Emerald Bay

Facilities & Activities – Emerald Bay State Park

Visit Historic Vikingsholm

We invite you to tour Vikingsholm. The tour season runs Memorial Day through September 30.  You may purchase tickets at the Vikingsholm visitor center. For more information about tours, click here.

Visitor Center

The Vikingsholm Visitor Center, located at the bottom of  the Vikingsholm trail, contains a wonderful history collection of all things Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm. Open seasonally, the friendly staff will answer your questions and help you plan a perfect day in the park.  The Visitor Center  also serves as the park store where you will find a variety of books, maps and gifts to enhance your park experience. Tickets for the Vikingsholm Tour can be purchased here on a first come, first serve basis.


There are incredible hiking trails in and around Emerald Bay State Park. Below are two popular hikes.  The Visitor Center is open from Memorial Day weekend through September 30.

Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake Hike

This trail starts at Eagle Falls Picnic Area, Highway 89 across from Emerald Bay. Permits are required on this hike and a self-registration station is at the trailhead. The hike is only about 2 miles round trip to Eagle Lake (only about 1/3 mile to the falls); the terrain varies from steep to flat and crosses beautiful Eagle Falls on a steel footbridge.

Emerald Bay – Vikingsholm Hike

Trail starts at the parking area on the north side of Emerald Bay, on Highway 89. It’s a wide, well-maintained trail, but fairly steep, about 2 1/2 miles round trip. At the bottom of the trail is a picnic area, as well as world-famous Vikingsholm, a replica of a Scandinavian castle and the Visitor Center

The Underwater Park

Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRmFil-pTOI

Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the final resting place for many boats, launches and barges used on the lake. These date from before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and the time of construction of Vikingsholm (1929).

Emerald Bay Resort was situated on the North shore of Emerald Bay where Boat Camp is currently located. If you dive in this area you will find a variety of artifacts from the resort including telephone batteries, old tires, sinks, toilets, an old pier, a diving platform, at least five dories and two launches. One diver even reported seeing a model A Ford!

Please be aware as you view and enjoy these artifacts that we all have the responsibility of protecting them for others to see and enjoy. All artifacts you find while diving in the State Parks are protected by state law and may not be taken or disturbed regardless of size or value.


Visit Fannette Island

Fannette Island is the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe. It is located in beautiful Emerald Bay on the west shore of the lake. A sparsely timbered, brush covered upthrust of granite that rises 150 feet above the water, Fannette Island was not always known by that name. During the past 100 years it has been known as Coquette, Fannette, Baranoff, Dead Man’s, Hermit’s and Emerald Isle. Fannette was the name that finally stuck.

Geologists know that Emerald Bay was gouged out by glaciers thousands of years ago. So why did Fannette Island remain? It is believed that the island is a resistant rib of granite rock, which was overridden by the glacial ice.

The stone structure on top that looks like a miniature castle is the “Tea House” built during the same time that Vikingsholm was constructed, from 1928-29. After being transported to the island by motorboat, Mrs. Knight and her guests would occasionally be served tea there. A small fireplace in the corner of the 16 by 16 foot room is all that remains.

Camping is prohibited and dogs are not allowed on the island.

Kayak Tahoe rents kayaks in Emerald Bay to help you explore the bay and the island. Call 530-544-2011 for more information.

Summer Interpretive Activities

A wide variety of interpretive activities are scheduled during the summer months. Programs include campfire programs, nature hikes, and Jr Ranger programs. Self guided activities are also available at the park.

For a calendar of upcoming State Park sponsored events, click here.

For a calendar of upcoming SSPF sponsored events, click here.