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General Information: The Baldwin-Emerald Bay paddle is perhaps the nicest bit of Kayaking in the Basin. While we rate this an intermediate tour, a beginner in good physical condition with some common sense could easily complete this tour. Along the way you'll see, million dollar homes, majestic mountain views, bald eagles (perhaps), Tahoe's only island, and, on summer days, lots of power boats.

 

 

Where To Start: Baldwin Beach is located on Highway 89 four miles north of the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe. From the "Y" head north on 89 toward Emerald Bay. After passing the Visitor Center and Taylor Creek bridge, look for a brown Forest Service sign that points to "Baldwin Beach" to the right. Pay the $5 entrance fee and proceed to the northern (left) most beach. Put-in and Take-out are from this beach.

 

Description: From Baldwin Beach, paddle north towards Eagle Point, passing Cascade Stables which boasts some of the nicest lakefront property in the Basin. At Eagle Point, be sure to keep your eyes open for Bald Eagles and their nests, which look like huge baskets of sticks placed on the top of dead trees. The size of these nests never cease to amaze us. Be careful of boats as you enter Emerald Bay as the inlet is narrow and many of the "skippers" are renting the boat for the day and have never actually driven a boat before! In a Kayak, you can usually paddle into the Bay along the margins, staying completely out of the boat lanes. Once in Emerald Bay, the water will be much more calm as the maximum speed for boats is 5 MPH. Be sure to take in Tahoe's only island, Fannett Island, which still sports the remains of an old "tea house" built by the late owner of Vikingsholm. Vickingsholm is the old stone "castle" built around the turn of the century. It is now a State Park and interesting tours are available in the summer.

There is also a boat camp on the north shore of Emerald Bay with campsites and buoys available on a first-come basis. A nice hike can be included in your kayak tour by landing at the boat camp and hiking past Emerald Point towards Rubicon Point. This hike provides beautiful views of Lake Tahoe.

Environmental Concerns: Paddle it in, paddle it out.

Advisory: Truly, you must exercise caution when in this area. The people driving the power boats may very well never have set foot in a boat before, let along been behind the wheel. Combine this with some alcohol, and...you get the picture. As a non-power craft, you have the right of way according to the "Rules of the Road", but a lot of good that does you when you get hit!

 
 

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