- Covering 1,830 acres in California's Sierra Nevada, D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay State Parks include some six miles of magnificent Lake Tahoe shoreline. The grandeur of the parks and their setting is a product of successive upheavals of the mountain-building processes that raised the Sierra Nevada.
From promontories such as Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park you can see over one hundred feet into the depths of Lake Tahoe. From the crest of Eagle Falls in Emerald Bay State Park, you can see a brilliant panorama of Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe, and the distant Nevada shore.
D.L. Bliss State Park is named for a pioneering lumber man, railroad owner, and banker of the region. His family donated 744 acres to the State Park system in 1929. The nucleus of Emerald Bay State Park, including Vikingsholm, was given to the State by Placerville lumber man Harvey West in 1953.
Balancing Rock Nature Trail
The Balancing Rock, "tons of granite resting precariously on a slender stone base", has long been a natural attraction on Lake Tahoe's western shore. Visitors to the Lake Tahoe area in the late 1800's and early 1900's enjoyed being photographed next to this geological marvel.
Today, the Balancing Rock is the feature attraction of a short, half mile self-guided nature trail in the northwest section of D.L. Bliss State Park. The granite of this large rock began weathering more rapidly at the joint plane, an extensive horizontal crack that is easily seen at its "waist". The overlying rock weighs around 130 tons and is now balanced on the rock below. This precarious remnant of granitic rock will eventually fall when enough material has eroded away to break the equilibrium between the two pedestals.
Visitors can pick up a brochure at the start of the trail. Along the path, there are 19 numbered markers where you can stop and learn more about the interrelationships between the soils, plants, and animals found in the park.
Camping is also available, contact the parks department for reservations. Campgrounds are closed during the winter and, depending on the weather, are open from late May until the middle of September.
The park is located 17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, a couple of miles north of Emerald Bay.