Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

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Parks Announce Lake Tahoe Underwater Trails With Sunken Boat Graveyard

September 18, 2018

California State Parks and the Sierra State Parks Foundation announced the creation of an underwater diving trail in Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.

The trail is the first of its kind where Scuba and snorkel divers can explore Emerald Bay and the many sunken crafts below the surface.

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Four sites have been mapped and waterproof informational cards can be picked up at park’s visitor centers, local dive shops, and online.

Barge Dive Site on the southeastern shore of the bay consists of two barges, built of massive Ponderosa pine timbers, sitting at a depth between 10 to 40 feet deep.

The three brand new sites are the Passenger Launch - Florence M, Wooden Fishing Boat, and Hard Chine Skiff and are located near the former site of the Emerald Bay Resort.

  • Barge Dive Site - Built of massive ponderosa pine timbers, these barges were towed or pushed by steamships. Before roads were constructed around the lake, barges served to transport equipment, supplies, and vehicles to lakeside communities.
  • Passenger Launch - Florence M - This 28-foot long open launch was built in 1915 at the Stephens Brothers boatyard in Stockton, California. Ralph Graves, proprietor of the Emerald Bay Resort, purchased the boat and brought it to the Lake in 1926 to provide day excursions for resort guests. The launch reportedly was sunk in 1941.
  • Wooden Fishing Boat - This boat likely was constructed from local timber by a Tahoe area carpenter for use at the Emerald Bay Resort (1907-1959). The back-to-nature movement, the search for outdoor recreation, and increased lakeshore access combined to make Lake Tahoe a popular destination resort area by the early 20th century.
  • Hard Chine Skiff - This fishing boat has a built-in live well, a boat design feature unique to the Lake Tahoe region. The boat’s narrow beam allows it to glide through the water, effortlessly powered either by oars or a tiny outboard gasoline engine known as a “kicker.”

Get all the details and diving safety information at www.parks.ca.gov.