Hidden Valley Regional Park is part of the system administered by Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space
. It is a wonderful family park with a wide variety of features designed to accommodate various recreational activities. I particularly like the mix of developed and undeveloped areas within this 480 acre park.
What To Do at Hidden Valley Regional Park
Hidden Valley Regional Park has restroom facilities, the rentable Vista Group Picnic Area, individual picnic areas available on a first come basis, tennis courts, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, children's playground, dog park, horse arena with announcer's stand and grandstand area, and hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
Only 65 of the 480 acres are developed. Part of the undeveloped terrain takes in a large flat area between the Hidden Valley subdivision and the Virginia Range rising abruptly from the valley floor. Old dirt roads meander through this area, making it suitable for easy walking and biking.
The hike up into the Virginia Range is a strenuous one. It's basically straight up on any of many use trails hikers and wild horses have worn into the slopes over the years. The only real trail is on the north side of the canyon, clinging to the steep slopes. I believe it was developed by mountain bikers, but it makes a fine route for hikers as well. I have found it best to hike up to the obvious ridge, then get on this trail for a scenic walk back down to the park. Even if you don't do this whole loop, a short hike part way up the slope will reward you with spectacular views of Mt. Rose, Slide Mountain, the Carson Range, and the expanse of the Truckee Meadows. Access to this area is through a gate at the mouth of the canyon, a short walk from the southeast corner of the horse arena.
Link Piazzo Dog Park
Link Piazzo Dog Park
opened in September, 2008, adding a popular feature to Hidden Valley Regional Park. It has become a popular attraction for both dogs and their people.
Geology at Hidden Valley Regional Park
You will undoubtedly notice the prominent orange and yellow coloring on the Virginia Range where the hiking areas are. These are hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks, formed from the presence of ancient hot springs. This alteration of the physical landscape also influences what plants and trees grow here today. Look a little closer and you can see an alluvial fan that has formed from debris washed out of this canyon. Hidden Valley Regional Park and the adjacent housing developments are sitting on this fan. (For geology fans, the book Geologic and Natural History Tours in the Reno Area
, published by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno, is a must-read resource for the Reno / Tahoe region.)
Location of Hidden Valley Regional Park
Hidden Valley Regional Park is on Reno's east side, between the Hidden Valley neighborhood
and the Virginia Range. From McCarran Blvd., turn east onto Pembroke Drive, drive past the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course and into the housing development. Several blocks into the houses, take a right on Parkway Drive and follow it to the park. There are several places to park depending on what you would like to see and do.