A Guide To Idlewild Park, Reno

Idlewild Park Reno

Reno is an exciting city in Nevada and bears the nickname “The Biggest Little City in the World”. Reno is well-known for its iconic casinos and is where Harrah’s Entertainment gaming corporation was born. However, the city isn’t just about gambling, as it has plenty of outdoor fun and activities to offer. The city is around 22 mi (35.4 km) from Lake Tahoe and this particular area of Tahoe is called “America’s Adventure Place”. Another example a spot where you can enjoy the fresh air is Idlewild Park, which lies close to the downtown area of Reno and nestles on the Truckee River. To celebrate the city’s environmental stand, each year, the Reno Earth Day celebration is held in the park. Find out more information on the official tourism board website or scroll below to read a guide to Idlewild Park, Reno.

Things to do / Highlights

Idlewild Park
Source: Photo by user Jeremy Thompson used under CC BY 2.0

Idlewild Park Reno has a number of attractions, listed below:

Rose Garden

The beautiful Rose Garden spreads over 1 acre (0.4 hectare) of Idlewild Park and is home to more than 1,750 roses, representing 200 different rose varieties. Rose season starts early June and runs through to September, with the peak season for viewing the flowers being late June or early July and late August. The garden was first established in 1958 and is dedicated to its creator, Fred Galloway, a horticulturist in Reno. Besides the beautiful flowers and remarkable scent, visitors can also learn more about caring for their own roses.

Rose Waterfall

Located in the Rose Garden, the Rose Waterfall was created from thousands of pieces of colorful tiles. The artwork depicts a waterfall of floating pink roses. Local Reno artist Eileen Gay designed the piece and the Rose Waterfall can be found in the southwest corner of the Rose Garden.

Rainbow Trout Tree

Another mosaic titled “Rainbow Trout Tree” was also created by Eileen Gay and features three large fish together, just above the water of the lake.

Duck ponds and lakes

There are a number of small lakes and ponds throughout Idlewild Park where visitors can see and feed the mallard ducks swimming around. Fishing is available in the lakes and the Truckee River.

Idlewild Park train ride

A fun activity for the whole family, the Idlewild Park Train Ride heads out through various scenic areas of the park, including around the various duck ponds. The ride is available from Spring Break and continues while the weather is still good. Children under 2 ride free, while older children and adults pay 2 USD per person.

Idlewild Park swimming pool

This is one of several public swimming pools in Reno, and operates from June, right through the summer months. The pool measures 50 m (164 ft) in length and has eight lanes, two diving boards, and a kiddie pool. Swimming lessons are available.

Walking and biking

A variety of paths are available for walking, jogging, and cycling, part of which forms a section of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway.

Playgrounds and ball fields

Children can have fun on the various swings and other play rides in the playgrounds while older children and adults can try out their skills on the ball fields.

Picnic areas

Picnic areas are available in the park with tables and seating. Take a tasty picnic along with you and relax in the shade of the park’s many trees.

Reno Food Truck Friday

Keeping with food, on Fridays between May and August, Reno Street Food is laid on in Idlewild Park, with more than 35 food trucks selling gourmet foods and tasty desserts, accompanied by locally brewed craft beer, wine, and spirits. Street Food is available from 4pm to 9pm each Friday.

Travelers' tips

Truckee River
Source: Photo by user Morgan used under CC BY 2.0

Wheelchair accessibility

The park and its pathways are wheelchair-friendly.

Food Truck Fridays

Arrive at the park early to avoid the queues and enjoy all the great food on offer.

Appropriate clothing

As Idlewild Park is all about outdoor living, ensure you dress appropriately for the weather.

How to get there

Mallards (domestic types right, wild types left)
Source: Photo by user Paul Hurtado used under CC BY-SA 2.0

By car

Located near Downtown Reno, Idlewild Park can be found between Idlewild Drive and a bend in the Truckee River, with the main entrance in Cowan Street. Visit Google Maps to get accurate directions.


The most convenient parking is found at the entrance to Idlewild Park. There are other parking areas a short distance away and should visitors have to park there, it is a pleasant walk to the park.

By taxi/Uber:

Regrettably, the Uber service in Reno has been permanently closed. Call Reno Taxi Cab on +1 775-333-3333.

By bus

Bus nos. 12, 16, 56, and 3CC service Idlewild Park as follows:

  • From Reno Arch, bus No. 16 takes 26 minutes.
  • From Kohl’s, bus No. 2 or 3CC takes 114 minutes.
  • From Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, bus No. 12 or 3CC takes 1 hr 6 minutes.
  • From Renown South Meadows Medical Center, bus 56 or 12 takes 1 hr 22 minutes.

On foot

From Downtown Reno the following are the best routes:

  • Via Riverside Dr., it takes 33 minutes to cover 1.6 mi (2.6 km).
  • Via N Sierra St and Riverside Dr., it takes 33 minutes to cover 1.6 mi (2.6 km).
  • Via Truckee River Ln/Truckee River Walk and Riverside Dr, it takes 35 minutes to cover 1.7 mi (2.7 km).

By bicycle

A bike path heads to Idlewild Park from Downtown Reno and Verdi.

Idlewood Park information

Reno Earth Day 2014
Source: Photo by user Ryan Finnie used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Idlewood Park

Address: 2055 Idlewild Dr, Reno, Nevada, USA

Official website: Idlewood Park

Tourism board: Nevada Tourism

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 6pm

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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