What To Do at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park ParkRancho San Rafael Regional Park has restroom facilities, four group picnic areas, individual picnic sites, trails for hiking and biking, a large dog park, the May Museum, and the May Arboretum and Botanical Garden. There are acres of fields for all kinds of activities. The north part of the park is on the side of Peavine Peak and is laced with hiking and biking trails. There is no fee to enter the park and there is lots of parking near both north and south entrances.
The dog park at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is huge. If you want your pooch to have plenty of room to run, this is your place.
Events at Rancho San Rafael Regional ParkOne of Reno's signature events, the Great Reno Balloon Race, takes place every September at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. This is one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in the country and it's free to attend. You have to get up early to see the best stuff, but it's worth it. Check out my Great Reno Balloon Race pictures for a look at what it's all about.
Wilbur D. May Center at Regional ParkThe Wilbur D. May Center is the legacy of this Nevada businessman, rancher ad philathropist. It includes the May Museum, and May Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The old ranch house has been restored and is available for meetings and events. Call (775) 785-4707 for more information about the Wilbur D. May Center.
The May Museum has a gift shop and features programs and exhibits throughout the year. The May Collection contains items brought by to Reno from Wilbur May's many worldwide trips. The indoor Garden Court features a waterfall, ponds, and tropical plants. It is available for weddings, private parties, receptions, and other events. Hours change with the season and fees vary with the exhibits. Call the Museum at (775) 785-5961.
The May Arboretum & Botanical Garden is also open year-round, providing a quiet and beautiful place to walk and enjoy nature within the city. You'll learn about Nevada native plants and see other plants and trees from around the world. It is especially beautiful in fall. For May Arboretum information, call (775) 785-4153.
Location of Rancho San Rafael Regional ParkRancho San Rafael Regional Park is at 1595 N. Sierra Street. The main entrance from N. Sierra Street is west of the UNR campus and takes you onto San Rafael Drive, which runs along the south side of the park. From this street you can access the main features, such as the May Arboretum, May Museum, the playground, and various picnic areas. Other south entrances are from Coleman Drive and Washington Street. The north area of the park is reached from N. Virginia Street, north of McCarran Blvd. Turn in to the parking area where you see a sign for the Reno Softball Complex. The park office phone number is (775) 785-4512.
To learn more, you can download the Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space Guide or pick up a copy next time you visit one of the parks.
Road Closures at Rancho San Rafael Park
Beginning on March 13, 2011, the Washington and Coleman Street vehicle gates at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park will close daily at 5:30 p.m. The pedestrian gates will remain open.
The Sierra Street gate will stay open until the park closes at dusk (arount 7 p.m.). Vehicles will be able to enter and exit from this gate until closing. When the other gates are closed, there will be no through traffic. All vehicle gates will open at 8 a.m. daily.