D.L. Bliss State Park in Lake Tahoe may be my favorite of all the California State Parks. The D.L. Bliss family donated the 744 acres to the C.A. State Park system in 1929. Hiking trails and campgrounds are a great way to see this park in all its glory. The vistas are particularly stunning from the Rubicon Trail which you can take all the way into Emerald Bay. With the kids, we love the Lighthouse Trail coupled with a portion of the Rubicon Trail. We like to pack a picnic, then find a spot out near the “lighthouse” on top of one of the many huge boulders perched high above Lake Tahoe. If you just want to spend some time at the beach, you should plan to arrive early in order to procure a day use parking spot, they fill up early, especially on weekends. There is a short but steep path down to the lake. From there you can swim, kayak, or paddle board in the most beautiful water in all of California.
Another way we love to explore D.L. Bliss is by boat. The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is a true gem. Many people never venture beyond Kings Beach or South Lake Tahoe to find the hidden coves and beaches that await you around Lake Tahoe. When touring the lake by boat, it is easy to find such spots. Calawee Cove is a popular place for boaters to anchor while swimming, climbing, picnicking or cliff jumping. In higher water years, you can find people jumping from high above the lake. I’m not looking forward to the time when my kids head up there. I’ll be a nervous wreck each and every time they jump. For now, I hope they stick to jumping off the boat!
We are so fortunate in California to have numerous State Parks to explore. There are several I still have yet to discover. D.L. Bliss will always be a special one to our family. I even had a painting commissioned a few years ago of my kids when they were little on the golden sand at Lester Beach.
To reserve a campsite at D.L. Bliss go to the Reserve America site. It will let you reserve 6 months out and be prepared to be flexible. The season here is short and the demand is extremely high.
More of our favorite C.A. State Parks: