Washoe Lake

State Park

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About Washoe Lake

Nestled in a scenic valley where bald eagles soar, Washoe Lake State Park offers breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada, Carson and Virginia mountain ranges. A popular area for hiking, camping, picnicking, water sports and equestrian activities, the park also hosts a diverse range of birds and waterfowl, such as American white pelicans and Canadian geese. Anglers can aim for channel and bullhead catfish, wipers, white bass and Sacramento Perch. Situated between Reno and Carson City, the park is a true treasure for local residents and visitors to enjoy year-round.

Park Detail

FACILITES & AMENITIES

Camping: The park has 49 sites, each with a table, grill and fire ring. The campground is open year round and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some sites are equipped with shade structures. Two comfort stations, one with a shower, are available. Several sites can hold RVs up to 45 feet in length. There are no hookups, but a dump station is available. The camping limit is seven days in a 30-day period.

Group Area: The Group Area near the main day use area and boat launch can be reserved for both day and overnight use. Facilities include a covered pavilion, restrooms, 20 picnic tables, barbecue grills, power, lighting, sink, counters, a sandy volleyball court and horseshoe pits.

Picnicking/Day Use: Day use areas are located at the Wetlands, South Beach, Main Entrance, North Ramp and Little Washoe. All areas have comfort stations and developed picnic sites. The main access location is the largest day use area, with lawns, sandy beach areas and shade trees.

Boating: Boat launching ramps can be found in the main day use area, North Ramp and at Little Washoe. Boat trailer parking sites are provided.

Equestrian Facilities: Equestrian areas are found at the Main Entrance Area and North Ramp. The main area facility includes an arena, corrals, horse washing station and a covered barbecue area with tables, grill, sink, counter space, power, water and lighting. Camping is permitted for both tents and RVs with large parking areas for easy horse trailer access. This area can be reserved for groups of up to 200. The North Ramp facility is day use only and provides restrooms, parking and picnic tables.

Hunting: Hunting with shotgun only is permitted in specified areas during the hunting season, October through February. Hunting zone maps are available at the ranger station.

Fishing: Both lakes contain channel and bullhead catfish, wipers, white bass and Sacramento Perch. Little Washoe, South Beach and North Ramp provide excellent shore fishing opportunities. See a Health Warning from the Department of Wildlife on consumption of fish.

Hiking: Trails are available throughout the park for motorized and non-motorized uses. Non-motorized trails accommodate hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders. Motorized trails are limited to the Virginia Range, east of the park. Maps are available at the park office and information kiosks throughout the park.

Programs: Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.

Hours: Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.


FIELD NOTES

  • Practice Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly principles.
  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park or may be obtained from any Park Ranger.
  • Those with developmental and/or physical limitations are invited to enjoy all of the recreational activities of Nevada State Parks. If you would like to request additional support or accommodations, please call Nevada State Parks at (775) 684-2770. We continually seek ways to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and welcome any suggestions you may have.
  • View a list of frequently asked questions.

NATURAL RESOURCES/CLIMATE

For thousands of years, large portions of Washoe Lake were marshy areas called "wetlands,” where water is present all or part of the year. The Scripps Wildlife Management Area in the northern part of the lake and the Washoe Lake Wetland Project at the southern end make up most of Washoe Valley's remaining wetlands. Both of these areas provide critical forage and nesting habitat for diverse populations of migratory birds and waterfowl. Bird checklists are available from the Park Ranger. (READ MORE)


HISTORY OF WASHOE LAKE STATE PARK – Established in 1977

Washoe Valley has a long history of human occupation. The name comes from the Washoe People, who spent winters in the valley and summers at Lake Tahoe. They used willows and cattails from the wetlands of Washoe Lake to make elaborate baskets and other tools used for hunting and gathering. (READ MORE)

Park Fees

Nevada residents get a $2.00 park entrance discount

Day use entrance fee:  $7.00 per vehicle

Boat launch:  $9.00

Camping:  $17.00 per night

Camp and boat:  $19.00 per night

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