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Washoe Lake

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Washoe Lake is a Lake in Washoe, Nevada.

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Washoe Lake is a lake located in the Washoe Valley of Washoe County, Nevada. It is between Reno and Carson City (nearer to Carson City). It is a very shallow lake, and the surface area can vary greatly from year to year.

Washoe Lake is fed by several small streams which issue from the Virginia Range to the east and the Carson Range to the west. It drains into Steamboat Creek, which runs north to the Truckee River, although much of the water is diverted for irrigation use.

Washoe Lake is known for its high wind speeds. Mark Twain wrote that "a Washoe wind is by no means a trifling matter. It blows flimsy houses down, lifts shingle roofs occasionally, rolls up tin ones like sheet music, now and then blows a stage-coach over and spills the passengers; and tradition says the reason there are so many bald people there is, that the wind blows the hair off their heads while they are looking skyward after their hats." The same high wind speeds have remained to this day and are capable of overturning commercial vehicles traveling along U.S. Highway 395, which runs along the western shore of Washoe Lake.

Fishing Description: 

The lake is stocked with channel catfish, bullheads, white and wiper bass, and Sacramento Perch. Little Washoe, South Beach, and North Ramp provide excellent shore fishing opportunities.

Fishing Cover / Structure: 

Two boats launches are on the eastern shore of the lake within Washoe Lake State Park

Recreational Activities: 

Washoe Lake State Park is open for year-round recreation. There are picnic areas throughout the park with lawns, shade trees and sandy beaches on the lake. The are 49 campsites at the park. Each comes with a table, grill and fire ring. They are open all year and are available on a first come first served basis. Visitors with horses are permitted at the park. There is a large equestrian area near the main entrance and near the north boat ramp. Washoe Lake State Park has a large pavilion for group use with a beach volleyball pit and horseshoe pit nearby. Several miles of trails are open to foot, horse and ATV traffic. The most commonly seen wildlife of Washoe Lake State Park are Mule deer, hawk, coyotes, and eagles. The park is open to hunting during the designated hunting seasons

Facilities and Parks: 

Spectacular views of the majestic Sierra Nevada and the Carson Range. Popular activities in the park include nature study, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, windsurfing, water skiing, catamaran sailing, jet skiing and fishing. A campground, boat launches, group use area, day-use picnic sites and equestrian trailhead are available. A wetlands area with a viewing tower and interpretive displays is a new addition to the park.


Washoe Lake State Park
4855 East Lake Blvd.
Carson City, NV 89704
(775) 687-4319

Directions to Lake: 

The park is located 10 miles north of Carson City and 15 miles south of Reno. Take U.S. 395 north to the East Lake Boulevard exit, than drive north on East Lake Boulevard approximately 3.1 miles to the park entrance. From Reno, take 395 south to the East Lake Boulevard intersection, turn left, and drive south on East Lake Boulevard for 7.1 miles to the park entrance.

Washoe Lake
Waterbody type: 
United States
Standard elevation: