Playing Tourists at Emerald Bay
Updated: May 23, 2021
Sometimes, we just need to get out of the house. Since we both work from home, we have to make a point to get out. And it can be fun to play tourists in our own beautiful backyard -- after all, a good time to take advantage is during the "off season," which seems to shrink every passing year.
The stretch of Highway 89 through Emerald Bay had been closed for several days after the last storm while they dug it out, and we knew it had recently reopened, so we hopped in the Jeep and that is where we went for today's little adventure.
During the summer, especially on the weekends, the areas around Emerald Bay get extremely congested and it can be nearly impossible to find a (legal) parking space. In fact, we don't typically go there unless we have guests in town.
The primary parking lot at the Vikingsholm overlook was packed full with a line of cars waiting to get in, so we passed that up. As we rounded the corner, a car was just backing out of one of the street parking spaces. What luck! We pulled in, I changed into my hiking boots, and we walked across the road. I laughed at myself as I realized I was now wearing hiking boots with leggings. Quite the fashion statement.
As we crossed the road, we also crossed paths with two men wearing borderline formalwear, walking up toward the Vikingsholm overlook. We thought it was a little strange, but I just figured you go with what you've got.
We noticed a few people were standing on a large boulder area that looks out onto the bay. It was not a vantage point we were familiar with, as many times as we'd been to Emerald Bay, so we headed over there.
The snow on this "trail" was very wet and slippery in some spots while icy and slick in others and if you went too far off the "trail," you were likely to end up in a posthole about 2 feet down. I was really glad I changed into my hiking boots.
We carefully made our way through the steep and uneven terrain and out onto the large boulders. A snow-covered Eagle Falls was gushing in the distance. A few minutes later, we heard cheering and applause in the direction of the overlook. The formalwear! We're pretty sure a couple had just gotten married up at the overlook and the two formalwear guys were wedding guests. I feel like every time we make a stop at Emerald Bay there's a wedding taking place.
I walked around the boulders some more and waited for a few tourists to leave so I could get a clear shot without any people.
I've read that Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed places -- some claim it's one of the most photographed in the world, but it certainly is true for the region. I've seen some incredible sunrise photos over Emerald Bay, but I've never gotten up that early and driven down there in time to make the sunrise. And there's no guarantee the sunrise will be spectacular when you get there. Maybe someday I'll make it and the timing will be right.
On this day, the bay was exceptionally calm and glassy. It was a balmy 43 degrees and not a cloud in the endless blue sky.
Even Fannette Island has some snow on it.
Look out for this fashionista on the trails, folks! 🤣