Emerald Bay/D.L. Bliss State Park
|Description: Two adjacent parks linked by trails are located in a spectacular alpine setting above one of the world’s largest high-elevation lakes. Eagle Falls cascades into Emerald Bay against a backdrop of Lake Tahoe; watch here for soaring ospreys. Rock outcroppings and conifer forests line 6 miles of shoreline, where the Rubicon Trail leads to protected coves and views of common mergansers, pied-billed grebes, and mallards. The path weaves among pines, firs, and cedars, habitat for juncos, western tanagers, and white-headed and pileated woodpeckers. Squirrels and chipmunks are common; patient observers may see coyotes and martens, or bats, at dusk. Fall colors are covered by a mantle of winter snow, when snowshoe hares and bald eagles visit. Wildflowers bloom just as Canada geese arrive to nest on Fannette Island.|
Wildlife to Watch: Moderate probability of seeing waterfowl, birds of prey, and songbirds in spring and summer. Winter offers views of eagles, martens, and lots of tracks. Nature center at nearby Sugar Pine State Park.
Special Tips: Visitor centers at Bliss and Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay.
Parks are crowded in summer.
Ownership: California Department of Parks & Recreation
Size: 1,830 acres
Closest Town: South Lake Tahoe
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: