Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Trail type
1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round



Great views.


Very little shade.

Trailhead Elevation

5,094.00 ft (1,552.65 m)

Highest point

5,374.00 ft (1,638.00 m)


Near lake or river
Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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