The Rubicon Trail is a must hike trail along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe. It’s an amazing hike that you will want to explore more than once. The moderate, 13-mile hike – along Emerald Bay – features waterfalls, streams, vista points, beautiful views of Lake Tahoe (including the only island in Lake Tahoe – Fanett Island), lake access, wildlife, and more. This can be an all-day hike, so make sure you are prepared with the right items, including water, food, and a swim suit. The best part is that you are visiting two state parks in one day – the D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park.
Hikers usually start from Vikingsholm and make their way to Rubicon Point. You can either hike the entire 13-mile trail (round trip) or you can park one car at Vikingsholm and another at Rubicon Point. By choosing the latter, you have the whole day to enjoy the beautiful views, swim, and relax on the shores. Aside from just swimming and rock jumping, you can even enjoy kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing, and power boating.
Even witness an old lighthouse that now stands at Sugar Pine Point. This is the world’s highest lighthouse on navigable waters. It was originally built in 1919 at Rubicon Point. Costing only $900 to construct, the lighthouse is visible for up to 7 miles. The lighthouse was moved to Sugar Pine Point in 1921 in order to be utilized as one of several navigational aids for commercial services on the lake.
Additionally, there are campgrounds along the trail for overnight adventures. In total, there are 268 family campsites available, including 20 primitive campsites that are reachable by boat. Both the D.L. Bliss State Park and the Emerald Bay State Park have multiple campgrounds that can accommodate trailers (maximum length 15 ft. and 18 ft., respectively) or motor homes (maximum length 18 ft. and 21 ft., respectively). For large gatherings, the D.L. Bliss State Park offers a group campground that can accommodate up to 50 people and 10 vehicles.
Put on those hiking shoes because it is time to enjoy the beauty of two state parks along the Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe.