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Washoe Lake State Park

Enjoy the lake, ride your horse, hike or mountain bike at this beautiful park close to Carson City and Reno.
Trail Uses
Horseback riding Hiking Walking Mountain biking E-biking Bicycling
Washoe County
35.00 miles (Network)
Easy, Moderate
Carson City, Reno
Permitted on Leash
Other Activities


This beautiful state park is close to both Carson City and South Reno. The park features over 35 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, including a trek through the sand dunes and a two-mile sandy beach trail on the shore of the lake.  Another great day-hike is the Deadman’s Creek trail, which takes the hiker up to a gazebo for some incredible views of the valley and Sierra Nevada mountains.

The park is a very popular spot for equestrians, and includes facilities such as a large arena, round pen, horse water and several camping spots with corrals. 

There are two paved boat launch ramps – one at the main park on the south end and another at the north parking at the end of Douglas Drive. There is also launch point on Little Washoe Lake. Note that in times of low water levels, the motorized boat launches may be closed, so check with State Parks on current conditions.

To view native birds, wildlife and possibly some wild mustang herds, the Wetlands Mitigation area has an ADA-accessible Wildlife Viewing Platform and a fenced trail down into the wildlife area. Please remember that the mustangs are wild animals, so use caution and do not approach.

Camping areas include new pull-through sites with full hookups, a large group site with pavilion, and the equestrian camping area which has a covered picnic shelter.

Animal Fun Fact!

Washoe Lake State Park doesn’t just attract human visitors—it’s also a stopover for migratory species like Monarch Butterflies and American White Pelicans. Both animals travel hundreds of miles from the coast to Washoe Lake to feed, breed, and rest. Keep an eye out for Pelicans on the lake between spring and fall, and for Monarchs feeding on milkweed near Miner’s Maze in late summer.

Other Information

For camping and other park information see the Nevada Division of State Parks, Washoe Lake State Park website.

For equestrian specific trails visit Nevada Horse Trails!

For OHV riders, the park provides access to the Virginia Range hills from the main Campground.  See the Nevada OHV Program website for more information. 

The Nevada Division of Natural Heritage has an online guided tour from Washoe Lake to Virginia City.  OHV riders can use the Off-Road Naturalist Google Earth application to learn about the flora and fauna in the hills of the Virginia Range.

For things to do in Carson City, see the website. 

Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority website for ideas of where to eat, stay and recreate to the north of the park. has more great information about the park, and Washoe Valley.

Trail Manager

For information on the Scripps Wildlife Management Area, along with boating and fishing regulations, see the Nevada Department of Wildlife website.

Nevada State Parks - Washoe Lake

Nevada State Parks - Washoe Lake
4855 Eastlake Blvd.
Carson City, NV 89704
Phone: 775-687-4319
View website


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Trailhead Information

Main park access is on Eastlake Blvd, a short drive north from Carson City. 

Additional equestrian and lake access parking is available at the intersection of Lakeshore and Douglas Drive. 

To get to Little Washoe Lake, the access is directly off of the north end of Eastlake Boulevard.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Boat Launch Closed

NOTICE: Boats are not able to launch from any boat ramp at Washoe Lake due to low water levels.

No Driving on Beach

NOTICE: Driving on the beach and lakebed is prohibited.


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