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Washoe Lake State Park

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Washoe Lake State Park

Washoe Lake State Park Overview

Washoe Lake State Park is a year-round public recreation area occupying 3,775 acres on the southeast shore of Washoe Lake in Washoe County, Nevada.

The area around the park is known for its high winds making Washoe Lake a popular destination for windsurfers.

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 and is a popular area for hiking, camping, picnicking, water sports, and equestrian activities.

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Check in at the Visitor Center to find out about seasonal closures, and special events.


How to Get to Washoe Lake State Park

The state park lies to the east of Lake Tahoe, approximately five miles north of Carson City near U.S. Route 395.

From downtown Reno, jump on I-80 east from North Center Street. Merge on I-580 south and continue for 26.4 miles before taking exit 44. Turn left onto East Lake Boulevard and follow until you see the park entrance station on your left.

Hours Open

Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.


  • Day use entrance fee:  $5.00 per vehicle (Non-NV Vehicles $10.00 per vehicle)
  • Boat launch:  $10.00 (Non-NV Vehicles: $15.00)
  • Camping:  $15.00 per vehicle, per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $20.00 per vehicle, per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups
  • Camp and boat:  $20.00 per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $25.00 per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups 
  • Bike in:  $2.00 per bike

Hiking at Washoe Lake State Park

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.


The campground is open year round and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The park has 49 sites, each with a table, grill and fire ring. 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. Campground Loop A offers water and utility hook-ups at all 24 sites, and a dump station is available.

The camping limit is seven days in a 30-day period.

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.

Boat Info

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


Anglers can aim for channel and bullhead catfish, wipers, white bass, and Sacramento Perch. 

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.


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.


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.


The park also a diverse range of birds and waterfowl, such as American white pelicans and Canada geese.


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.


Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length when within 200 feet of a camping or picnic area.


The American Discovery Trail is a great way to experience Nevada’s beautiful and rugged backcountry. The Nevada portion of this 6,800+ mile trail covers 500 miles of Nevada’s remarkable landscape, traversing 14 mountain ranges and challenging its explorers to a total climb of 34,000 feet! Six of Nevada’s State Parks can be accessed by way of this route, including Washoe Lake State Park.

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Washoe Lake State Park