The Lake Tahoe area is a land of views: mountains, forests, alpine lakes, rivers and streams and, of course, the big blue lake itself. Visitors to the lake will most certainly find the typical outlooks that show off the best views of this beautiful area (the viewpoint on Hwy. 431 above Incline Village and the parking area just above Emerald Bay), however, there are several other great places to get a perfect view of this alpine paradise.
This easy to moderate 1-mile hike up to Eagle Lake in the Desolation Wilderness has wonderful views of South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. Eagle Lake itself is not too shabby either.
While the Rainbow Bridge is not near Lake Tahoe, it does offer wonderful views of nearby Donner Lake, Donner Pass and Truckee, Calif. The Rainbow Bridge is a 100 foot concrete span on the Old Lincoln Highway or Hwy. 40. Cars and bikes will pull over on the bridge to take in the scenery.
If you are a mountain biker, this is the view for you. The Flume Trail is probably the most popular mountain biking destination in the area and offers spectacular views of the lake and the mountains from 1,000 feet above the shoreline. The trail starts at the Spooner Lake State Park just off of Hwy. 50.
For a view that is a little less high and strenuous, the view of Emerald Bay with the Vikingsholm Castle in front of it is really beautiful. This Scandinavian style home was built in 1929 and is rugged example of Tahoe architecture. From the castle you can look across the bay and see Fanette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe.
If you can get to the top of this nearly 10,000 foot peak, you will see the best views in all of Lake Tahoe. From the top Mt. Tallac, in South Lake Tahoe, you can see all of Desolation Wilderness, Emerald Bay, South Shore, Fallen Leaf Lake and Granite Lake. It’s stunning. The moderate to difficult hike will take you near alpine meadows, over shale and boulders and through patches of wildflowers. It typically takes about 6-7 hours.
Photo of Emerald Bay courtesy of [blackwing_de/Flickr]