Emerald Bay is a beautiful destination in Lake Tahoe, located on the California side of the lake. It’s known for its stunning blue waters and scenic views, but what many people don’t know is that there is an underwater state park in Emerald Bay.
The park was created in 1994 to protect the historic sunken vessels that rest on the bottom of the bay. The vessels were scuttled by the state in the 1950s and 1960s to create an artificial reef, and they have since become home to a variety of marine life.
One of the most notable wrecks in the park is the Tahoe, a steamboat that was used to transport people and goods across the lake in the late 1800s. The Tahoe sank in 1940, and it now sits in about 400 feet of water. Divers can explore the wreck, but it requires advanced training and equipment.
Another wreck in the park is the barge, which was used to transport equipment and supplies for the construction of Vikingsholm, a historic mansion located on the shore of Emerald Bay. The barge was scuttled in 1953 and now rests in about 60 feet of water.
In addition to the wrecks, the park is also home to a variety of fish and other marine life. Divers can see schools of rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and other species that live in the cold, clear waters of Lake Tahoe.
Visitors to the park can explore the underwater world by scuba diving or snorkeling. Divers must obtain a permit from the California State Parks Department, and they must follow specific rules and regulations to protect the wrecks and the marine life that live in the park.
If you’re not a diver, you can still experience the beauty of Emerald Bay by taking a boat tour or hiking to the top of the nearby mountains for a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding area.
Overall, the underwater state park in Emerald Bay is a unique and fascinating destination for anyone interested in history, marine life, or outdoor adventure. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Lake Tahoe, and it’s a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural and cultural resources for future generations to enjoy.