Every autumn during October, thousands of Kokanee Salmon run Taylor Creek from Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake in Desolation Wilderness. Visitors during this time can experience the spawn right alongside the creek. The fish are very visible by the thousands! The creek runs through dense forest and is a very pleasant environment. There is a Visitor’s Center at the creek that offers a lot of information on the salmon spawning. The Kokanee are fresh-water salmon and much smaller — measuring only about 14 inches — than other salmon relatives. They feed on plankton in the lake, and are silver for most of their lives before turning bright red, as they prepare to swim up the creek to spawn in the water where they themselves were born. There is an estimate of 50000 salmon spawning in October at Taylor Creek. Be aware, with the fish come bears.
Taylor Creek is located on the South shore of Lake Tahoe past Emerald Bay at the bottom of Mt. Tallac. Take 89 south from Truckee all the way down to Taylor Creek, either park alongside the bridge that crosses the creek or turn left onto “Visitor Center Road” and park in the designated parking lot. The drive from Truckee takes about an hour and 15 minutes, but it is a beautiful drive along the lake.