South Loop Trail

Washoe Lake State Park

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

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South Loop Trail


  • The trail begins at the large equestrian parking area down a dirt road.- South Loop Trail
  • Head north on this road that is usually open only to park vehicles.- South Loop Trail
  • The trail remains generally flat and on dirt.- South Loop Trail
  • Veer away from the park road and onto a dirt track.- South Loop Trail
  • Views of Slide Mountain and Mount Rose to the northwest.- South Loop Trail
  • A wooden post and trail map marks the point where the South Loop turns west where intersecting with the North Loop Trail.- South Loop Trail
  • Much of the hike is through soft sand, making the route fairly slower than usual.- South Loop Trail
  • A mysterious lone mailbox marks the other meeting point between the South and North loops.- South Loop Trail
  • Heading south from the mailbox, the trail opens up to wide grass.- South Loop Trail
  • A gate marks the point where the South Loop heads back toward the parking area.- South Loop Trail
  • Wildflowers along the South Loop Trail.- South Loop Trail
  • An interpretive sign where the trail reaches the parking area.- South Loop Trail
  • An equestrian arena lies along the trail.- South Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Wide views.
No shade. Soft sand.
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, NV
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
6,000.00 ft (1,828.80 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
38.00 ft (11.58 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
2.75 mi (4.43 km)
Total elevation gain: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,097.00 ft (1,553.57 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The South Loop Trail is one of several designated trails inside Washoe Lake State Park. While portions of this trail overlap with the North Loop and East Loop trails, generally the designated trails in the park can be poorly marked and confusing with the number of forks and other paths. If you are planning to stick to this trail, it is best to just look for the markers signing the intersection points, or come prepared. On the plus side, this area of Washoe Lake State Park is generally flat, so it is possible to just wander down dirt paths but still see where you are and where you are trying to go. While walking, take in the views of the Sierra to the west, particularly Slide Mountain, which dominates the northwest skyline, and the Virginia Range slopes to the immediate east.

Many of these trails are maintained with equestrians in mind, and the wide, soft dirt tracks here may add an element of difficulty for hikers, despite the flat terrain. There is no shade anywhere along this hike, so come prepared for the intense sunny afternoons. There are bathrooms, trash and water in the trailhead parking area. 

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(23 within a 30 mile radius)

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