Emerald Bay State Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Emerald Bay State Park which includes landscape views, forests and general coastal views

This scenic inlet offers a beautiful beach, island, waterfalls, wreck dives, heritage sites and campgrounds with views over the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe.

Declared a National Natural Landmark in 1969, Emerald Bay is surrounded by snow-capped peaks that are a stark contrast to the cobalt-blue water of the lake. It’s no wonder that photographers, hikers and other nature lovers flock here year-round.

Emerald Bay is located 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Tahoe City. It’s the only inlet in the lake, and home to Lake Tahoe’s only island: Fannette Island. Accessible by boat or kayak, Fannette was home to whiskey-loving Captain Dick Barter, nicknamed the “Hermit of Emerald Bay.” He built his own tomb on the land, but it never became his final resting place, because his boat sank in a storm, and he was never seen again.

Hike to the Lower Eagle Falls near the lake’s edge or explore one of the other trails further inland. There’s a short one-mile (1.6-kilometer) trail that leads you to a stunning beach at the mouth of Eagle Creek. It fills up with boats in summer, so get there before the crowds. It’s not uncommon to spot Californian black bears, among other native animals, on some of the hiking trails.

For a cultural experience, take another one-mile (1.6-kilometer) trail to Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian-style mansion built in 1929. The elaborate house was built as a summer home for an heiress. Pay for a guided tour to learn about its design and its wealthy owner. You can still see the ruins of her Tea House on Fannette Island.

Scuba divers can jump into the lake and explore the underwater world off Lester Beach or pay for a boat trip to dive shipwreck sites. This is a designated Underwater Park, so leave all artifacts in place.

Emerald Bay is easily accessible by car and has a shuttle service from Tahoe City. The waterfront and sheltered campsites for summer stays have bear-resistant food lockers. There is a visitor center, and parking along the bay is paid. The island is closed to the public from February to mid-June. The falls dry up in summer.

Top Hotels Close to Emerald Bay State Park

Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Situated on the beach, this historic cabin is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay State Park. Baldwin Beach and Inspiration Point are also within ...
3.3/5 (4 reviews)
Tahoe getaway
"We enjoyed this property and it’s location. The check in is not directly at the house but conveniently located in South Lake Tahoe. The property is secluded and nice. There is no ac on hot summer days but the fans provided seemed to be sufficient."

Reviewed on Jul 8, 2021

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Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
3.5 out of 5
2201 Cascade Rd., South Lake Tahoe, CA
Situated in South Lake Tahoe, this cabin is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay State Park. Baldwin Beach and Inspiration Point are also within ...
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On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Situated on the beach, this historic vacation home is within a 5-minute walk of Lake Tahoe and Pope Beach. Valhalla at Lake Tahoe and Tallac Historic Site are ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (38 reviews)
Great property with excellent views!
"Easy to book and enjoy. We will be booking this property again!"

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2021

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Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Emerald Bay State Park

Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Heaven On Earth - Pier and 2 Buoys - Awesome Lakeviews - Huge Deck, Close to Heavenly & Casino's
On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
3.5 out of 5
2201 Cascade Rd., South Lake Tahoe, CA
On Lake Tahoe!! Close to Heavenly and Casino's
Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Beachfront Rental in South Lake Tahoe - Private Community
Luxury Lake Front Home with Private Beach (JB03)
Luxury Lake Front Home with Private Beach (JB03)
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Luxury Lake Front Home with Private Beach (JB03)
Exceptional Vacation Home In Meeks Bay 3 Bedroom Home
Exceptional Vacation Home In Meeks Bay 3 Bedroom Home
9092 Woodland Ct, Tahoma, CA
Exceptional Vacation Home In Meeks Bay 3 Bedroom Home
Rubicon Heights - West Shore 4BR with Panoramic Lake Views - 3000 sq ft
Rubicon Heights - West Shore 4BR with Panoramic Lake Views - 3000 sq ft
Tahoma, CA
Rubicon Heights - West Shore 4BR with Panoramic Lake Views - 3000 sq ft
7 bedroom 8 bath Luxury Lakefront Estate
7 bedroom 8 bath Luxury Lakefront Estate
Tahoma, CA
7 bedroom 8 bath Luxury Lakefront Estate
Heavenly Waters - Lakefront w/panoramic views, decks and buoy
Heavenly Waters - Lakefront w/panoramic views, decks and buoy
Tahoma, CA
Heavenly Waters - Lakefront w/panoramic views, decks and buoy
Exceptional Vacation Home In Tahoma 3 Bedroom Home
Exceptional Vacation Home In Tahoma 3 Bedroom Home
8665 Rubicon Dr, Tahoma, CA
Exceptional Vacation Home In Tahoma 3 Bedroom Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.