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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!