What To Do
Considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in North America, Vikingsholm castle sits on the shore of Emerald Bay with astonishing views of Lake Tahoe. Built in 1929, according to the wish of Lora J. Knight, a wealthy Chicago widow who purchased this then-isolated site and had it constructed into a Norse fortress from 800 A.D, Vikingsholm represents unique blend of art and history.
The Castle is a short hike down from Hwy 89.
The home is open seven days a week from Memorial Day until the end of September. The first tour of the day starts at 10:30 AM and the last tour at 3:30 PM. All tours are guided tours and take approximately one-half hour. The tour fee is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for children (7-17). Children under 7 are free. The maximum number of people on a tour is 30. Large groups of people must make tour arrangements through the Sierra State Parks Foundation at 530-583-9911.
Limited parking is available in the Vikingsholm parking lot off of Highway 89. The parking fee is $10.00. A one-mile steep but well-defined trail leads from the parking lot to Vikingsholm. Many scenic views can be enjoyed during the walk and there are various resting places along the trail. It is to be stressed, however, this is a steep trail at an elevation of over 6,300 feet. Limited handicapped access is available to Vikingsholm. Please call 530-525-7232 to make arrangements.
Public bus service to the parking lot is available from both North Shore and South Shore. There is no public boat service to Vikingsholm, but Vikingsholm can be reached by private boat. A dock is provided for loading and unloading only. Beaching of boats is allowed in the bay from dawn until dusk. Tour boats are available from South Shore and North Shore. These boats allow passengers to view Vikingsholm from the water but they do not dock in Emerald Bay.
The Visitor Center, an information and Gift Shop on the Vikingsholm property, is open from 10 AM to 4 PM during the summer months. The scenic property fronting the Vikingsholm offers public swimming and beach areas for daytime use. A restroom is available behind the castle. Well defined hiking trails to Eagle Falls and around Emerald Bay are also provided. There is no public boat service to the island. but kayak rentals may be offered during the summer months.