Lying just north of and contiguous with Emerald Bay State Park, D.L. Bliss State Park is another destination highlight along Lake Tahoe’s southwestern shoreline. Together the two state parks boast more than 6 miles of shore. Named after Duane Leroy Bliss, a timber and mining tycoon of the 19th century who donated much of the land that now makes up the park, D.L. Bliss welcomes campers, beachgoers, and hikers to this scenic stretch of Tahoe shoreline.
Typically open from May through September, D.L. Bliss caters to summer visitors with the beaches and clear waters of Calawee Cove and Lester Beach. With easy access form both the campground and day use parking area, both beaches are well suited for families and for the launching of personal water craft.
Rising out of the depths of the lake just to the south of the beach are the prominent cliffs of Rubicon Point, above which the Rubicon Trail traverses. One of Tahoe's most scenic trails, the Rubicon Trail runs 6.5 miles from Calawee Cove to Emerald Bay's Eagle Point Campground. This trail leads high above some of the deepest waters of Lake Tahoe, purportedly reaching depths of 1,400 feet. The clear, deep waters along the shore are part of an underwater park extending to Emerald Bay that is popular with divers. The Rubicon Trail continues along the shore into Emerald Bay State Park, passing Emerald Point, a boat-in camp, and continuing to Vikingsholm. The Lighthouse Trail, which leads to the decommissioned Rubicon Point Light, also connects with the Rubicon Trail.
While popular for day use, the park is also home a 165-site campground, one of Tahoe’s busiest and best on summer weekends and holidays. Approximately 20 percent of the sites are located a stone's throw from the beach; the rest are situated on loops up Lester Beach Road.
A visitor center is open during the summer months and contains helpful park information and a flora and fauna exhibit. When the park is closed from October through April, visitors can still park near the visitor center, but Lester Beach Road is closed beyond the visitor center parking area. Visitors can still access the park during the off-season, but the closed gate requires a walk of a few miles down to the lake.
Dogs are allowed on a leash within the park but are not permitted on beaches or trails.