This year, due to the shut down in Washington, DC, the festival, along with countless other events, was cancelled. That, however, means nothing to the salmon. They go to Taylor Creek without regard to what the government is or isn't doing.
Taylor Creek is located on Highway 89, just about 3 miles north of the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe. It is an amazing area all through the year. In autumn, when the salmon appear, it becomes an extraordinary colorful, moving, and wonderful experience.
The salmon take on a red color, with some pinks and oranges thrown in. They simply fill the creek, swimming upstream to spawn. Humans aren't the only species that enjoy this annual pilgrimage.
The bears that live in Tahoe know when the salmon are running. They do show up, and stuff themselves with fat salmon, as they get ready for winter and the long naps they take. Mother bears bring their cubs and teach them how to take advantage of the fish filled creek. Papa bears simply show up to gorge themselves.
The interface with humans can be a bit tricky. Anyone who is enjoying the salmon run is well advised to give the bears plenty of space, especially the mother bears with their cubs.
Bald eagles and peregrine falcons also show up for this food fantasy. They will feast on what they can snatch from the creek, or will scavenge for dead salmon.
All in all, it is well worth the trip. Parking is always an issue due to the number of people visiting the Taylor Creek area during the salmon run. Parking along the roadway is very limited. The CHP does patrol the area, and a ticket here can be costly.
Bundle up, get your camera, and head to Taylor Creek for an annual show that is colorful and doesn't care about shut downs.