Emerald Bay Road

Emerald Bay Road, a very scenic drive in the Sierra Nevada

Emerald Bay Road is a very scenic drive in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. The road, located along the Lake Tahoe, can be a bit intimidating and scary since it can occasionally be along steep cliffs that lack guard rails.

The wicked road that is literally perched onto a very steep mountain ridge is part of the Highway 89. It’s asphalted. Not recommended for people afraid of heights. This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo. The drive is a little scary. It's a two-lane road, with no guardrails and big drop-offs on either side. But, it's really worth it. The road is perched high above two beautiful mountain lakes on the drive. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. The road includes some steep sections (up to 9%).

It’s a mind numbing vertical drop of hundreds of meters so you might want to give it a miss on a windy day. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. The drive has one major scary section: Emerald Bay. It's beautiful, but precipitous, and a 2-lane road. There's one section where the road is atop a ridge separating Emerald Bay from Cascade Lake, about a 600-foot drop on both sides, and no guard rails. The section is only a quarter-mile long.


Pin It
NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.