Experiencing Reno Tahoe’s incredible outdoors and nature is easier than you think, and with 300 days of sunshine, there is no reason to stay indoors. Our region is full of beautiful, natural landscapes, vibrant wildlife and several parks in Reno and Lake Tahoe where the kiddos can play!
We have parks in our area that allow you to enjoy our blue skies, views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and breathtaking sunsets. So go ahead, get outside and take it all in!
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, home of the Great Reno Balloon Race, is one of the larger parks in Reno and offers views of The Biggest Little City, especially if you’re up for a climb to the “N” at the north end of the park. This park is big, and there’s lots to explore, including a play area for the kids, a wetland habitat and a designated dog park where your furry friends can play! The park is home to the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden, which consists of beautiful gardens and walking trails.
Wingfield Park is located in downtown Reno, close to hotels and restaurants, and offers easy access to Truckee River. Take a break and enjoy a swim in the river or relax on the park’s plentiful grassy areas. During the summer months, this park is also a popular place for concerts, festivals and outdoor sports events, including the Reno River Festival, during which professional whitewater kayakers compete every May.
Oxbow Nature Study Area is located one mile from downtown Reno on the Truckee River. Here you can explore ponds, grasslands, cottonwoods and willows on a mile-long nature loop. This park is home to mule deer, beavers, rainbow trout and more. The Oxbow Nature Study Area serves Nevada as a model for wildlife and aquatic education programs offered by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
The Sparks Marina is located east of Reno in Sparks. It has two beaches, picnic areas, a fishing pier, a 2-mile walking path, volleyball courts, playgrounds and any other park amenity you will need on a day out at the park. If you stay through the evening, you will experience a beautiful Reno Tahoe sunset with sun-filled clouds and pretty city lights.
Galena Creek Regional Park is popular year-round and is one of the best parks in Reno for hiking and walking trails. In the summer, enjoy hiking in the Sierra along Thomas, Jones and Whites Creeks. In the winter, visit the park for sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Galena Creek flows through the park, creating separate north and south portions of the park. Campfire programs, ranger-led hikes and exhibits in the visitor’s center add to the richness of the park.
Washoe Lake State Park is located about 30 minutes from downtown Reno, between Reno and Carson City. This park offers views of the Sierra Nevada, Carson and Virginia mountain ranges. It is a popular destination for hiking, camping, picnicking, water sports and equestrian activities. Bird watching and fishing enthusiasts will also find a diverse range of birds, waterfowl and fish at Washoe Lake.
Davis Creek Regional Park offers picnic facilities and group campsites, which are available by reservation. A hiking and equestrian trailhead provides access to the Toiyabe National Forest. This campground/day-use area offers outstanding views of Washoe Lake and Slide Mountain. During the coldest months of winter, the pond freezes and makes a great ice-skating area, which is free to the public. This diverse park is a favorite among locals for hiking and outdoor activities.
When it comes to Lake Tahoe parks, Sand Harbor is a must-visit. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Sand Harbor is best known for its crystal clear water and amazing rock formations, making it a great spot for swimming, scuba diving, kayaking and paddleboarding. Take a break from playing in the sun and enjoy a picnic in one of the many shaded areas under the pine and cedar trees. Sand Harbor also plays host to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival every summer.
Spooner Lake and Backcountry offers 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails and is located in the Lake Tahoe Basin in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. The two-mile trail surrounding the lake is an excellent, flat trail that is perfect for enjoying nature. Thirteen miles of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail wind in and out of the park, including access to Marlette Lake and the famous Flume Trail. During the winter months, Spooner Lake is a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
If you’re looking for north Lake Tahoe parks with a beach and playground, look no further than Kings Beach. Kings Beach offers a playground for the kids and a beach with an unbelievable view of the surrounding mountains and lake. It’s a great place to let your kids play while you unwind next to the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe. For some wintertime revelry, don’t forget to check out snow parks in Tahoe.
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