The Lake Tahoe area on the border of California and Nevada serves as an amazing vacation destination. The area is extremely unique and provides for great views, but there are many other less known gems in the area. Besides the beautiful mountain views, there is one attraction that stands out among the rest. If you want to channel your inner Viking, make sure that you visit the mansion Vikingsholm.
Vikingsholm Castle is a 38-room mansion on the shore of Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe. The Vikingsholm foundation was laid in 1928, but the building was constructed in 1929 by 200 workers. Vikingsholm was built by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. Before starting construction, Mrs. Knight and her architect traveled to Scandinavia to gather ideas for the construction of the house. Some parts of the structure contain no nails or spikes, as a result of old-fashioned construction methods. Most of the building was made from materials found at Lake Tahoe.
One of the interesting architectural designs is the sod roof which covers both the north and south wings of the complex. The interior of the home has paintings on some of the ceilings and walls and two intricately carved dragon beams. The six fireplaces are of Scandinavian design with unusual fireplace screens. Vikingsholm, along with the “Tea House” on Fannette Island and Emerald Bay, is a part of Emerald Bay State Park. Emerald Bay has also been declared a National Natural Landmark.
Hiking Down to the Viking Mansion
Lake Tahoe Vikingsholm can be reached by parking in the Vikingsholm parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay. Access to lower Vikingsholm is via a steep one mile trail that drops 500 feet in elevation to the house. Visitors are welcome to hike down to Vikingsholm Castle any time of year, but please be aware: In the winter, snow and ice can lead to hazardous conditions. Before deciding to hike in the snow, consider if you have appropriate footwear, clothing, food and water supply, and stamina level. Cell phones may not have reception. There are no services or drinking water from October to May. Restrooms are available year-round at the bottom. Round-trip to Vikingsholm and back is 2 miles with 400 feet elevation gain.
If you are looking for a great hidden gem to accompany your trip, make sure you check out this amazing home. Tahoe Signature Properties would love to help plan your vacation. Check out our amazing rentals to help make your next Tahoe vacation even better!
(Photo courtesy of Dawn Ellner via Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturesdawn/2937372667)