Vikingsholm Trail To Emerald Bay State Park
Please note: Pedestrian Access to Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay State Park to be Temporarily Closed for Trail Repairs beginning Monday, September 18, 2023. More information.
Vikingsholm Trail starts from the stone observation area above Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, about 9 miles north of South Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada. This is a moderate, dirt and paved road hike (with about a 400-foot elevation change) from the parking lot to bottom of Emerald Bay, but be prepared to hike back up. Parking fills up early so parking on the road may be necessary.
At the end of the trail you can take the Vikingsholm Castle tour available 7 days a week from mid-June until the end of September from 10am to 4pm. All tours are guided and take approximately one-half hour. You can also hike the short trail to Lower Eagle Falls which begins directly across from the castle or relax at Emerald Bay Beach.
The authentic replica of the Viking castle is part of Emerald Bay State Park which was designated an underwater California state park in 1994. In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier-carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area.
A nominal fee is charged. Bring a lunch and enjoy the fabulous view of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island from the shoreline picnic area. Pets are not allowed. Swimming, camping and boating are also popular Tahoe activities at the park.
Visitors can access nearby hiking trails including the Rubicon Trail in D.L. Bliss State Park and Cascade Falls and Eagle Lake in Desolation Wilderness.
This trail is not considered fully wheelchair/mobility equipment or stroller friendly because it has a steep grade of over 8%. The trail surface is partially paved and partially dirt. Only the first 0.03 miles of the south side of the Vikingsholm trail is considered wheelchair-accessible, as well as the first 0.03 miles of the trail to the Visitor Center from Vikingsholm. However, there is a special shuttle service that escorts people with mobility disabilities down to the Vikingsholm area. Call (530) 525-7232 for availability and more information.