Vikingsholm Castle Lake Tahoe is located in Emerald Bay State Park. This beautiful home is now part of the California State Parks System and is open for viewing during certain times of the year. One of the most beautiful buildings in all of the state, Vikingsholm sees a lot of visitors. People come from all over the country, and even the world, just to cast their eyes on this architectural marvel.
If you would like to learn more about this now famous castle, you have come to the right place! Today, we are going to learn more about this beautiful building and how to visit. Also, we will learn about Emerald Bay State Park and all of the local activities that you can enjoy here. So let’s get started learning more about this amazing part of the world!
History of Vikingsholm Castle
Construction of Vikingsholm Castle started in the year 1928. One year later building came to an end and the castle was completed. It took 200 workers to complete the building. The castle was constructed as a summer home for the very wealthy Lora Josephine Knight. After traveling to Scandinavia Mrs. Knight along with her architect returned to the Lake Tahoe area and started construction on the Castle with ideas they gathered on their European tour. In later years the home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Getting to Vikingsholm Castle parking lot is quite easy. If you are coming from Sacramento, like most visitors, all you need to do is take Highway 50 North of the city. The highway will merge into Emerald Bay Road which will take you directly to the parking lot of the castle. Keep in mind that you will have to hike from the parking lot in order to reach your destination. You can learn more about the hike and what to expect below.
Also located on Highway 50 is Lake Tahoe Airport which is sometimes used to access this rather remote area of the state. Emerald Bay State Park is located at 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Vikingsholm Castle is at the heart of the park and one of the main attractions of the area.
During the summer months, the weather in this part of the state is very pleasant and is the best time to visit any of the attractions along the lake. But before you head off exploring the area make sure to check the local weather report. It does rain here in the spring and a thunderstorm could put your outdoor plans on hold.
For those that like the cold, you can visit this area in the winter. It gets very cold and snows here so you should always plan ahead before you come. Many of the local campgrounds in the area close down for the winter. So, lodging may be an issue during the colder months. On the other hand, several of the local trails are open all year and winter just might be a great time for you to hit the path less traveled. You will be able to avoid the crowds that often come here during the summer, and the bears just might be sleeping.
If you are a fan of hiking then you will be happy to find one of the most fun but challenging trails in all of the state! In order to visit the beautiful Vikingsholm Castle, you will need a good pair of hiking shoes and a can-do attitude. You see, the only way to visit this mind-blowing property is to hike down a rather steep trail.
The Vikingsholm Trail is a very steep one-mile path that drops 400-feet in elevation. This will take you directly to the Castle but keep in mind that the return hike can be very strenuous. In fact, it is so difficult that the park recommends that anyone in poor health not attempt to travel down it. While this may be disheartening for those that want to view the castle up close and personal, it is a wise rule to follow.
Keep in mind that there is no vehicle transport to or from the castle. Additionally, there are no pets allowed on the trail so you should leave your pets at home if you want to visit the castle. Remember, before hitting the trail, make sure that you wear the right footwear and bring some water to keep you hydrated.
Eagle Falls Trail
In addition to Vikingsholm Castle, there is another popular trail in the area. Eagle Falls Trail is a beautiful hiking path with tons of amazing views! The trailhead can be found at this Google Maps data location. This trail is home to a stunning waterfall and a natural area that is truly one of a kind.
Eagle Falls Trail is a short 2-mile round trip hike that is sure to please! This trail can be done year-round and is the perfect place to get away from it all. If you come, make sure to bring a camera so you can capture all of the amazing views. Because this trail is so amazing, it has become very popular. During the weekends, the trail becomes packed with hikers. Those that like a little more solitude should come early to avoid the crowds. There are other less-traveled trails in the area so you should check those out as well.
There is no camping at the location of Vikingsholm Lake Tahoe, but lucky for you, there are two campgrounds located nearby. The Eagle Point Campground is located just a short drive down Emerald Bay Road. This campground is open seasonally and fills up quickly. It is recommended that you make a reservation at the campground at least 6 months in advance of your arrival date.
The other campground that is close to Vikingsholm Castle Lake Tahoe is Emerald Bay Boat Camp. This beautiful campground can be accessed by boat and is a great place to spend some time at the lake. The campsites are located along the shore of Emerald Bay and the area is truly beautiful! Just like Eagle Point Campground this location is only open seasonally. If you would like to stay overnight near Vikingsholm, these two campgrounds are your best bet.
Remember to plan ahead and make a reservation early to avoid being let down. If you find that all the sites are booked in these two campgrounds, you may have to travel a little further for lodging. Along the route to the park, you will find a few hotels that are a short drive from the park. These hotels are very nice and a great way to see the area without having to spend the night in an RV or tent. One thing to keep in mind is that the rates of these hotels often go up dramatically during the peak seasons which are spring and summer time.
When visiting the Vikingsholm Tahoe area campgrounds, you will find plenty of restrooms and places to enjoy a picnic. Most of the parks have basic tent sites but some have a few spaces for an RV. Depending on your own personal needs you should always inquire what campsites are available before you decide to visit this wonderful area. Being rooted in nature, many of the campgrounds like to keep things as simple as possible. This means that you may not find cabins or more modern accommodations in some of these campgrounds.
Beware of Bears
As you may already know, this is bear country. Lake Tahoe is home to a good sized bear population. In fact, you may even encounter a bear while hiking on one of the area trails. You should always keep this in mind and be very aware of your surroundings when out in the wilderness. If you do encounter a bear make as much noise as possible. Stand tall and make yourself look as big as possible. Never run from a bear because this may cause them to attack you. For more information on area bears, please talk to the staff of the park. They will be able to provide you with more tips on bear safety. It is always better to hit the trail prepared than to run into trouble and not know what to do.
As you can see, Vikingsholm Lake Tahoe and the surrounding campgrounds have lots to offer. This beautiful castle is a great place to visit and learn about the past. The castle is a true work of art that the former owner has put a lot of time and money in. When donated to the State of California they realized the importance of the castle and the land that surrounds it. The state works hard to maintain this amazing historic property so that people like you and I can enjoy it. So, if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary to do this summer, why not head on over to this region of the state? You won’t be sorry if you do!