Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Trail type
1.20 mi (1.93 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round


Open from

August 16 to February 14


Accesses other trails. Scenic.


Closed seasonally.

Trailhead Elevation

5,068.00 ft (1,544.73 m)

Highest point

5,085.00 ft (1,549.91 m)


ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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