by Tim Hauserman
In the summer, Emerald Bay is one of Tahoe’s most popular places to be,with good reason. The meeting of the bay, the island, the waterfall, and the glacial moraines that frame the water make for a spectacularly beautiful mix. Throw in the quirky fun that is the Vikinsgholm and the extensive network of great hiking trails, and you’ve got Tahoe’s most popular outdoor destination.
But…while it’s really a pretty place to visit, it can get quite busy on a warm summer day. The parking lot and trails fill up to the brim. And it becomes a bit more difficult to experience nature when the trails and beaches are crowded. In my 40 plus years of wondering around Emerald Bay, however, I’ve come up with two ways to avoid the crowds and truly enjoy the best that the bay has to offer. Go there off-season and go there on a windy day.
Yesterday, I headed down to Emerald Bay on the first cold and windy day we’ve had in awhile. And while it was too chilly to take a dip in the lake, the wind made the bright colors of Tahoe pop like they only do when the wind is howling. The blues were deeper, the greens more spectacular, and the white caps on the lake added that extra level of color drama. On the bay, usually packed with a parade of boats, we just saw the MS Dixie and a few other brave souls. The wind also drowns out all the noise, giving you an opportunity to enjoy the bay at it’s best.
So, when you get one of our rare summer days when at first glance you think it’s too windy to enjoy the shore of Tahoe. Don’t worry. Revel in it, by stepping onto the trail and walking along the lovely waters of Emerald Bay.