Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space

Regional Parks and Open Space is part of Washoe County's Community Services Department. Our mission is to provide exceptional parks, open space and recreational opportunities while preserving our natural, historical and cultural resources. Washoe County manages over 12,000 areas including over 10,000 acres of open space, 49 parks, an Arboretum, developed trails, trailheads, athletic fields, golf courses, a campground, a shooting facility, an archery facility, a museum, and so much more! If you have a favorite outdoor activity, chances are it can be done in a Washoe County Park! For more information on our parks, view our Park Guide. 

Highlights & Current Events

Christmas Tree Recycling at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park & Bartley Ranch Regional Park has ended!

Still have your tree? The following Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Stations will accept trees through Sunday, January 14:
 *Station 16: East Washoe Valley- 240 East Lake Blvd
 *Station 17: Spanish  Springs- 500 Rockwell Blvd.
 *Station 223: Lemmon Valley- 130 Nectar St.

RT Donovan (11600 Pyramid Way, Sparks) will also accept trees for composting but please call ahead first at (775) 425-3015.

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful has been facilitating the Christmas Tree Recycling program since 2003 with more than 129,000 trees recycled. The program provides community residents with an easy alternative to dumping trees in the landfill or - as is sometimes seen - in the open spaces. Trees are chipped into mulch that is used for park and weed abatement projects and is available for free to area residents at the Bartley Ranch and Rancho San Rafael drop off sites. Please see the KTMB Christmas Tree Recycling webpage for more information on the program.

Come in from the Cold Family Entertainment Series coming soon!

Jan. 13 - Mar. 31
Saturday Nights @ 7:00pm
Western Heritage Interpretive Center
Bartley Ranch Regional Park
6000 Bartley Ranch Road, Reno

Come in from the cold and enjoy a Saturday evening of entertainment during one of Washoe County's longest running programs. Click here to view this year's lineup. A suggested $3 per person donation is encouraged to help support this and future park programs. Seating will be limited to 200 people with doors opening at 5:30pm. The program will begin at 7:00pm.

learn and explore

Learn and Explore at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum

Ongoing throughout the year
Located within Rancho San Rafael Park
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

It's a new year which means new programs for the community and schools at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden. We are proud to present Wilbur's Explorer Pack and the Naturalist Program. Check out the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden website and see where your next outdoor adventure can take you.

Programming at the Galena Creek Visitor Centergalena visitor center

Ongoing throughout the year
Galena Creek Regional Park
18250 Mt. Rose Hwy, Reno

The Galena Creek Visitor Center is a partnership between Washoe County, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Great Basin Institute. The goal of the visitor center is to encourage understanding, appreciation and appropriate use of the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Galena Canyon area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway. Check their website often or call 775-849-4948 for a listing of upcoming events including weekly guided hikes, monthly toddler time, and special Sunday morning programming. 


Areas of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park Closed January 9th through January 14th

Washoe County is hosting the National Cyclocross Championship Races at Rancho San Rafael Park from January 9th through January 14th.  The park will transform as USA Cycling and Glacier Cycling work together to build the bike race course and all components of the event.  During the races, many areas in the park will be unavailable to our typical users such as the main playground, the Peavine and Pagoda picnic areas, the main turf throughout the park, Herman's Pond and the Nevada Farms and Families area.  A portion of the multi-use pasture which allows off-leash dogs will remain open as well as the Museum, Arboretum, and the entire north side of the park including “The Ranch” disc golf course.  The north side of the park will only be accessible from the Reno Sports Complex parking area.  Parking throughout the park will be extremely limited.  Please contact Park staff at 785-4512 if you have any additional questions or concerns. 

Winter Safety Reminders

Winter can be a wonderful time of year for park recreation, but it can also be dangerous to those who are not prepared for the conditions. Please help us make your safety our number one priority by considering the following:

  • Use caution on park roads during winter, and keep a sharp eye out for increased pedestrian traffic along the roads.
  • After snow has fallen, please give park rangers ample time to clear the roads before paying the park a visit. It can be very dangerous to enter the park while plowing is underway, and makes the job of clearing the snow much more difficult.
  • Remember to keep a safe distance from water features, such as creeks and ponds. Although the frozen pond ice looks strong enough to support your weight, it is actually very unstable. Ice fishing is prohibited for this reason. The consequences of hypothermia are not worth the risk.
  • Several parks and trails also feature creeks or streams that can present a hidden danger as well. Extreme caution is advised in these areas, as the ice that tends to extend from the banks may give way if stood upon.
  • Pets are also susceptible to the dangers of winter as well. Keeping them leashed at all times will help to ensure their safety.
  • For information about areas that are open to sledding at Galena Creek Park, or road conditions, please call the Galena Creek Park Ranger station at (775) 849-2511.

Junior Ranger Activity Guides are now available!

Looking for engaging, park-based activities to do with your children? Our Junior Ranger Activity Guides are now available! Download the guide or pick up a copy at your local park office. This free program can be done at your own pace, is flexible enough to appeal to a large age range, and can be completed at any combination of Washoe County parks. Visit our Become a Junior Ranger page for complete details.

Bridge Construction over Whites Creek

Attention Trail Users: During construction of a new bridge over Whites Creek, there will be a temporary trail closure along Whites Creek Trail to ensure trail user safety.  The closure is between Chartreuse Court and Mountain Ranch Road, roughly ½ mile.  Trail users will be directed to use Paris Avenue as a detour. View a map of the trail closure and detour. Construction should be completed in early winter and signs/fencing will be removed once it is safe to have the trail re-opened.  If you have questions/concerns, please contact Cheryl Surface at (775) 328-2039. Thank you for your patience. 

Updated Truckee Meadows Trails Guides are now availabletrails, washoe county, list

Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space is excited to present then new Truckee Meadows Trail Guide featuring two additional trails: Ballardini Ranch Trail system and the Sugarloaf Trail. The 66-page guide features a variety of photos taken from various trails in the area, maps and a brief synopsis describing what each trail has to offer hikers. The guides can be downloaded here, or picked up at local bike shops, visitor centers, Scheels and Cabela's as well as Washoe County, City of Reno, and City of Sparks owned buildings. For complete details, view the press release.

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