Rubicon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"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."
--Mike White, Top Trails Lake Tahoe (Wilderness Press).
"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."
--Jordan Summers, Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe: 40 Unforgettable Hikes in the Central Sierra Nevada (Menasha Ridge Press).
"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."
--Dan Brett, Hike America: Northern California (The Globe Pequot Press).
"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."
--Barry Parr, Hiking The Sierra Nevada (Falcon Guides).
An excellent, well-maintained trail with beautiful views. Don't try the loop above Upper-Velma much earlier in the year, however, as the trail is easy to loose when covered by snow, and the snow-melt makes crossing the streams around Velma lakes exciting.
You get a great view of Lake Tahoe and occasionally get to go over rocks, it's pretty long and the path is dirt. We loved it!
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