Support Great Basin Institute in Serving Public Lands in the West


In Partnership with the US Forest Service, The Great Basin Institute offers interpretive programs and special events from May to October. Availability depends on staffing, and schedules may vary from year to year. Learn more about some of our popular programs below! All proceeds directly support historic interpretation and preservation.


Pope House Tours

Tours begin sat. May 27, 2023!

Built in 1894, the Pope House is among the oldest standing structures in the Tahoe Basin. Once a private residence for the most affluent of San Francisco’s elite, today the house is part of our national public lands heritage. 

This docent-guided tour traverses the entire 5,000sq ft. house, plus the servant’s kitchen and dining area. Learn about the people behind the opulence, about Lake Tahoe’s history and development, and about the oral legends of the Tallac Historic Site. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture and construction methods, there is only one house like it. 

The Pope House tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes long, and is offered 2 times per day. Join us in 2023! 


Adults • $16
Children (Age 5-12) • $8  
Children 4 & under • Free

2023 Schedule

Times: 11am & 2pm

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday

Group Tours

In addition to public tours, the Great Basin Institute welcomes private groups. Group tours have the flexibility to be specially designed according to the group’s interests and size. If you would like to make a group tour reservation, please notify us at least two days in advance. Call the museum at 530-541-5227 or book below!


Maximum Group Size: 100
Price per person: $12 (1 – 25)
         $10 (26 – 49)
$8 (50+)
Minimum Fee: $120

  • Pope House & Estate – 1.5 hours 
  • Baldwin Estate and Pope House – 1.5 hours
  • Old Tallac Resort & Taylor Creek – 2 hours

*Guided tours extending more than 2 hours in duration are subjected to increased rates. Half-day tours can be arranged with advanced notice.


Kitchen Kids

Two volunteers at Tallac Historic Site stand in front of the doorway at Pope House in chef uniforms for the Kitchen Kids event
One of Tallac Historic Site’s longest-running programs! Children ages 6-12 learn to bake 1920s recipes in an authentic 1920s kitchen at the Pope Estate. From scones to ginger snaps, kids learn about the kitchen tools of the time, how to measure, and more.

Tallac After Dark

Silhouette of pine trees against a starry blue night sky
Launched in 2022, Tallac After Dark is an interpretative “spooky” program. Visitors tour the grounds and Pope House at night, discovering the significance of the spiritualism movement and its impacts during the 1920s. You’ll also hear stories of Tallac Historic Site’s unexplained tales… This program is typically held in October.

Heritage Day

Four adults dressed in time period costumes for Heritage Day at Tallac Historic Site
Heritage Day is a living history program with many interactive events. Volunteers and staff wear period costumes and provide games and crafts for kids and families. Themes and activities vary, so be sure to check the 2023 schedule for highlights.

Special Events

Vatican Speakeasy

String lights decorating Tallac Historic Site for the annual Vatican Speakeasy

This annual fundraiser includes 1920s music, drinks, costumes, and finger foods. Held outdoors at the Pope Estate, the event can accommodate a large audience with limited reserved seating. Guests can participate in a silent auction, try out the Charleston, or watch a live demonstration. (Just don’t forget the password for entry, date TBD)


Blue classic car parked on the grass at Tallac Historic Site for the Gatsby Festival in 2019

A 35-year tradition at Tallac, the Gatsby Festival is fun for all ages. The festival takes place over the second weekend in August and is operated in partnership with Valhalla Tahoe.

Night at the

Historical figures come to life at the Tallac Museum with live music, beverages, and other surprises. This is a new event for 2023, and will be hosted in late May.