Rubicon Trail

D.L. Bliss State Park, California

Elevation Gain2,420ft
Trailhead Elevation6,291ft
Elevation Min/Max6231/6616ft
Elevation Start/End6291/6291ft
Rubicon Trail is a hiking trail in El Dorado County, California. It is within D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park. It is 5.9 miles long and begins at 6,291 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,420 feet. The Amphitheatre theatre is near the trailhead. There are also parkings. The Old Lighthouse attraction can be seen along the trail. There are also a beach and piers along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Lighthouse Trail.

Rubicon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is an inspiring hike along the tree-and-granite shores of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in the United States. From D.L. Bliss State Park, the trail heads south to Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm, a summer home built for industry-heiress Lora J. Knight in the style of a Scandinavian chieftain’s house. The trail offers a glimpse of Lake Tahoe in its natural state—unfettered by vacation homes and boat docks—and presents hikers with the rare opportunity to be alone on the shores of the Lake of the Sky. Terrain: Dirt path along boulder-strewn, forested alpine lakeshore."

"The Rubicon Trail parallels and overlooks Lake Tahoe along the west side cliffs through D.L. Bliss State Park. The hike begins along the cliffs at Rubicon Point by Calawee Cove Beach and eventually loops around Emerald Point at the mouth of Emerald Bay. Along the way, the trail winds through rocks and forests and passes the remains of the Rubicon Lighthouse, an old lighthouse built in 1916."

"Lake Tahoe’s span of brilliant blue hues ranges from green-turquoise near the shore to a deepwater blue of such intensity that the sky pales in comparison. This panoramic hike to a historic mansion on Emerald Bay is the finest footpath of its length along Lake Tahoe’s California shoreline. No cars intrude, conserving isolated coves and spectacular vistas exclusively for hikers and boaters."

"Following the contours of Lake Tahoe, the Rubicon Trail explores one of the few stretches of wild shoreline on the spectacular lake. Fiercely blue waters, wide ranging vistas, and a great waterfall all combine to make this a memorable hike.

Lake Tahoe is the superlative landmark of the northern Sierra Nevada. The massive lake is the largest alpine lake in North America, the sixth- largest lake by volume in the United
States, and the second- deepest lake in North America. Yet despite its statistical greatness, it is the mesmerizing beauty of the fiercely blue water and the ring of mountains surrounding it that make Lake Tahoe such an incredible hiking destination."

"Hikers on the Rubicon Trail will be treated to spectacular scenery on this fairly moderate trail that begins with a short side trip to a historic lighthouse (and a phenomenal vista), and ends with a visit to a renowned residence nestled among magnificent Jeffrey pine. Your trail starts out with a few uphill switchbacks to reach its high point near the historic Rubicon Point Lighthouse, then descends to Emerald Bay, where the highlight is Vikingsholm, a Depression-era mansion.

Breathtaking views are common within the first 2 miles, as your trail either looks out on the lake or precipitously down on its shore before entering the cool shade of the Jeffrey-pine forest surrounding Emerald Bay. Curious hikers who brought along binoculars will have clear views of Captain Dick’s Tomb on Fannette Island."

"If lakeside views across the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe are what you want, look no farther than the Rubicon Trail, which follows a 5-mile stretch of shoreline along Emerald Bay and the southwest shore of Tahoe, between Vikingsholm and Calawee Cove. Thanks to the beautiful scenery and the relatively easy route, the trail is popular with hikers and sightseers alike, especially on summer weekends. Plan on an early start to find a parking place and beat the crowds, although photographers will appreciate the lighting later in the day, when the sun is high or fading in the west."

Rubicon Trail Reviews

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This is a fairly easy trail, but one of the most scenic views of Lake Tahoe. What could be better than hiking along the shore of beautiful Emerald Bay and then the west edge of Lake Tahoe? We hiked down to Vikingsholm and took the Rubicon Trail to D.L. Bliss State Park. If you want a little extra workout, climb out via the Lighthouse Trail which comes out at the first parking spot after you pass thru the kiosk at Bliss State Park. This adds a climb of about 500 feet and an extra 1.5 miles
A little bit of everything, History, scenery, bouldering, cliff jumping, pristine beaches, bears....
Moderate trail , not a great workout , a bit too public , but FABULOUS , GEORGEOUS SCENERY !!!
The only thing we regretted about this hike was that we did it all in a day and did not plan it as a backpacking trip. From the moment your boot hits the trail the views are stunning: Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake are all spread at your feet on one sumptious platter within the first half-hour. The visual feast seems endless as you wind through the basin taking in over 10 lakes in the 10 odd miles of hiking. If the Lady Tahoe can be trumped, it would be by the luscious Fontanallis Lake, ringed by granite with several cozy, tree-dotted nooks along the many-coved eastern shore. As if the alpine-blue lakes were not enough, there are the expansive stretches of rock, sparsely forested with ponderosa pine, red and white fir, western juniper, tamrac and the heavenly scented Jeffrey pine. The sheer granite walls that made us dizzy to look upon were like eye-candy to the small group of young rock climbers we encountered as we passed through this enchanted land. This trail is not for light, weekend hikers. The "moderate" rating is a bit conservative; although not technical it starts off with quite a grunt, which turns into a quad-kicker on the return. Would I recommend it or do it again? Is Lake Tahoe blue?
A mostly flat and well maintained trail that is great to run or walk with a up close view of the beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Rubicon Trail Photos

Trail Information

D.L. Bliss State Park
Nearby City
D.L. Bliss State Park

Activity Feed

Jun 2018