Parks and Open Space

Frequently Asked Questions

Arboretum

Parks

  • Where is the Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space main office located?

    The Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space Administration office is located at 1001 E. 9th Street, Building A, at the end of the hall on the 2nd floor.

    The mailing address is P.O. Box 11130, Reno NV 89520.

    For general park inquiries, please call (775) 823-6500.

    For Parks Reservations, please call (775) 823-6501.

    Visit our Contact Us page for additional information.

  • Can I bring alcohol into the park?

    Alcohol is permitted in Washoe County Parks with the exception of the Arboretum and gardens.  A certificate of liability is due two weeks before the event if alcohol is to be served.  No alcohol is allowed at any youth events.

  • Can I bring an extra grill or shade structure?

    I have a reservation for a picnic pavilion, can I bring an extra grill?

    As long as you have a reservation, you may bring in a propane grill only.  The grill must be set up on the concrete.


    I have a reservation for a picnic pavilion, can I bring in a shade structure? 

    You may bring in a shade structure, but you cannot stake it into the turf and no water barrels. Please use sandbags to secure the structure. 

    Please note that no shade structures are allowed at the Melio Gaspari Water Play Park, North Valleys Splash Park and Bowers Mansion Pool. 

  • Is a permit required to use a multi-purpose field (soccer) or baseball field?

    Washoe County has 50 athletic facilities that are monitored and regulated. Any organized use of facilities by a team, league, promoter or other group requires a valid field use permit or rental agreement. To inquire about these reservable fields, contact our Recreation Coordinator at (775) 785-4512 x106, or Parks Administration at (775) 823-6500.

  • Can I bring a bounce house into the park?

    This varies depending on which park you are visiting.  Usually bounce houses are allowed only for individuals/groups with a valid Use Permit for a facility reservation.

    View our Portable Amusement Structures policy for more information, or call our parks administration team at (775) 823-6500.

  • Are campfires allowed?

    Yes, at Davis Creek Campground - but this is dependent on fire restrictions.  The Ranger posts the burn code daily.  No campfires are allowed outside of designated areas.

  • Is camping allowed in the Washoe County Parks?

    We only have one campground which is at the Davis Creek Regional Park.  For more information visit the Davis Creek Campground page.

    Reservations for group camping can be made one year in advance through the Parks Reservation office at 775-823-6501. 

    Contact the Park Ranger at (775) 849-0684 for more information about available sites.  Please understand that this office is a field office, and you will need to leave a message.  The Park Ranger will return your call as soon as possible.

  • What are the Campground Fees?

    Fees are $25 / site / night which includes 1 vehicle.  Additional vehicles (each site can accommodate 2) are $5/night. 

    Pets are $1/night. 

    Cash only is accepted.

    Please visit the Davis Creek Campground page for more information.

  • Do I need a reservation to camp at Davis Creek?

    Individual sites are first-come, first-served.  Group camp sites may be reserved by calling (775) 823-6501 between 8am-5pm, Monday thru Friday.

    You can also contact the Park Ranger at (775) 849-0684 about available sites.  Please understand that this office is a field office, and you will need to leave a message.  The Park Ranger will return your call as soon as possible.

  • Can I make a reservation for my child's birthday party at the Melio Gaspari Water Play Park, North Valleys Splash Park or Bowers Mansion Pool?

    Yes, call the Parks reservations team at (775) 823-6501 for more information.


  • Can I fly a model airplane / drone or launch a rocket in the parks? Can we release sky lanterns / balloons?

    Radio controlled aircraft, including “drones”, are allowed at Rancho San Rafael in the west end near the off leash area.

    Helium, sky lanterns, air and water balloons are NOT allowed anywhere in the park system.

    For more information view Chapter 95 of the Washoe County Code.

  • Can I ride my horse on a WC trail?

    Our Truckee Meadows Trails Guide lists allowed uses for each trail listed.

  • I would like to hold a fundraiser, charity walk/run or other special event in a Washoe County Park. Who do I contact?

    Contact Joanna Schultz at (775) 823-6501 for more information and requirements to hold a special event in a Washoe County Park.

  • Can I get married in a County Park?

    Yes, we have some lovely sites suitable for a marriage ceremony and/or reception. 

    If you need any assistance or to make a reservation, call our reservations team at (775) 823-6501.

  • Can I use a metal detector in Washoe County parks?

    Please contact the Park Ranger at the specific park you are interested in using a metal detector. Please note: We do not allow metal detecting at Bowers Mansion Park due to its historical significance.   

    We also abide by by Chapter 95.170  "No person may willfully or negligently pick, dig up, cut, mutilate, destroy, injure, disturb, move, molest, burn or carry away any tree, plant or portion thereof, including foliage, flowers, berries, fruit, grass, turf, humus, shrubs, cones and dead wood, except in specific portions of county parks and upon authorization by the director."

  • Am I allowed to play music while at a Washoe County Park?

    Amplified music is not permitted in Washoe County park picnic areas so as not to disturb other people using the park. An event held inside a Washoe County Parks building facility may have amplified music indoors. While music is playing all doors to the outside are to be kept closed.

  • Where can I find information on other parks and open space that Washoe County does not manage?

  • How far in advance can I make a reservation?

    Buildings, gardens, picnic areas and group camping sites may be reserved up to one year prior to the event. Reservation requests for events less than 30 days in advance require approval from the facility manager.

    You can also contact our reservations team at (775) 823-6501 between 8am-5pm, Monday thru Friday, via email: reserveparks@washoecounty.us, or you can come and visit us in person at 1001 E 9th Street, Reno, Building A, 2nd Floor. 

  • Where can I find prices for renting picnic pavilions, buildings or gardens?

    Call our Parks administration team at (775) 823-6501. 

  • Can I take my pet to a Washoe County park?

    In most cases, yes pets are allowed. Pets are required to be on a leash (except in designated off-leash areas).

    However, no dogs (except service dogs) are permitted anywhere at the Bowers Mansion Regional Park or in the Wilbur D. May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park.  

    We have two dogs parks within Washoe County; a large multi-use pasture located on the west side of Rancho San Rafael and the Link Piazzo Dog Park within Hidden Valley Regional Park. 

    If there is a dog fight, or a dog bite, please call Animal Control directly at  775-322-3647 (DOGS)

    Remember to bring bags to clean up after your pet and help keep your parks clean!

  • Does my photographer/videographer need a license? When is one required?

    Washoe County Parks encourages the use of parks for recreational, publicity, and commercial photography.

    Persons may photograph in County parks without a permit providing:     
    * If photography is related to a facility rental there is no charge during the time indicated on the rental permit (e.g. weddings, graduation party) * Park rules and regulations are complied with at all times      
    * Does not interfere with visitor use/enjoyment of the park      
    * Professional sets, groups of actors or large equipment is not involved      
    * Simple props and/or use of one or two models for non-commercial purposes is permissible      
    * Conducted during normal hours the park is open to the public      
    * No disturbance or rearrangement of any feature of the park      
    * If photography is related to a facility rental there is no charge during the time indicated on the rental permit (e.g. weddings, graduation party)

    A Photography permit is required for:     
    * Professional Photography (1-25 people) - e.g. studio/photographer for hire, photography with the intent to sell photos  
    * Professional Photography (26 - 100 people) - e.g. studio/photographer for hire, photography with the intent to sell photos   
    * Commercial Productions - e.g. television, advertisements, movies, documentaries      
    * An annual permit is also available for Professional Photography (1-25 people only)

    If you would like to apply for a Photography Permit, please email reserveparks@washoecounty.us or contact Parks Administration at (775) 823-6500.

  • Do I have to pay for the "first come, first served" picnic area?

    No, there is no fee. However, please note the area is not guaranteed to be available for your date of interest or time of arrival. If you are the first person to arrive you must remain in the area until your party begins. You are not allowed to rope off the area or put up your own reservation signs.  Music and bounces houses are not permitted in these areas.  For more information, contact Parks Administration at (775) 823-6501.

  • Can I reserve Bowers Mansion Pool for a private party?

    Yes.  You can reserve the pool for a period of 2 hours for private parties.

    For more information, please contact the Parks reservation team at: (775) 823-6501.

  • How do I make a reservation with Washoe County Parks & Open Space?

    Visit our Reservable Facilities page for a full list of reservable buildings, picnic pavilions, and gardens. You may also contact Parks Reservations at (775) 823-6501 or email reserveparks@washoecounty.us to check availability, price, and any additional requirements or information necessary. 

    Business Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. 

  • Do I need to have a reservation to have a picnic?

    Not necessarily. 

    Groups under 25 (adults and children) are permitted to use the first-come, first-served areas in the park. Music and bounces houses are not permitted in these areas. 

    For more information visit our Reservable Facilities page or call the Parks reservation team at (775) 823-6501.

  • Is there a skate park within Washoe County?

    We have several skate parks in Washoe County, these are located at Cold Springs Park, Lazy 5, North Valleys and Sun Valley Community Park.

  • Swimming Lessons

    Washoe County has one swimming pool, Bowers Mansion Pool, located at Bowers Mansion Regional Park.

    Lessons are available during seasonal opening times only.  When the pool is open you can call directly during normal business hours call (775) 849-0644.

    A certified lifeguard is always on duty when the pool is open.

    (There are opportunities to swim in Washoe County parks that provide access to bodies of water (lakes, streams, rivers, etc. ), but NO LIFEGUARDS are posted at these sites unless otherwise noted. All swimming at sites without lifeguards is performed ENTIRELY AT THE SWIMMER'S OWN RISK AND DISCRETION.)

    Please visit the Aquatics page for additional pool information, as well as details on the Melio Gaspari Water Play Park and North Valleys Water Splash Park.

  • What volunteer positions are available in Washoe County Parks?

    For information on our volunteer positions within Washoe County Parks, please visit our Volunteer page or contact Denise Evans, Volunteer Coordinator at 775-785-4512 x 107.

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »