Beginning in May or June, the Truckee River through Reno usually flows at levels just right for tubing, rafting, and general water play on hot days. Not so this year.

The Truckee River is flowing high, fast and really cold due to continuing snowmelt from the epic snowpack dumped on the Sierra Nevada last winter. We around 200 percent of average snowfall, there’s still a lot of snow and it’s going to be a while before enough of it melts to let the river subside to lower flows. Until that happens, please heed these river safety guidelines from the Reno Fire Department.

  • River flows are extremely fast this year and river recreation by the general public is not advised at this time.
  • Consider waiting to float or swim the Truckee River until flows subside.
  • An unprepared person entering the water may experience hypothermia within several minutes, affecting their ability to swim and make decisions, leading to drowning.
  • If you do decide to go in the river, always wear a life jacket, helmet, thermal protection and sturdy shoes for river recreation.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when boating or tubing.
  • Never go into the river alone.
  • Have a plan and a rendezvous point in case you become separated.
  • Let a friend or family member know when you plan to return.

Even later in the summer, the river is likely to remain higher and colder than most people are used to. Use care and common sense to make your river play fun rather than tragic. Meanwhile, there are several public swimming pools and splash parks in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County where cooling off on hot days is a safe bet.

Truckee River, Reno, Nevada, NV

Truckee River flowing high and cold through Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

Source: City of Reno press release.

For a fun dining out experience, try one of the regularly scheduled food truck events in the Reno area during the warmer months.

These food truck gatherings are in the evening (dinner time) and give you a chance to choose from among a huge variety of quality eats. Think good food, not the roach coach stuff of yore. Depending on which event you attend and which trucks are in attendance, you might be able to get pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, various Oriental dishes, BBQ, burgers, ice cream, drinks (both soft and adult), and the list goes on.

Besides food and drink, food truck roundups have other attractions. For example, Reno Street Food in Idlewild Park is next to the big playground for the kids and not far from the station for the Idlewild Park train ride.

You will also see food trucks set up to serve hungry people at numerous other events and activities throughout the year. To learn more about the scheduled summer and fall events, refer to “Food Trucks and Food Truck Events in Reno and Sparks.”

Spring days are an invitation to get outside and enjoy a hike in the Reno area. We have a wide variety of hiking and walking trails, though the ones up higher in the Sierra likely aren’t open just yet due to our extra snowy winter. My “Reno Area Hiking and Walking Trails” article is a good place to start when looking for a suitable trail.

Here are some of the hikes I have done and can recommend. Be sure to choose something within your abilities, particularly if assistance (should you need it) is not readily available.

  • Huffaker Hills Trailhead right in Reno.
  • Washoe Lake State Park just a few miles south of town in Washoe Valley.
  • Deadman’s Creek Trail is in Washoe Lake State park and offers wildflowers plus great views of the lake and Sierra Nevada.
  • Sparks Marina Park offers a paved walking path round Helms Lake.
  • Bartley Ranch Regional Park is an oasis in the urban jungle, with local history on display and places to take a pleasant walk.
  • Tom Cooke Trail in west Reno is part of an urban trail system maintained by the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
  • Tahoe Meadows Trails are easy for families with kids and some sections are accessible to those with disabilities. Right now, however, it’s more likely you’ll need snow play gear.

Attention dog owners – It’s the law to keep dogs on leash at all times in designated congested areas of Washoe County and in Nevada State Parks. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly.” Other users of public trails do not want to be approached and/or threatened by unleashed dogs. They don’t enjoy piles of dog poop all over the place, either. Be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop.