The Rainbow Trail


My family and I were in Lake Tahoe for my brother’s wedding during Memorial Day weekend and wanted to take a short but scenic hike in the Tahoe Area. The Rainbow Trail along Taylor Creek provides that opportunity. This trail is located along the south shore of Lake Tahoe near Camp Richardson and is one of four self-guided trails near the Forest Service’s Taylor Creek Visitor Center.

Why we love itThe Rainbow Trail loops through the largest meadow/marsh system in Lake Tahoe and provides scenic views of the lake as well as the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. At about 1/4 mile down the trail, the Stream Profile Chamber offers opportunities for the public to view a cross-section profile of Taylor Creek and peak in on rainbow trout swimming in the creek.

For the Young Ones (0-10)This trail is paved and easy to walk. There are multiple educational signs throughout the hike that display pictures of local wildlife and plants that kids can find along the way. The Stream Profile Chamber gives young kids an opportunity to view fish up close in their natural habitat.

For the Big Kids (10+):Big kids will also enjoy reading the educational signs and viewing IMG_1731the fish in the Stream Profile Chamber. In the fall, visitors can view kokanee salmon spawning in Taylor Creek.

Keep in Mind:

  • This area can get pretty crowded on holidays and weekends so it’s best to arrive early.
  • The trail was flooded in the area near Taylor Creek when we visited so be prepared to walk through some cold water depending on the conditions.
  • The Stream Profile Chamber has limited hours so check with the U.S. Forest Service ahead of time to confirm operating hours at (775) 831-0914.
  • The Visitor Center is open daily beginning Memorial Day week through October.

Difficulty LevelBeginner, the trail is paved the whole way and flat so it’s also handicapped and stroller accessible.

Guest contributor Sarah Perrin is a wife, mother of one boy and two dogs, wildlife biologist, home baker, and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys exploring the California foothills and Sierras with her family and friends.



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