RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Emerald Bay State Park
Drive In
Boat In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Emerald Bay State Park is located in California
38.952 N
-120.085 W
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7 Reviews of Emerald Bay State Park
Excellent campground!

We have been on many camping trips, but this one was our favorite! It is beautiful, well maintained, and has great access from the campground.

There are great viewpoints, an area where you can swim and/or fish, and we went on an awesome hike from the campground out to a waterfall and Vikingsholm.

We would absolutely camp there again if we were in the area. Also, it didn't hurt that it is where I proposed next to the campfire.

Lake Tahoe at its Sweetest

There is nothing like Lake Tahoe and all its beauty. And Emerald Bay State Park puts right there within arms reach. Lovely campground, very forrested and lake accesible

Close to great hiking and views of Lake Tahoe

The sites are spacious and well kept. There are several trailheads in the area for great hiking for all skill levels. The facilities (toilets, showers etc) were nice and conveniently located throughout. The reservation process was easy. Bear lockers, tables and fire rings at each site. And there WERE bears roaming around at night! There’s a small beach at the end of one of the trails from the campground that was quiet and a perfect spot to launch a paddle board or kayak. I brought my little camper and it was a great campground for kids.

Nice Campground in one of the most beautiful areas in the world

Emerald Bay State Park Campground is nice campground located in a spectacular area. The campground itself is fairly big, but doesn’t feel like it the way things are laid out. With the campground running down the point of a peninsula the topography of the area helps the campsites feel a bit more private as well.

There are a few trails that leave from the campground and a handful of places to explore within the campground.

Leaving from the campground are a few trails that take you to beautiful overlooks of either Lake Tahoe or Emerald Bay itself. There I also the Rubicon Trail which takes you west around Emerald Bay to Emerald Bay State Park and Eagle Falls. If you’d like you can also continue on the Rubicon Trail around the other side (north) of Emerald Bay and hike through DL Bliss State Park to Rubicon Point. Going all the way to Rubicon Point would be about a 12-mile round trip hike with 2,200 feet of elevation gain with some spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

Another hike I would recommend would be taking the Rubicon Trail to Emerald Bay State Park and then doing the short road walk to Highway 89 and the Eagle Falls Trailhead (3-miles one way). You could also drive to the trailhead, but the parking lot is very small and fills up quickly when it is not buried in snow. From there you will fill out a day use permit to enter Desolation Wilderness, my personal favorite place on earth. You can enjoy a nice short hike to Eagle Lake or continue on to the Velma Lakes area. Eagle Lake is 0.89 miles and 540 feet of elevation from the Eagle Falls Trailhead while the Velma Lake area is 4 miles and 1,930 feet of elevation gain from the same spot.

There are also countless trails within a short drive from this campground, or if it surprises you and rains in June like it did for us, you can run to South Shore Lake Tahoe and hide inside a movie theatre for a few hours.


Water is soooo clear! Grew up in N Cali and have been to the Emerald Bay/Lake Tahoe area numerous times. So much to do!

One of the best spots on tahoe

Can't beat dropping a kayak into the water of this bay. The campsite is right next to the water, with breathtaking views of the serene cove. Emerald is by far the calmest water you'll find early morning and the nearby access is nice. Quit little shot from SLT it's not too desolate.

First to Review
Great views

Amazing views, what do you expect, it's Tahoe! Campsite is only accessible via boat or hike in from the road. Hike down wasn't bad at all, you can take a paved service road down, about 1.5 miles. Easy access to nearby hiking trails, Vikingsholm mansion, and Eagle Falls. The hike in/boat access limits the number of people, so the site isn't too crowded. Highly recommended with such beautiful views of the lake!