Hike the Rubicon Trail



7 miles

Elevation Gain

400 ft

Route Type


Added by John Maurizi

A pleasant hike along the shore of Lake Tahoe connected two very nice state parks.

The Rubicon Trail is a through hike connecting D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park.  You can start at either point.  I opted to start at D.L. Bliss State Park to avoid the long walk uphill to catch the Nifty Fifty shuttle.  Also, there is more available parking at Bliss.  Park your car as far down as you can to the lake as you can. 

The hike follows a well maintained trail along Lake Tahoe with great views of the clear water.  The trail ends at Emerald Bay State Park and Vikingsholm Castle.  Walk up hill following the access road to Emerald Bay Road where you can catch the Nifty Fifty shuttle to the entrance of D.L. Bliss.  It is about a 2 mile walk back to your car but it is now all down hill and there are many trails cutting the switchbacking road.

Of course, another option is to walk back the way you came for a nice, easy 9 mile hike. Which, if I were to hike this again, is the way I would do it.

Without a car you can take the Nifty Fifty shuttle to D.L. Bliss and walk the road at the beginning then after hiking the trail take the shuttle from the Vikingsholm/Eagle Falls area back to South Lake Tahoe. 

Read More

Know for

Picnic Area



Leave a Review


11 months ago

The views 😍

My favorite hike in Lake Tahoe, by far! Very busy and parking at the trailhead fills fast, so make sure to get there early. The views are perfect - can’t wait to go back!!


11 months ago

Beautiful views of the lake

This trail has my favorite views of the lake! It goes from D.L. Bliss to Emerald Bay. There are spots with little ladders to climb down to the water. There is one small beach that is somewhat hidden away before you get to Emerald Bay.

almost 4 years ago

Beautiful, medium difficulty, hike

I loved this hike! It was perfect for the beginning of summer to start getting my hiking legs back in shape. The parking lot at the trail head was full, but there are plenty of spots on the highway to pull over and park before walking down into the State Park. Vikingsholm charges a fee, so we just walked around the outside. Highly recommend the short hike to the Falls above the Vikingsholm!

Hike, Swim, Jump- The Tahoe Tri!

This is one of my favorite summertime hikes. Such stunning views! Pro tip: get an early start and when you get close to vikingsholm ditch your shoes/clothes on a hot rock and swim out to the tea house- there is some pretty good rock jumping from the SE end of the island. Just be careful for boat traffic!

300 total saves


Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Lighthouse Trail at D.L. Bliss State Park

2.3 mi / 505 ft gain

Boulder at D.L. Bliss State Park

Paddle from Meeks Bay to D.L. Bliss

Hike to Lake Genevieve and Crag Lake in Desolation Wilderness

9.9 mi / 1300 ft gain
More Nearby Adventures