Rubicon Trail North Lake Tahoe

The Rubicon Trail treats hikers to breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, with a terminus at a historic mansion with views of Emerald Bay. Trailhead: The Vikingsholm parking area is located approximately 9 miles north of South Lake Tahoe on CA-89. The Rubicon Trail parking area is located in the D.L. Bliss State Park on CA-89, approximately 2.5 miles north of the Vikinsholm parking area.

  • Distance: 5.3 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 350 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One way
  • Notes: Remember to park one car at the Rubicon Trail parking area and one at the Vikingsholm Parking Area. You can also use public transportation.

Hiking and Backpacking the Rubicon Trail

If you’re not surprised that Rubicon stands for something more than your favorite 4-wheel drive vehicle, it is possible you are ready to face the world-famous Rubicon Trail during your unforgettable Tahoe vacation! For today’s discussion, even though there is a Rubicon Trail for 4X4 vehicles, we are going to focus our conversation on the enchanting hiking trail that marches between two local parks: D.L. Bliss Park and Emerald Bay State Park. 4-wheeling is fun, but you miss out on the stunning and pristine beauty of Tahoe when you don’t venture outside your vehicle!

Unparalleled Views of the Lake

To be perfectly honest, if it weren’t for the unbelievable views of the area, we wouldn’t spend near as much time outside as we do. Video games, television shows, and everyday family chores keep us busy enough, but when we make time for a hike on the Rubicon Trail, those views convince us we made the right choice!

This hike is about 5.3 miles long and will take approximately three hours if you move at a brisk pace, but this is Tahoe and you’re on vacation, so plan on taking a lot longer! Designed for the intermediate hiker or backpacker, the path will lead you up high, down low, and through secluded cliffs. Offering new wonders around every corner, the Rubicon Trail is a famous nesting spot for eagles, so keep an eye out and have your camera close at hand; a photo of an eagle in the wild will be the envy of all your friends and neighbors back home!

Because of the difference in elevations and the way the trail curves in and out of the surrounding cliffs, dressing in layers is recommended to keep hikers at the optimal temperature during their hiking or backpacking adventure! On the warmest days of summer, packing a bathing suit is a great idea; swimming or simply wading in Emerald Bay is a great way to keep cool! If Fido has come along for the vacation, however, this is one hike where he will have to stay behind, as Rubicon Trail is not pet friendly!

Dozing on the Couch with Visions of the Views from Rubicon Trail Floating Through Your Mind

A nap afterward may be the best part of your day, lightly dozing on the comfortable couch in your lakefront vacation rentals and dreaming about the day’s adventures. Reserve yours today and make your vacation dreams come true!