Lake Tahoe Vacation Guide
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A service of Tahoe Keys Resort and Lake Tahoe Reservation Bureau
  599 Tahoe Keys Blvd. South Lake Tahoe CA 96150  (530) 544-5397
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Lake Tahoe Points of Interest


Lake Tahoe Taylor Creek stream profile chamber

The Stream Profile Chamber lets visitors experience what
it would be like to go below the surface of Taylor Creek.

The Lake Tahoe Basin has a number of interesting and unusual sightseeing attractions that are located on government park and forest property. For your sightseeing pleasure, we suggest the following points of interest and vistas of interests.

Ehrman Mansion
This is one of the most beautiful historic homes on Lake Tahoe. From the turn of the century until 1965, the lands of what is now Sugar Pine Point State Park were owned by financier Isaias W. Hellman, who began buying property in 1913 and acquired nearly 2,000 acres.

Hellman's grand but informal summer home, called Pine Lodge, was completed in 1903 and was considered to be one of the finest in the high Sierra. His daughter, Florence Hellman Ehrman, inherited the estate and she and her husband Sydney spent many summers here entertaining friends.

In 1965 the house and 1,975 acres of the estate were acquired by the California State Park System. Today the house is maintained as a house museum and as an example of the opulent tradition in Tahoe summer homes. It provides an interesting view into the lifestyles of the wealthy.

Ehrman Mansion is open on weekendsfor guided tours, July through Labor Day. Call for hours. A nominal fee is charged.

Ehrman Mansion
Sugar Pine Point State Park
SR 89, West Shore Lake Tahoe



Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber
The Stream Profile Chamber lets visitors experience what it would be like to go below the surface of Taylor Creek. The floor-to-ceiling glass bay windows, waterfall, creek-bottom-like walking surface and sound effects allow visitors to experience the Taylor Creek environment without getting wet! Trout, crayfish, insects, frogs, and other inhabitants of Taylor Creek might be seen displaying some of their natural survival habits.

The viewing windows artistically fade into a huge mural that wraps around the walls of the Chamber. Visitors can view scenes of the Taylor Creek ecosystem throughout the four seasons, with a final scene looking down Taylor Creek where it empties into Lake Tahoe. The mural contains many plants and animals native to Taylor Creek. Children and adults will enjoy locating and identifying each species. There are also several animals hiding throughout the Chamber that will require a few more observations skills to find.

Visitors may also learn about the unique characteristics of the Taylor Creek ecosystem from the informative interpretive signs comparing the Taylor Creek ecosystem with other streams in the Tahoe Basin. The food web of the Taylor Creek ecosystem is described in the underwater root system of a huge cottonwood tree "growing" in the middle of the Chamber! Other interpretive panels describe the story of survival and life in one of Lake Tahoe's most unique watersheds.

Viewing hours vary with the season, so call ahead. Admittance is free.

Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber
USDA Forest Service Visitor Center
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
South Lake Tahoe



Vikingsholm, D.L. Bliss State Park


Vikingsholm Castle & Fannette Island

Located at the west end of Emerald Bay, Vikingsholm Castle and Fannette Island are popular attractions. Vikingsholm Castle is considered the finest example of Scandinavian architecture in the Western Hemisphere and Fannette Island is the only island in Lake Tahoe.

Vikingsholm Castle
In 1928, Mrs. Lora J. Knight of Santa Barbara and Chicago purchased an isolated site at the head of Emerald Bay. She instructed Lennart Palme, a Swedish-born architect who had married into her family, to design a home without disturbing a single one of the site's magnificent trees.

After a trip to Scandinavia, they decided to reproduce a Norse fortress of about 800 A.D. in full detail. The methods and materials used in the construction, including the boulders of the foundations and walls, are those used in ancient Scandinavia. Turrets, towers, intricate carvings, even hand-hewn timbers were used to recreate the fortress. The sod roof with its living grass is like those sometimes used in Scandinavia to feed livestock during the winter. Many of the furnishings that Mrs. Knight wanted for Vikingsholm were so historically significant that their export was forbidden by the Norwegian and Swedish governments, so she had them copied in detail, down to measurements, colorations and aging of the wood. The tour is packed with details of the construction of the castle and its furnishings that will amaze you!

The castle was completed in 1929. Mrs. Knight also had guest houses and the Tea House on Fannette Island built. Mrs. Knight spent her summers in the 48-room castle until her death in 1945.

Guided tours are available on weekends from Memorial Day to mid-June and daily from mid-June to Labor Day. Call for hours. A nominal fee is charged. If driving, it is best to arrive before 10:00 a.m. because the day-use parking is extremely limited (25 cars) and a fee is charged. The castle is about a mile down, by trail, from the parking lot at the Emerald Bay Overlook.

Eagle Falls
Sightseeing bonus! A short trail leads from Vikingsholm Castle to beautiful Eagle Falls --a must hike!

Fannette Island
The only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island is a sparsely wooded, brush-covered upthrust of granite that rises 150 feet above the water. The stone structure on top of the island that looks like a miniature castle is the "Tea House" built in 1929 by Mrs. Knight, who built Vikingsholm Castle. She and her guests would travel by motorboat to be served tea in a 250 square foot room with a fireplace and a large oak table and four oak chairs. Today, only the stone shell remains.

Visitors may use the island during the day from mid-June to February. Camping is not permitted and dogs are not allowed. From February 1 through June 15 the island is closed to all visitors. During this time, Canadian geese nest on the land that is virtually free of predators. By late spring its common to see families of geese swimming along the shoreline near Vikingsholm Castle.

Vikingsholm Castle & Fannette Island
D.L. Bliss & Emerald Bay State Parks
SR 89, West Shore Lake Tahoe




Take time to enjoy some beautiful scenery and views as you drive around Lake Tahoe!

Starting from the Forest Service Taylor Creek Visitor Center, turn left onto SR 89 then go 100 yards to Fallen Leaf Road and turn right.

Angora Lookout
Continue two miles and turn left on Tahoe Mountain Road. After one-half mile turn right on a dirt road labeled 1214 and follow it two miles to old Angora Fire Lookout. From here you'll have a spectacular view of the Tahoe Basin.

Back track to SR 89 to:

Emerald Bay
Inspiration Point offers great views of Emerald Bay, one of the most photographed spots in the world!

Continue north on SR 89 for several more great vistas:

D.L. Bliss State Park
Enjoy the lovely beach and take the nature trail that leads to Balancing Rock.

Sugar Point Pine State Park

Take a walk through a sugar pine grove and along a beautiful lake front.

Eagle Rock
After Homewood, look for an enormous rock formation standing high on the left side of the road. Eagle Rock is the neck of an eroded volcanic plug.

Squaw Valley Aerial Tram
Enjoy the fabulous views on the way and at the top of the tram.

Return to Tahoe City and turn left on SR 28 and then left on Reservoir Drive just beyond the Biltmore Casino. Turn right at the fire station on Lakeshore Avenue and left on the Forest Service Road 1601, by the iron pipe gate.

North Stateline Lookout
Pay a visit to the former Forest Service fire lookout with one of the best views of Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the self-guided nature trail.

A short trip up SR 431:

Mount Rose Lookout

A wonderful scenic overlook.

Return to SR 28 and travel south towards HWY 50 for several more great vistas:

Sand Harbor
This Nevada State Park Beach is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible of the east shore beaches. The sand is soft and the waters are crystal clear.

Logan Shoals
Logan Shoals offers a pretty vista across the lake where you can see the broad u-shaped valleys carved out of glaciers, such as Emerald Bay.

Cave Rock
HWY 50 goes right through Cave Rock, a huge rock formation that is the neck of an old volcano. The name comes from the small caves on the west side, cut by waves when the lake was 140 feet higher during the ice age. Cave Rock is also a spiritual site of the regions earliest residents, the Washoe Indian Tribe.


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