Sugar Pine Point State Park
ADA Accessibility Notes
Campsites, restrooms and showers are accessible. The historic mansion has a ramp and is accessible on the ground floor. The second floor is not accessible but a photo album of the rooms is available.
Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park is located along the west shore of Lake Tahoe and consists of 2239 acres, including 1.5 miles of shoreline. The park contains the historic Hellman-Ehrman estate with lovely 12,000 square foot Pine Lodge, the family's summer home, and its various out-buildings. Additionally, visitors will enjoy fishing from the pier, picnicking on the lake shore, swimming and sunning on the beach, and hiking or mountain biking the back country. In winter, cross-country ski and snowshoe trails are available. A 175-site campground is open in summer.
In 1897, Isaias W. Hellman purchased property on Sugar Pine Point on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Hellman had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1859. He moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles when he purchased the Nevada Bank. This bank eventually merged with Wells Fargo and Hellman served as President. During the summers of 1901 and 1902, Hellman's summer home, Pine Lodge, was built on his property. The 11,703 square foot house was designed by Walter Bliss, who also designed the famous Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City. Bliss was paid $22,000 as the architect and coincidentally, the home cost $22,000 to construct. Upon Hellman's death in 1920, his youngest daughter Florence Ehrman inherited the Pine Lodge and it gradually became known as the Ehrman Mansion.
At the time of Hellman's death, he was President of Wells Fargo Bank, Chairman of the Board of Union Trust Company of San Francisco, Director of the United States National Bank of Portland, Director of Security Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles and President of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Los Angeles.
The estate was entirely self-sufficient during the early years. The family generated their own electricity, had their own water and septic systems, and cut ice from the frozen creek for the ice house. Supplies were brought in by boat since a road around Lake Tahoe had yet to be built. A staff lived with the family during the summer, occupying 6 rooms in the mansion in the servants' wing and on the third floor, as well as numerous outbuildings such as the chauffeur's apartment above the garage, the boatman's cottage, the butler's cabin, the maids' cabin, and the Childrens' House.
The family enjoyed summering at Pine Lodge until Florence Ehrman's death in 1964. Florence's daughter, Esther Ehrman Lazard sold the estate to California State Parks in 1965. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Another interesting chapter in Sugar Pine Point State Park history occurred in 1960. The winter olympics were taking place in Squaw Valley, but the area proved unsuitable for the nordic events including the biathlon. The olympic committee chose an alternate location on Lake Tahoe's west shore, including property then owned by the Ehrman Family in what is now the State Park. All cross country events took place at this venue. In recent years, some of the ski trails have been located and are now markers deliniate them. Additionally, interpretive signs tell the story of the events. Today, cross country skiers can ski on these trails following the routes of Olympians over 50 years ago. A small exhibit on the little known Olympic history at Sugar Pine Point State Park is located in the Hellman/Ehrman estate's "Barn & Coach House".
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are allowed on leash in the developed areas such as the campsites and picnic area. They are not allowed on trails or on the beach.
Camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, visitor center, mansion tours, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing
The park is open all year, but the campground closes in winter during some years and remains open in other years. Cross-country ski trails and snow shoe trails are available in winter.
Campsites are $35 ($2 senior discount) and Day Use fees are $10 ($1 senior discount).