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

We're Hiring!Now Hiring

We are hard at work preparing for a great summer, and we are looking for great people to join our team.

Positions include: Seasonal Range Safety Officer, Seasonal Park Aide (Ranger), Seasonal Park Aide (Maintenance), Seasonal Lifeguard, Seasonal Concession Attendant, and Seasonal Recreation Leader.  For more information, or to apply, CLICK HERE.

Volunteers needed to serve on the Open Space and Regional Parks Commission!
parks logo

Click here to download the application
Deadline to Apply: May 31, 2017, 5 p.m.    

We are accepting applications for persons living in the unincorporated portion of Washoe County, Commission District 4, to serve on the Washoe County Open Space and Regional Parks Commission.  District 4 includes Sparks, Spanish Springs and Wadsworth.  Washoe County residents with an interest in the future of the County's open spaces, parks, trails, natural resources, wildlife and recreational opportunities are encouraged to apply.

The Commission acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners.  Examples of items that come before the Commission include district and park master plans; schedule of priorities for acquisition and development of park property; parks budget; and rates and fees for services and facility uses.

Open Space and Regional Parks Commissioners are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to serve a 4-year term.  The Parks Commission meets monthly, usually at 2:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday.  Members receive no compensation. Contact Joanna Schultz at (775) 823-6500 or jschultz@washoecounty.us.

Join us for a Spring Cleanup at the May Arboretum!Arbo community cleanup

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Wilbur D. May Arboretum
Rancho San Rafael Park, 1595 N. Sierra St.

Join the Arboretum staff, May Arboretum Society and Arboretum Volunteers, and Rail City Nursery for a morning of spring cleaning at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum located within Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. This is a family friendly event with projects for all ages. We will supply rakes, bags, and any other tools needed as well as coffee and refreshments. You are encouraged to bring your own gardening gloves. Please contact volunteer coordinator Denise Evans at 785-4512 x107 or devans@washoecounty.us with any questions or to RSVP for a large group (5+ people).

The Biggest Little Photography Exhibit is at Rancho San Rafaeldino

Open Daily 8:00am-5:00pm
Rancho San Rafael Visitor Center
(located next to the park ranger office)
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

As an 8-year-old, Thomas, read about a professional photographer who had taken photographs of a minifigure for a year; inspired, he recently completed a book of his photographs - including many spots in Washoe County parks! These photographs are currently displayed on the walls of our Visitor Center for all to enjoy!

Want to try your hand at minifigure photography? Find your favorite figure, find a great location (we are partial to parks and the great outdoors), and snap away! Want to share your photos? Send them to Park Ranger Marie Fong at mfong@washoecounty.us or tag Rancho San Rafael Regional Park on Facebook!

2017 Mini BioBlitz Series with Truckee Meadows Parks FoundationTMPF logo

Saturday, May 20 - Mayberry River Park
Saturday, June 17 - Hidden Valley Regional Park
Saturday, September 9 - Bartley Ranch Regional Park
Sessions start at 9:00am and end at 1:00pm

Experts specializing in insects, birds, plants, mammals, and reptiles will explore the parks with the goal of identifying as many species as possible, and they need your help! Researchers will lead groups of community volunteers (you) through each designated park to help collect data and gain a better understanding of biodiversity in the Truckee Meadows.

The BioBlitz is FREE and open to ALL ages. For more info and directions, email Haley, or visit the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation website.

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. 


Temporary Closures at Hidden Valley Dog Park Closure & Betsy Caughlin Donnely Park

The Link Piazzo Dog Park located within Hidden Valley Regional Park will be closed for turf renovation and rehabilitation from Monday, April 17th reopening on Monday, May 8th. We apologize for any inconvenience to our furry friends! In the meantime, please visit our Dog Parks page for a listing of alternative locations. Please also note that the Betsy Caughlin Donnely Park pastures are closed to public entry until further notice due to agricultural activities. We appreciate your cooperation and patience through these two closures. 

Flood Damage Update

Swan Lake Nature Study Area has been severely impacted and is expected to remain closed indefinitely. Lockwood Park is accessible for fishing, but the trails remain in bad condition. Please respect all closure signs and continue to use caution on all Washoe County Park trails and lands that have been impacted by water damage, including potentially unstable river/creek banks, etc. Efforts are underway to assess and repair damages.

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.

May Arboretum Fencing Project at Rancho San Rafael Park nears completion

The ongoing projects to fully fence the Wilbur D. May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is nearly complete. The fence will protect, preserve and conserve the arboretum's cultural history and secure its 4,000 trees, shrubs and plants, water features, natural wetlands, and 98 gardens. The arboretum will remain open during regular park hours. Funding for the project was provided by a generous donation from the May Foundation and an anonymous donor.

Also stay tuned for more information on the greenhouse beginning construction near the corner of Sierra Street and North McCarran!

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.

Click here for Washoe County Parks facebook page Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space is on Facebook!