Hi friends, welcome back! Today I’m sharing my favorite and most adventurous day hiking in Lake Tahoe! Jon and I started the day early and arrived at the trail head by 8:30 to avoid any possible parking fiascos. I planned a 7.3 mile out and back hike featuring stunning views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. (It’s called D.L. Bliss State Park to Emerald Bay State Park in the All Trails app) Unlike some of our other hikes, we didn’t have to take any intentional (or unintentional) detours and our mileage went according to plan.
The hike started with a steep downhill from the roadside parking that led us to the Balancing Rock parking lot. We followed the paved road through the D.L. Bliss State Park campsites and our mouths watered from some campers making breakfast. The road continued up an incredibly steep incline before we reached our turn off point towards the lake. My high heart rate on this part of the hike is probably why I don’t have any pictures of the road ha!
Jon and I continued on the trail enjoying the shade and peaceful morning. This slightly downhill part of the trail provided a nice reprieve from the steep road!
As the trail continued, the path veered closer to the water and we started to catch more and more glimpses of the lake. The deep blue water glistened from the sun and contrasted with the teal color of the shallower water, such a beautiful and mesmerizing sight!
I especially loved this hike because I LOVE being by water and Lake Tahoe is the prettiest lake I’ve ever seen! Fun facts for you all: at a maximum depth of 1,645 feet, Lake Tahoe earned the title of second deepest lake in America and sixteenth deepest lake in the world! It is absolutely massive at 22 miles long and 12 miles wide and can take an hour plus to drive from one side to the other.
Lake Tahoe is incredibly picturesque with the deep blue lake surrounded by the majestic Sierra Mountains, a photographer’s dream.
Jon and I made our way to Emerald Bay and it was more beautiful than pictures could ever capture! We sat on some large rocks by the water to enjoy the spectacular views and give our legs a little break.
Next time I’m back in Lake Tahoe I’m renting a boat to see more of the lake. We watched so many boats drive through Emerald Bay to soak in the sights. Some people anchored their boats in the bay so they could take a refreshing swim in the chilly water.
After reapplying our sunscreen, Jon and I started our trek back to the trailhead. Usually a hike takes less effort going back, but surprisingly there were quite a few uphill points on our journey back to the car. At least going down the steep, paved road felt a lot easier than going up. I realized how steep it actually was, so the challenging uphill made more sense and made me feel less out of hiking shape ha! The final stretch uphill to the car took tons of effort and we were very happy to spot our car and sit down.
I’d highly recommend this hike if you’re in Lake Tahoe! The path was mostly shaded, well maintained, a moderate distance, and featured INCREDIBLE views of the lake and the popular Emerald Bay. We passed other hikers on the trail, but it never felt too crowded. To conclude, if you are going to hike in Lake Tahoe, this must be on your list! Also, Emerald Bay is an extremely popular area on Lake Tahoe, so the parking near it on the side of the highway gets incredibly jammed. This hike allows you to see Emerald Bay without battling for parking 🙂
After our beautiful hike we had lunch, ice cream, and hung out at Commons Beach in Tahoe City. Jon and I loved relaxing, people watching, and most importantly, enjoying the lake views and each others company.
For dinner we brought home a pizza from Mountain Slice Café & Creamery in Tahoe City. As an avid Yelp reader, I discovered the shop has a limited amount of dough each day. To guarantee a pizza, you need to call and reserve your dough during the day and provide a pickup time. Otherwise you may be out of luck, and in my world, that would be incredibly traumatic ha! They sell individual slices during the day, and then mid-afternoon they switch to fulfilling orders. Jon and I ordered the Bee Sting Pizza with honey and jalapenos – I wasn’t kidding about my love for honey on pizza. The pizza tasted incredibly delicious and had the perfect crispiness to the crust! I’d highly recommend grabbing a pizza from Mountain Slice Café & Creamery!
Jon and I had the best day hiking, relaxing, and indulging in some yummy post-hike pizza! Our smiling faces accurately depict how much fun we had hiking and how much we love Lake Tahoe! Stay tuned for one more day in Lake Tahoe before we head to the jaw-dropping Yosemite National Park 🙂