NileGuide Expert Says:
Great for families
Visitor Center Rd
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
tel: (530) 543-2674,(530) 542-2908
The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is operated by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the US Forest Service. While most organized activities occur during the summer months, visitor center grounds are open all year for easy hiking and viewing the spectacular scenery surrounding Lake Tahoe.
At the center there are year round exhibits and organized activities including nature walks, naturalist lectures, and cross-country skiing in the winter. Visitors can walk the Rainbow Trail to the Stream Profile Chamber, where you can observe a section of Taylor Creek's underwater environment through a panel of windows. This is an amazing vantage point from which to see the Kokanee salmon run in October each year.
In winter, the Taylor Creek / Fallen Leaf area is transformed into a cross-country ski area especially suited to beginners. Using the area is free, but you need to purchase a California SNO-PARK permit for your vehicle. At $5 a day or $25 for a season pass, that's pretty cheap skiing. The SNO-PARK season begins November 1 and ends May 30. The dates may vary somewhat depending on snow conditions. California SNO-PARK permits are also good in Oregon.