Deadman's Creek

Washoe Lake State Park

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

Start Exploring
Deadman's Creek


  • Parking for Deadman's Creek Trail is in a dirt pullout along Eastlake Boulevard, though you can also walk to the trailhead from Washoe Lake State Park's large southern parking area. - Deadman's Creek
  • A couple of small signs mark the trail.- Deadman's Creek
  • A footpath from the pullout heads to the parking area in Washoe Lake State Park.- Deadman's Creek
  • A couple of interpretive signs are present along the hike.- Deadman's Creek
  • A year-round creek flows from a spring into Washoe Lake.- Deadman's Creek
  • The creek creates a small, lush oasis in an otherwise arid area.- Deadman's Creek
  • Footbridge and bench in the oasis.- Deadman's Creek
  • A small spur crosses through the creek area, then meets back up with the primary trail.- Deadman's Creek
  • At an unsigned fork, the right fork is that trail to the observation tower.- Deadman's Creek
  • The entire trail is a mellow uphill climb toward the tower.- Deadman's Creek
  • The observation tower overlooking Washoe Lake.- Deadman's Creek
  • Washoe Lake with the Sierra in the background.- Deadman's Creek
Overview + Weather
Great views.
Very little shade.
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, NV
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
5,374.00 ft (1,638.00 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Total Distance: 
1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Total elevation gain: 
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,094.00 ft (1,552.65 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Deadman's Creek is likely the most scenic trail in the Washoe Lake State Park trail system, if only because it is the only trail that leaves the lake basin and gains some elevation, overlooking the scenic lake area. Reached from a dirt pullout along Eastlake Boulevard, the Deadman's Creek Trail is a gradual climb, gaining 280 feet of elevation over the 0.65-mile length to an observation deck perched on a ridge that looks over the entirety of Washoe Lake and at the towering Sierra beyond.

A small stand of riparian willows appears almost as an oasis on the arid mountainside soon into the hike. A small spur trail forks off and crosses the creek before meeting back up with the primary trail, offering an optional variation for hikers. And a bench sits in the shade of the willows, which is the only shade along the hike until reaching the observation gazebo.The spring-fed creek is one of 11 creeks that flows into Washoe Lake. 

The trail is of medium difficulty, mostly due to the elevation gain and shadeless conditions, though most people of general ability should be able to handle this one. There are no amenities of any kind at the trailhead. Amenities are located inside the park. A short trail continues from the Eastlake Boulevard parking pullout into one of the large parking lots inside the park.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(102 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
1 Members
Who's Done It
Have you done this adventure? If so, be the first to check this adventure off your list.
Submission by
Pro Contributor
410 Adventures Explored
410 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info