13th June 2016

Emerald Bay to Rubicon Point

What a Monday!  I really enjoyed this trail.  It probably had something to do with the fact that it didn’t involve any massive ascents, and that there were dazzling azure lake views throughout.

From a very busy Emerald Lake car park there is a steep zigzag paved path that runs down to the lake.  From there we chose to bypass a visit the historic retreat of Vikingsholm, to instead hit the Rubicon trail heading north to get away from the crowds.

Look at the colour of that water

The first thing that struck me were the snow-capped peaks which frame the lake. Having arrived in Tahoe the previous evening I hadn’t noticed how much snow there still was up there. Queue a feeling of anxiety that Crater Lake (our first reapply point on the PCT) will be impassable. I must call the ranger to check that – we are due there in 2 weeks!

Snow.

Thankfully the trail skirts the lake through a forest of pines and Douglas firs which offered us shade. I think it is cedar that I could smell, but I’m not sure? Along undulating granite cliffs we continued. Nothing too strenuous.

Passing through Boat Camp campground we agreed it looked the most idyllic place to pitch a tent that we’ve seen so far.  I almost felt envy for the people setting up – but come to think of it I value a hot shower and bed far more!

Lake Tahoe in the sun

Out of Emerald Bay the vistas opened up  to capture the enormity of Lake Tahoe.  It’s like a giant sapphire ocean.  The trail got busier again as we neared Rubicon Point – a clear sign we were approaching a car park!  After passing through some unusual rock formations we turned a corner to the welcomed sight of a pristine Calawee Cove beach.

Calawee Cove Beach, D.L Bliss State Park

It felt so good to chillax and cool our feet off in the freezing water.  Did I mention my amazing big toe blister?  We gazed at paddle boarders, kayakers and show-offs in their boats whilst wishing we had more time here.  I also wish we had the foresight to pack some lunch as the bag of trail mix was lacking.  Conrad was salivating watching people eat sandwiches and crisps – guess you live and learn!

Sore white feet

After a nice long break we turned around and set out to retrace to the start, looking forward to that final climb back to the car!

Final mileage: 10.6 – not bad, but not quite PCT level yet!

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