Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lower Eagle Falls near Vikingsholm Mansion, Emerald Bay State Park, California

Lower Eagle Falls near Vikingsholm Castle, Lake Tohoe, California

Stairs along Lower Eagle Falls TrailSpring is a great time to visit Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay and the historic Vikingsholm Castle site. While you are waiting for your tour of the castle (available seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend until the end of September), you may want to hang out at the beach or climb up the short forest trail to the Lower Eagle Falls. The snowmelt water from the Desolation Wilderness is cascading down the falls into Emerald Bay. On a hot day you will enjoy the refreshing spray. Halfway up to the falls viewing deck, a bridge (see picture to the right) is crossing the running water, leaving Lower Eagle Falls Trail and continuing as a trail along the south side of Emerald Bay. If you are ready to do a longer hike along the bay and above Lake Tahoe's deep blue water, Rubicon Trail should be your choice. This trail leads north into neighboring D. L. Bliss State Park with its little Lighthouse and the Balancing Rock Nature Trail

Getting there
Find parking near the granite precipice overlooking Emerald Bay, east of the Emerald Bay Road section of Highway 89. Next to the granite overlook, a broad, but steep one-mile-long trail descends down into the bay, offering scenic views of the surrounding mountains, Ponderosa and Jeffrey pine forest and Fannette Island. After a few switchbacks you will arrive at the shady bottom of the “Emerald Bay Canyon,” where the Vikingsholm Mansion is located. The nearby visitor center is the starting point of the single-track Lower Eagle Falls Trail.  

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