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Visitation: 300,000 to 500,
Area: 50 Acres
Lat: 38.9356
Lon: 
Nearby Services
Gas-South Lake Tahoe, 3 MilesFood-South Lake Tahoe, 3 MilesLodging-South Lake Tahoe, 3 Miles
Site Facilities
Boardwalks Brochure/Species List Bus Accessible
Camping/lodging Drinking Water Gift Shop/Bookstore
Interpretive Signs Restrooms Trails
Trash Cans Visitor Center/Ranger Station

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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
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.
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

Black Bear by Robert Floerke Kokanee Salmon spawning in Taylor Creek. Photo by Phil Robertson

Background: 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.

The Habitat: 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.

The Experience: 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 Tips: 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.

Site Notes: 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: Kokanee Salmon Festival, October
Wild Tahoe Weekend (Bird Festival and Native Species Festival), June

Visitor Information: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Supervisor's Office - 530-543-2600, ext. 0 - http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Daily (closed on Wednesdays), Memorial Day Wkend-October 31
Hours: Hours vary
Year Round: No
Seasonal: 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.

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: 
 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.

Special Tips: 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
Managing Agency: USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Unit
Agency Site URL: http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ
Physical Address:Supervisor's Office, 35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Mailing Address:
, CA
Manager Phone:(530) 543-2600, ext. 0 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:(530) 543-2600, ext. 0
County: El Dorado
Addition Website:  www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu