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 acres 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, view our Park Guide.


Highlights & Current Events 

Summer Swim Lessons at Bowers Mansion PoolSwimLessons

Summer Swimming Lessons will be offered this summer at Bowers Mansion Pool. Print the Registration Form and send it in to reserve your spot now. We will be offering the American Red Cross Swimming Lesson Curriculum with a Preschool Aquatics Program (Tiny Tots - 3-5 yrs old) and a Learn to Swim Program (6 - 13 yrs). Lessons sessions run Mondays - Thursdays for 2 weeks.

Visit the Bowers Pool page for more detailed information on session dates, times, availability and registering. 


Armed Forces Day and Civil War Reenactment at Bowers Mansionbowers mansion

Saturday, May 21 10:00am-4:00pm
Bowers Mansion Regional Park
4005 US Highway 395 North

Spend a Saturday afternoon picnicking on the historic Bowers Mansion grounds and visiting with Civil War Reenactment Volunteers. Click here to view the event schedule. The Mansion will also be open for the first weekend of the 2016 season with self guided tours, $5 per adult, $3.50 children and seniors.

Stay tuned for more information on Programs on the Porch at Bowers Mansion starting May 27th!


The popular "Ranching at Rancho" series has returned!pony rides

May 21 - November 20
Most Saturdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Rancho San Rafael Park - Nevada Farms & Families Area
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

Bring the family for a fun, free ranching themed open house in the main barn area. Each week features a new theme from goats to tractors and everything else in between. Visit with our resident chickens and turkeys, cool off inside the Discovery Room, or your little one can enjoy a horse or pony ride for only $5 with Lorie's Pony Express! Themed Ranching at Rancho activities will only be offered on most Saturdays, but the Discovery Room and pony rides are available Saturdays and Sundays between 10am-1pm most weeks. Please check this page and Facebook for notifications of cancellations.


Wild Blossoms: Springtime Wildflowers and Blossoms from the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desertcherry blossoms

March 13 - June 1, 2016
Rancho San Rafael Park Visitor Center (located next to Park Ranger office)
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

This stunning exhibit is curated by local photographer, Kevin G. Eccles, who has lived in northern Nevada since 1985 and has spent those years touring western states seeking out fleeting scenes such as these. This photographic spectacle of delicate yet enduring beauties will be on display a the Rancho San Rafael Visitor Center daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Please contact Park Ranger Marie Fong for more details, or contact Kevin Eccles with questions or comments about the pieces.


May Arboretum Society Annual Plant Saleplant sale

Saturday, June 4 - 8:00am-1:00pm
Wilbur D. May Arboretum in Rancho San Rafael Park
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

Shop for unique plants, hard-to-find varieties and native plants that will grow in our climate zone. With more than 2,500 plants to choose from, this is a dream sale for the newbie and seasoned gardener alike. Highlights include sun and shade perennials, assorted herbs, succulents, plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, along with plants that have low water requirements and are heat tolerant. Visit the May Arboretum Society website for more information and to view a list of the plants available for purchase.


Lazy 5 Regional Park 2016 FREE Summer Concert Series

lazy 5 concertJune 15 - August 3
Wednesday Evenings, 6:30pm-8:00pm
7100 Pyramid Highway, Spanish Springs

You are invited to get your groove on at Lazy 5 Regional Park every Wednesday night beginning June 15. For the comfort and enjoyment of all guests, please bring blankets or LOW BACK chairs. Dinner or snacks in small coolers are welcome. Please NO PETS or glass containers. Thank you to the Atlantis and NV Energy for sponsoring the program, as well as several co-sponsors for making this a FREE event for the public's enjoyment. View the concert series poster here.

6/15 - An evening of Motown R&B with Escalade
6/22 - Blues & Rock n' Roll by Guitar Woody & the Boilers with Melanie Perl
6/29 - A Musical Variety by the Band of the West Coast
7/6   - Jazz, Country, and Rock with Impromptu
7/13 - Electric Catfish the band playing rock legends of the 50's-70's
7/20 - An evening of Blues & Rock with Blue Haven
7/27 - R&B and Smooth Jazz by MyG.i.a. featuring The Wizz
8/3   - Blues, Southern Rock & Jam by The Joker's Wild Blues Band


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. A listing of May events can be found here.


Carson Sierra Spinners and Weavers Guild Demonstrations & Historic Huffaker School Open HouseHistoric Huffaker School House

Select Saturdays throughout 2016
Historic Huffaker School House
Bartley Ranch Regional Park
6000 Bartley Ranch Road, Reno

The Carson Sierra Spinners and Weavers Guild are a group of local craft artists that promote appreciation and knowledge of fiber arts in our community through demonstration, and encourage others to take up spinning and weaving to keep the fiber arts alive. The Historic Huffaker School will be open between 9am and 3pm for viewing of live demonstrations by the Spinners and Weavers, and for self guided tours. Park Rangers will be offering guided tours of the historic school house at 1pm. Dates include Jan. 9, Feb. 13, Mar. 12, Apr. 9, Oct. 8, Nov. 12, and Dec. 10, 2016. This is a free event.



The Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park hosts several exciting events throughout the summer months. Click here for a 2016 schedule




County sells Sky Ranch Park property, money to go towards future park needs in Spanish Springs

On April 27, 2016, Washoe County sold two parcels in Spanish Springs, known as Sky Ranch Park, which is located at the corner of La Posada Drive and Pyramid Way. View a map here. At the time the park was originally constructed, there was minimal development and abundant open space surrounding the park. With the tremendous growth in Spanish Springs over the past 30 years, this once rural area has grown tremendously, including the development of parks in the vicinity to meet the recreational needs of the community. With the location of Sky Ranch Park now at one of the areas busiest intersections, the Board of County Commissioners determined that using the land as a park was not in the best interest of Washoe County or the community. Proceeds from the sale of the park go back in to Park District 2C for future park development in Spanish Springs. For complete details, view the press release


Temporary closure to parking lot below Western Heritage Interpretive Center at Bartley Ranch Regional Park - May 16 thru May 31

The parking lot below the Western Heritage Interpretive Center will be closed from Monday, May 16 through Tuesday, May 31.  The parking lot will be re-paved and the grindings from the old pavement will be put in the north lot to improve that parking lot as well. This should have minimal impact on existing reservations, as the north lot can be used for additional parking for any and all events.


Multi-use pasture at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park has reopened

The off-leash and multi-use pasture at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park reopened Saturday, March 19, 2016. The pasture has responded well to the measures taken last year and the moisture received over winter. The lower, most eastern portion of the pasture will continue to be closed. View the Press Release for complete details.

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