lake Tahoe (California) offers some beautiful areas to enjoy the outdoors.
If you have only one day to hike, Emerald Bay along
the south western edge of the lake offers an array of opportunities.
VikingsHolm Beach Walk
Difficulty : Relatively Easy (short downhill walk
to the site and beach).
The Vikingsholm walk is a nice, short, sightseeing walk
from the parking area down to the Vikingsholm building and beach.
There are bathrooms, some tables, and lots of beach area to sit back and
enjoy the site. Water is available during the summer season, but is
shut down prior to winter. Tours of the Vikingsholm building are
offered during the summer seasons. Here is an additional link for
more information on the Vikingsholm site : http://www.vikingsholm.com/
: Moderate but short (~0.8 miles one way, fairly steep).
Eagle Lake is above Emerald bay leaving from the trail
head directly off the tip of the bay. The trail is fairly steep, in
many places having stairs. It is a fairly heavily traveled trail so
it is well maintained and easy to follow.
Eagle Lake is the first of the upper lakes. If you
are on for a shorter hike this makes a nice lunch destination. Be
sure to look back along the trail as there are nice views of Lake Tahoe as
you climb into the mountains.
: Challenging (3.8 miles one way. steep assent, longer miles,
The area around Velma lakes is beautiful if you are up for
the challenge of getting there. The trail is steep for the first 2.9
miles and if you are out of shape or not used to the altitude, you will
have to work to get there. Once to the saddle you will reach a trail
marker pointing to Velma or Dicks Pass. From there turn right, and
the trail is much more gradual up and down as you hike out to the lakes.
If you are searching for an alternate hike, turning left
at the sign leads you back around to highway 89 at the Emerald Bay scenic
overlook. I've hiked this trail a few times in the past and
particularly enjoy Maggies Peak where there is a nice overlook to sit for
lunch. Be sure to take a map and plan your hike as there can be
areas that are less clear in terms of trail direction. A word of
caution: this is high altitude so the snow can stay on the upper trails
into the summer. While this is not to difficult to hike through, it
does make following the trail challenging at times...
: Easy - Moderate (Out and Back up to 10 miles. generally
gradual along the lake).
There are two main places to join this trail - either from
Vikingsholm or at DL Bliss state park farther north along the lake.
This is a beautiful day hike trail that meanders along the
lake shore. There are a few points where it climbs briefly, but you
never get more than about 100-200 feet above the lake. The trail is
generally hiked as an out and back route. It is approximately 5
miles one way from Vikingsholm to DL Bliss so hike as much as you are up
I was fortunate enough to stumble onto a new trail this
last visit. There is a camp ground approximately two miles south
from Emerald Bay along 89. Although it was closed late in the year,
I parked along the road and hiked through the camp area toward Emerald
Bay. Once you get to the lower camp area there is a trail that
follows Emerald Bay around to Vikingsholm. From the road to Vikingsholm
beach was about 2.5 miles. This trail offered a few nice overlooks
and few other hikers. From Vikingsholm you can continue your hike
around the Rubicon trail to increase the miles if desired.
Here is a link to some additional photos of the Emerald
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