Wetlands Loop

Washoe Lake State Park

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

Start Exploring
Wetlands Loop


  • The Wetlands Loop has a dedicated parking area on the south end of Washoe Lake.- Wetlands Loop
  • A couple of interpretive signs and a vault toilet sit in the parking lot.- Wetlands Loop
  • A gravel path to an observation deck is open year round, yet there are restrictions on dogs due to bird and waterfowl nesting cycles.- Wetlands Loop
  • The path to the observation deck.- Wetlands Loop
  • Washoe Lake State Park Wetlands Loop observation deck.- Wetlands Loop
  • A view of the Virginia Range  to the south from the observation deck.- Wetlands Loop
  • While the area is surrounded by mountains, Washoe Lake State Park itself is mostly flat. The observation deck makes one of the only raised landmarks in the wetlands area.- Wetlands Loop
  • Due to seasonal closures for waterfowl nesting, visitors may find the wetlands lacking water when the trail opens in the summer season.- Wetlands Loop
  • Wetlands grasses.- Wetlands Loop
  • A couple of markers sign the official trail; however, visitors can walk further along the levees if they'd like to lengthen their hike.- Wetlands Loop
Overview + Weather
Accesses other trails. Scenic.
Closed seasonally.
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, NV
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
5,085.00 ft (1,549.91 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
17.00 ft (5.18 m)
Year round: 
Open from: 
August 16 to February 14
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Suitable for:
Total Distance: 
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Total elevation gain: 
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,068.00 ft (1,544.73 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Wetlands Loop Trail lies at an area of Washoe Lake State Park where the seasonal fluctuation of the lake level creates a series of marshes. The trail, which heads from a parking area along the road over a network of levees, is a marked trail among other paths that can be chosen, depending on conditions.

The trail is closed from February 15 until August 15 each year to allow for bird and waterfowl nesting. Due to this closure, water conditions can be variable when the path reopens in late summer, and the wetlands may not be wet at all, or they can require hikers and walkers to veer a little further to the lakeshore to see the wet conditions.

A 15-foot-tall observation deck stands along the path, giving visitors the chance to take in a very slightly elevated view of the area. The Sierra tower to the west, and the foothills of the Virginia Range enclose the the area to the immediate east. The trail itself is flat and an easy walk. The observation deck remains open year round, even when the surrounding trails are closed.

Due to waterfowl and birds, no dogs are allowed on the trails from February 1 until July 15, and they are allowed only on a leash the rest of the year.

There is a simple interpretive sign and a vault toilet in the parking area. All other amenities are located in the main Washoe Lake State Park area located about a little over a mile up the road.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(22 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(107 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
Become a pioneer and be the first to add this adventure to your Bucket List
Who's Done It
1 Members
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