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Lake Tahoe Photo Driving Tour


A Scandinavian-style house whose former residents are as interesting as its architecture.
vikingsholm scandinavian architecture

Vikingsholm's Scandinavian Architecture

©2001 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
  • Hours: Daily tours Memorial Day weekend1 until the end of September only
  • Reservations: Not required
  • Cost: Entry fee charged
  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, on Emerald Bay
  • How Long: Allow two to three hours to hike down, take the tour and get back to your car
  • Best Time to Visit: It's easier to find parking if you go in the morning
The former summer home of millionaire heiress Lora Knight, Vikingsholm was built in 1929. Because the rugged mountain scenery and sheer granite cliffs surrounding Emerald Bay reminded her of the fjords in Norway, Knight chose a Scandinavian design. It’s a house with many unusual features, including a sod roof seeded with wildflowers and carved dragon-heads at the peak of the roof.

Whimsical touches inside include Selma, a folk art clock. Upstairs, the delicate colors of the stained paneling are unchanged, and Mrs. Knight’s collection of Scandinavian antiques and museum reproductions are as interesting as the architecture itself.

Vikingsholm Review

We rate Vikingsholm 4 stars out of 5 for its unusual architecture and interesting history, but if these characteristics don't appeal to you, skip it.

Getting to Vikingsholm

Limited parking is available in the Vikingsholm parking lot off of CA Hwy 89 on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay. A one-mile-long steep trail leads from the parking lot to Vikingsholm. If this parking lot is full, head for the day use area at Eagle Point State Park, pay a small fee and follow the 1.5-mile trail along the south shore of Emerald Bay, which is less steep.

There are no concessions at the house, the hike back up is steep and the air dry, so bring some water with you.

Lake Tahoe, CA
Vikingsholm website

1 Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May.

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