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Rancho San Rafael Park

Take a break in Reno’s favorite park where wide open fields, formal gardens and hiking trails await.

Once a working cattle ranch, San Rancho Rafael Park is now Reno’s premier open space. Graced with 600 acres (240 hectares) of pasture and sage, manicured fields, wetlands, walking and biking trails, this is the perfect escape from the bright lights of Reno. There’s also a refined side: a museum, arboretum and botanical gardens.

As you enter the park, look for the original ranch manager's house, now the Rangers' house and visitor center. If you’ve packed a picnic, there are plenty of tables and grassy nooks to spread out and enjoy a relaxing lunch. Younger kids will delight in the playgrounds, and there’s an expansive off-leash area for those traveling with dogs.  

The Wilbur D. May Center offers a look into the area's rich history and flora. The center’s museum houses an eclectic collection of artifacts from Nevada and around the world. The neighboring Arboretum and Botanical Garden provides insights into the way local plant species survive the region's harsh climate.  

For those feeling a bit more active, there are plenty of options. The arboretum holds wetland trekking tours that lead you through a hands-on journey in the Great Basin Adventure. There are a number of loops and one-way trails throughout the park to suit all fitness levels. The northern nature trails on the Peavine Peak side of the park offer some great scenery. Don’t forget to pick up a park map on your way in and chart your course.  

Rancho San Rafael Park is in full bloom during the summer months, and it’s also stunning after a snowfall. The park is home to one of Reno’s biggest events, the Great Reno Balloon Race, in September.

Admission is free and parking is available at the north and south entrances. The park is located in Truckee Meadows, less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) northwest of downtown Reno.


Guide to Exploring around Rancho San Rafael Park


Map

Lodging Near Rancho San Rafael Park

See all 732 Hotels near Rancho San Rafael Park
$49
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino Reno

Circus Circus Hotel & Casino Reno

500 N Sierra St, Reno
3.7
of 5, from 3,801 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located just over 3.5 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport and covering an entire city block in downtown Reno, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino is connected by skyway to the Silver Legacy and Eldorado hotels.

$69
Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Silver Legacy Resort Casino

407 N. Virginia Street, Reno
4.0
of 5, from 3,551 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

A skywalk connects this downtown Reno hotel to the Circus Circus and Eldorado casinos; Nevada Museum of Art and Performing Arts Center are less than a half-mile away.

$44
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

2500 E 2nd St, Reno
4.0
of 5, from 3,721 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This destination resort is adjacent to the Truckee River Recreation Trail, 2 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and less than 3 miles from downtown Reno. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is 30 minutes away.

Desert Rose Inn

Desert Rose Inn

655 West 4th Street, Reno
3.0
of 5, from 15 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Reno, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Reno Events Center and National Bowling Stadium. Nevada Museum of Art and National Automobile Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$44
Sands Regency Casino Hotel

Sands Regency Casino Hotel

345 N Arlington Ave, Reno
3.0
of 5, from 2,790 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

This 830-room hotel and casino is 2 blocks from Reno Arch, 4 blocks from the National Bowling Stadium, and 6 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

$45
Nugget Casino Resort

Nugget Casino Resort

1100 Nugget Ave, Sparks
3.8
of 5, from 3,317 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

An icon since 1955, this 1,382-guestroom resort is in downtown Sparks, 3 miles from downtown Reno and a 10-minute drive from the Reno-Tahoe airport.

$50
University Inn Reno

University Inn Reno

1651 North Virginia Street, Reno
1.7
of 5, from 100 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Reno, this motel is steps from Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center and Nevada Historical Society. Great Basin Adventure and National Bowling Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$52
Harrah's Casino Hotel Reno

Harrah's Casino Hotel Reno

219 N Center St, Reno
3.5
of 5, from 1,722 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located 1 block from Bowling Stadium and within 3 miles of the convention center, this downtown Reno hotel first opened as a bingo parlor in 1943. It now occupies both sides of North Center Street.