Rubicon Trail at Lake Tahoe

The Rubicon Trail is a delightful easy hike that includes level walking, stunning views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe, and quiet forest engagements or trail running along the way.  It can be done as a long, 8 mile round trip hike, or as a pleasant 4 mile jaunt.

With the easy access and astounding views from the Highway 89 vista parking area, this popular hike is a summer favorite. On the way, hikers can visit  the historic Vikingsholm Mansion at Emerald Bay, one of America's best examples of Danish architecture which has USFS tours during the summer.

The historic Rubicon Lighthouse is accessible from the Emerald Bay Trail via the Rubicon Trail or may be accessed by parking at D.L. Bliss State Park, a few miles north. Emerald Bay includes an underwater park with the opportunity to dive to submerged vessels.  Did you know?

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Latitude: 38.9491299 Longitude: -120.0984192 Elevation: 6253 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
rob swain

Vertical Gain or Loss

300 foot

Trail Distance

Complete trail 8 miles, many modified hikes available. Go explore!

Eco-Friendly Notes

With the volume of people enjoying the spectacular views available on the Rubicon Trail, please always keep in mind that to preserve this for eternity we must all do our part. This hike is a great opportunity to educate our children about being environmentally responsible.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs are allowed here as on most other U.S. forest trails. Pet owners please follow guidelines:

Keep pet on 6 ft leash at all times. Control excessive barking. Check paws often on rocky terrain, can cause cuts, consider protective dog pads. Pick up or bury canine waste. Keep your dog close by when encountering other people. Remember to bring enough water for you and your pet. For more info


Dogs are not allowed on the Rubicon trail. Please correct your information.

Ryan, 5/28/2016

Ryan’s post from last year is correct. Dogs are NOT allowed on ANY portion of the Rubicon Trail between D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay State Parks. Fines can exceed $300 dollars and a court date with the El Dorado County Superior Court.

Steven, 10/1/2017

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