Taylor Creek Visitor Center - Site # 117
|View wildlife, four ecosystems and award-winning interpretive signs while walking the easy trails surrounding the visitor center. Interpretive programs and the undergound Stream Profile Chamber enhance your experience.
|Regional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.
|Small but bountiful, this wet meadow bordered by creeks, forests, and beaches has a half-dozen trails highlighted by interpretive displays. Douglas squirrels and mule deer move among Jeffrey pines that shelter dark-eyed juncos, western tanagers, and hairy woodpeckers. Conifers and aspens give way to Taylor Creek Meadow, a grassy wetland crossed by the Rainbow Trail. Boardwalks and bridges offer views of ospreys and coyotes, also ponds with beaver dams. The trail lead to a stream profile chamber with underwater views of trout, aquatic life, and in fall, spawning Kokanee salmon colored a brilliant red. Yellow-headed back birds perch among the cattails at Pope marsh, where there are nesting platforms for Canada geese. The marsh and adjacent lake-shore beach offer views of mallards, California gulls, and the lake's concentration of wintering bald eagles.
|Four distinctive habitats in the immediate area include forest, meadow, marsh and riparian (all located on the Rainbow Trail). A one mile walk on the Lake of the Sky Trail and you will arrive at the shoreline of Lake Tahoe.
|This well kept site offers natural beauty, wildlife, multiple ways to enjoy the site and friendly US Forest Service rangers to address your questions. One can stroll the paths surrounding the visitor center and learn from the award winning interpretive signs about the natural history of the area.
|Wildlife and Where to Find It:
|Trails, wildlife viewing deck, boardwalks, bridges and underground stream viewing chamber. Paved trail; excellent universal access.
|Viewing probability is high for waterfowl and gulls from spring through fall; moderate for songbirds, ospreys, deer, and coyotes. Rainbow and brown trout can be seen in spring and summer; Kokanee salmon run in the fall. Beavers sometimes seen on summer evenings.
|The Stream Profile Chamber, located 1/4-mile down the Rainbow Trail, provides a view of the stream environment allowing visitors to study a diverted section of Taylor Creek through a panel of aquarium-like windows and is a major attraction for local conservation and environmental education programs. A 180-degree curved diorama illustrates life above and below the water. This diorama boasts a mural on the walls which shows all the seasons experienced at Taylor Creek. There are also creative informational signs and hidden critters. Be sure to look for the raccoon, crayfish, bats, frog, Stellar Jay, Bald Eagles, butterflies, and the slug! Look carefully, they aren't easy to find! This facility provides a realistic and meaningful experience for all who visit including the more than 4,000 third and fourth grade students who participate in the environmental education programs conducted during the fall spawning run of the Kokanee Salmon in Taylor Creek.
|Festivals & Events:
|Fall Fish Fest, October
Wild Tahoe Weekend (Bird Festival and Native Species Festival), June
|Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority - (530) 541-5255 - https://tahoesouth.com
|Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
|Daily (closed on Wednesdays), Memorial Day Weekend-October 31
|Open Memorial Day Weekend-October 31. Heavy snows close visitor center for winter. The public is welcome to snow shoe/cross-country ski at the site during the off season. Parking lot is closed during the off season. Visitors can find nearby parking on Hwy 89.
| Number of Parking Spaces: 100
|Parking Fee: No
|Proximity to viewing area:1/4 mile to Stream Chamber
| Pull-Through Parking: Yes
|Parking Notes: There is accessible parking, bus/RV parking and normal parking slots available.
|Food is not available on the site, but there are picnic tables located near the amphitheater. Plan to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the numerous walking trails after your meal. Proper walking shoes, sunscreen, hat and water are always advised while experiencing the outdoors. High altitude can cause nausea and headaches from over-exertion. Drink plenty of water and take it slow the first day in Lake Tahoe Basin if you are coming up from a lower altitude.
|How to Get There:
|From South Lake Tahoe and junction of Highways 50 and 89, take Highway 89 north 3.5 miles. Turn right to entrance.
| Contact Information
|USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Unit
|Agency Site URL:
|Supervisor's Office, 35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
|(530) 543-2600 - USFS; (530) 543-2674 - Taylor C