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General Information: The Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe is a perfect place to start your Tahoe hiking and backpacking adventure. Open every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day and on weekends through October, the Visitor Center can provide loads of useful information on Desolation Wilderness. You can also pick up a wilderness permit here as well.


But there is more than just information at this newly renovated site. For families with children or folks not comfortable with heading into the wilderness, the Visitor Center offers several nice, short walking possibilities, including The Rainbow Trail, The Lake of the Sky Trail, Pope Estates Trail, and the Taylor Creek Trail.

Where to Start: The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is located on the South Shore just 4 miles north of the "Y" on Highway 89. From the "Y", take 89 north towards Emerald Bay. After passing Camp Richardson, look for the brown "Visitor Center" sign. The Visitor Center is located on the right (east) side of 89.

The Rainbow Trail is a half mile loop trail that wanders past a beautiful marsh and leads to the redesigned Stream Profile Chamber. A favorite with children and adults alike, the Stream Profile Chamber allows the visitor to see what life as a fish would look like!

The Lake of the Sky trail is a short stroll on a wide, flat trail that leads to Visitor Center Beach, a wonderful stretch of sand that includes gorgeous Tahoe views.

For the more adventurous, a trail leads up Taylor Creek towards Fallen Leaf Lake. Along the way, you'll see wildflowers like Mules Ear, Lupine, and Indian Paintbrush. In the fall, the Aspen groves turn brilliant yellow and offer terrific photo opportunities.

Finally, for a walk into the past, head to the Pope Estates where you can learn about the life of the rich and famous who "summered" at Lake Tahoe in the early part of the 20th century. During the months of July and August, Art, Photography, Ceramic, and Weaving displays are an added bonus to this stroll.

Environmental Concerns: None.

Advisory: None.

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