Frequently Asked Questions

General Park Questions

Park Rentals

Park Rules

  • Can I take my pet to a park?

    In most cases, pets are allowed but are required to be on a leash. However, Washoe County Parks does offer off-leash options: a large multi-use pasture located on the west side of Rancho San Rafael Park, the Link Piazzo Dog Park within Hidden Valley Regional Park, and three park locations with a designated soccer field for off-leash use during certain non-team use times. Please visit the Dog Parks & Off-Leash Areas page for more info.

    Pets are NOT permitted (except service dogs) at Bowers Mansion Regional Park or in the Wilbur D. May Arboretum located at Rancho San Rafael Park.
  • Is alcohol permitted in parks?

    Alcohol is permitted in Washoe County Parks with the exception of the Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park. If you plan to reserve a park facility, please check with Parks Reservations about the insurance requirements before making your reservation. No alcohol is allowed at any youth events.
  • Is smoking or vaping allowed in parks?

    No. Washoe County and the Washoe County Health District, City of Reno, and City of Sparks have worked together on a regional effort among all jurisdictions to designate city and county parks as smoke and vape-free locations. The use of marijuana in parks is also prohibited.
  • Can I bring my own BBQ grill to a park?

    You must use the provided charcoal grills unless you have reserved a picnic pavilion, in which case you may bring a propane grill only and the grill must be set up on the concrete.
  • Are campfires allowed?

    Yes, but only at Davis Creek Campground and this is dependent on fire restrictions. Campfires will be prohibited during Red Flag Warnings events and no campfires are ever allowed outside of designated fire rings.
  • Can I bring a shade structure such as an EZ Up to a park?

    Yes, but you cannot stake it into the turf or use water barrels. Please use sandbags only to secure the structure.

    Please note that no shade structures are allowed at the Melio Gaspari Water Play Park, North Valleys Splash Park, or Bowers Mansion Pool.
  • Can I have a bounce house in a park?

    Bounce houses are only allowed with a valid Use Permit for a facility reservation and are prohibited in certain locations. Please check with Parks Reservations if you have any questions regarding your specific rental agreement.
  • Is music allowed in parks?

    Amplified music and other amplified sound is not permitted in Washoe County parks so as not to disturb other people using the park. However, a Special Event/Activity may be permitted to have amplified music and/or sound in the case of a concert, festival, etc. An event held inside a reservable Washoe County Park building may also have amplified music and/or sound if the doors to outside are kept closed.
  • Where can I ride my horse and park a horse trailer?

    Washoe County manages Horse Arenas in five different parks (Bartley Ranch Regional Park, Golden Valley Park, Hidden Valley Regional Park, Lemmon Valley Horseman's Arena, Silver Knolls Park) which are free and open to the public year round, unless otherwise reserved. Contact Parks Reservations for information on current fees to reserve and availability. 

    Horse trails can be found at the following parks and trailheads: Bartley Ranch Regional Park, Anderson Park, Ballardini Ranch Trailhead, Michael D. Thompson Trailhead, Hidden Valley Regional Park, Davis Creek Park (only the Ophir Creek Trail), and Sun Valley Regional Park.

    Each of these areas have designated horse trailer parking.

  • Can I use a metal detector in a park?

    Yes, but we do not allow metal detecting at Bowers Mansion Regional Park due to its historical significance. Please also abide by Chapter 95, Section 43: “No person may willfully or negligently pick, dig up, cut, mutilate, destroy, injure, disturb, move, molest, burn or carry away any tree, plant or portion thereof, including foliage, flowers, berries, fruit, grass, turf, humus, shrubs, cones and dead wood, except in specific portions of county parks and upon authorization by the director.”
  • Can I fly a drone, RC aircraft, or launch a rocket in a park? Can we release sky lantern/balloons?

    Chapter 95, revised in 2022, now allows the use of drones and radio-controlled aircraft in specific parks/areas. To see where they are allowed, visit the Washoe Regional Mapping System, click on the menu to get to the map layers and select “Drone Zone” under “Recreation”. Pyrotechnics (sky lanterns) and liquefied or solid fuel model rockets are strictly prohibited without a permit. Helium, air and water balloons are also NOT allowed anywhere in the park system without a permit.
  • Is a permit required to use a multi-purpose field (soccer) or baseball field?

    Washoe County has 50 permitted athletic fields that are monitored and regulated. Any organized use of a facility by a team, league, promoter or other group requires a valid field use permit or rental agreement. To inquire about these reservable fields, contact our Recreation Coordinator at (775) 328-2120 or Parks Reservations.
  • Does my photographer/videographer need a permit? When is one required?

    A photography permit is required for professional photography and commercial productions, and permits are sold per-event or as an annual pass. Photography related to a facility rental during the time indicated on the rental permit does NOT require a permit. Visit the Photography Permits page for more specific information and to download a permit application.
  • Can I get married in a park?

    Yes! Washoe County Regional Parks has many beautiful reservable facilities! Visit the Park Rentals & Permits section of the website for more information, or contact Parks Reservations with any questions.