What To Do
Hiking & Camping
Whether you’re seeking a full wilderness backcountry experience or a more laid back car camping excursion, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside to hike and camp! Throughout Washoe County, there are acres and acres of federally managed public lands available for you to use and enjoy, including those managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service.
The majority of these public lands are available for a variety of uses – many of our favorite camping sites are the proposed Wild Washoe wilderness areas and protected areas under “Wild Areas” on this website. We suggest checking with local agency offices on best places to go and see.
Besides the hundreds of miles of designated routes on public lands, there are definitely some locations that you should check out if you’re an ATV/4-wheeling enthusiast! Please stay on designated routes. Check here for a complete list of 4 Wheeling trails.
- Poeville Mining District: The Poeville trail runs through the historic mining town of Poeville and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
- Geiger Grade: Follow the old route of Geiger Grade toll road for a blast from the past and a 4-wheel excursion into the heart of the Virginia Mountains.
- Bull Ranch Creek: Washoe County’s Verdi and Sun Valley areas are the gateways to Dog Valley, an extensive forested area for two-track and single-track riding, along with plenty of camping opportunities.
- Hungry Valley Recreation Area: Winnemucca Ranch Road, off of Pyramid Highway, is an incredible gateway to both wilderness-quality hiking opportunities and the popular ATV destination, Hungry Valley (also known as Moon Rocks). Popular for RVs, ATVs, and dirt bike riders, Hungry Valley provides a large variety of roads and trails to ride on.
Rock hounding and collecting is a popular pastime on Nevada’s public lands and opportunities for collecting interesting rock specimens is ample throughout Washoe County on public lands.
Gemstones and other rocks can be collected for private use with the exceptions of fossils and cultural artifacts. Check out the Bureau of Land Management’s “Collecting on Public Lands” fact sheet for what rocks to look out for and where!
Parks & Trails
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!
Check out the entire list of Washoe County managed parks here!
Popular Trails – For a complete list of trails on both federal and County managed public lands, visit the Washoe County trail index here.
Opportunities for horseback riding – whether getting deep into the Nevada backcountry or taking your horse for a short stroll in a regional park.
Public lands play an important role in horseback riding in the state and opportunities to get outside are ample. Some notable public lands to explore on horseback include Mt. Rose Wilderness (best access is through Galena Regional Park) and Washoe Lake State Park. Learn more about other trails to explore.
In addition, Washoe County manages five horse arenas that are available year-round for public use. Check out their website for additional information and how to reserve an arena.
What is there to hunt in Nevada? Big and small game, furbearers and unprotected species.
Our big game species include mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, three sub-species of bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mountain goat and black bear.
Upland game birds like chukar partridge, California and Gamble’s quail, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, dove, and the Himalayan snowcock are popular upland game, or hunters may choose to hunt waterfowl or certain migratory birds.
Popular hunting locations in Washoe County include the Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.
Please review hunting guidelines and seasons at the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s website.