Vikingsholm Trail – Lake Tahoe

July 5, 2009

Vikingsholm Trail is a popular hiking trail along the shores and hills of Emerald Bay in south Lake Tahoe. I hiked it on a beautiful afternoon in June with my sister, brother-in-law and their two children.

Hiking Companions

Hiking Companions

The trail we were on starts at a state park campsite about two miles from the destination and meanders down to the water along a well-marked grade. The dusty trail ventures through full sun and manzanita.

13 - Trail by Lake

Around every corner is another view of the cold crystal water of the lake.

7 - Trail with Lake

Lake Tahoe is fed by sixty-three high mountain streams that keep the water a stunning blue. Only one river, the Truckee, flows out of the lake.

8 - Lake Green

Occasionally, the trail meanders from full sun into the refreshing shade of several species of evergreen.

9 - Trail through Trees

We encountered a gigantic tree that had fallen across the trail. Maintenance crews had sawn the trunk apart to clear the trail, exposing rings that show the tree to be at least several hundred years old when it fell.

Examining Rings on Fallen Tree

Examining Rings on Fallen Tree

Here is one of those sixty-three streams that feed into Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Stream

Tahoe Stream

At the end of this trail is Vikingsholm, a summer home built in 1929 by a wealthy landowner who wanted to replicate the architecture of the fjords of Scandinavia. I neglected to get any decent photos of the house because as soon as we arrived and sat down at a picnic table for a snack, our party was set upon by a large number of thieving chipmunks, ducks, geese and bluejays that mugged us for our food.

Our favorite was given the highly original nickname of Chippy. Someone gave up a large piece of PB&J, which he quickly dragged off into the bushes to devour.

Chippy the Chipmunk

Chippy the Well-Fed Chipmunk


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