Lake Tahoe: Taylor Creek Visitor Center

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Taylor Creek Visitor Center

Taylor Creek Visitor Center, located near Tallac Historic Site on Highway 89 north of South Lake Tahoe, CA, will provide any tourist (or local) with important information regarding the ecology of Lake Tahoe Basin.

  • Located on Highway 89, approx. 3 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, CA.
  • Call Visitor Center at (530) 543-2647 for information regarding open hours and scheduled tours and events.
  • Take a scenic, educational nature tour or explore the many trails located nearby.
  • Great source of information about (and permits for) recreation in Lake Tahoe Basin from U.S. Forest Service Rangers on-site.
  • Open daily from Memorial Day through October.

Overview

Taylor Creek Visitor Center, managed by U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, offers an excellent beginning point for an outdoor recreation-centered vacation in the South Lake Tahoe area.  With scenic nature walks that provide points-of-interest and local ecology tutorials; organized educational programs; recreational info, such as maps; and wilderness permits for the larger Lake Tahoe Basin, you will not regret spending a morning or afternoon at the visitor center. Talk to knowledgable Forest Service rangers, and plan your next adventure!  

Locations/Directions

The visitor center is located  on Lake Tahoe's South Shore, approximated 1.5 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, on the lakeside of Highway 89, just past the entrance to Tallac Historic Site and Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Open:

  • Memorial Day through September: daily, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Month of October: daily, generally, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., hours may vary.

Call (530) 543-2674 for information.

Activities

Scenic Hikes/Nature Walks:
The visitor center provides access to well-maintained scenic nature trails marked with pertinent information regarding plants, scenery and wildlife native to Lake Tahoe Basin.

  • Rainbow Loop: This 1/2 mile footpath takes you through forest pines and a mountain meadow to the Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek (see below). Guided walks available.
  • Fallen Leaf Dam Trail: This 2.5 mile loop trail takes you along Taylor Creek (trailhead located across highway from the center) to the shore of Fall Leaf Lake, a beautiful glacial lake, often considered a miniature Lake Tahoe. Campground at lake. Swimming allowed.  
  • Tallac Historic Site Trail: This 3/4 mile footpath leads you along the lakeshore to Tallac Historic Site. A paved bike path can also be used for walking.   

Educational Programs:
Throughout the season, educational events are planned. These events include walking tours and open hour chats with rangers about local ecology and culture; astronomy presentations in the ampitheater; and visits by Smokey Bear on Saturdays!

  • Stream Profile Chamber: Located on Rainbow Trail, this educational tool, a crosscut of Taylor Creek streambed, diverted and observed through aquarium-like glass panels, provides an awesome demonstration of the life of Taylor Creek, fed from Fallen Leaf Lake and flowing into Lake Tahoe. In October, you can witness the fall spawning run of Kokanee salmon! Chamber closes 1/2 hour before Visitor Center.
  • Lake of the Sky Ampitheater: Located on-site at the Visitor Center, the ampitheater hosts evening events, including a tour of the Lake Tahoe night sky by an astronomer, from June through August.