11 Day Trips From Reno – Desert Stops For Everyone To Enjoy

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Reno is a great choice for a day trip, located in Nevada, Reno offers great opportunities to travel not only in the city but outside as well. Located in the perfect spot in Nevada, right by the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe, there are many scopes to escape from the city.

Plus, it is within easy reach of Californian cities as well. Let us explore some of the best day trips from Reno you can take.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in the country. Take the 68-mile loop which makes for a scenic drive through Nevada and California that covers South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, and Tahoe City.

There are allocated spots where you can pull over to get the view of the lake from the above. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,645 feet. 

The area has great beaches, clear freshwater, and other multitudes of scenic beauties to leave you astounded. The area is also known for skiing and lake adventures.

Distance: 46 minutes

Ideal for: Family getaway

Carson City, Nevada

Carson City

Carson City makes for one of the best day trips from Reno, Nevada. A 34-minute drive takes you to Carson City, which is also the state capital of Nevada.

The city has many coffee joints, live music, and cultural events happening all the time. If being around nature soothes you, then you can visit the nearby Kings Canyon Waterfall.

You can hike the .3 miles to the waterfall, or there are 1- and 4-mile loops if you’d like to explore further.

Distance: 32 minutes

Ideal for: Nature lovers

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City

Just a 40-minute drive from Reno, Virginia City makes for a great day trip if you want to get a slice of the Old West. The drive itself from Reno to Virginia is breathtaking as you make the steep incline past abandoned mines. 

The area is steeped in mining history plus, there are some very unusual attractions too like the Prostitution Museum and the Suicide Table.

 The Victorian buildings in Virginia City were built during a 19th-century mining boom. Take in the city by shopping at the touristy Wild West and gem shops, or stop into one of the taverns for a cocktail.

Distance: 40 minutes

Ideal for: Unusual day trip

Ruby Mountain, Nevada

Ruby Mountain

Located within Elko County, Ruby Mountain is surely one of the pinnacles of skiing around this part of the world. The ski slopes here are miles upon miles of pristine powder stretching across the peaks if you time your visit right. 

Known to the locals as the Rubies, the range includes ten peaks above 10,000 feet (Ruby Dome, 11,387 feet is the highest) and more than two dozen alpine lakes. 

There are many hiking trails as well like  Lamoille Canyon, Harrison Pass, Soldier Canyon, and Overland Lake.

Distance: 5 hours 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Black Rock Desert

Famous for hosting the Burning Man Festival in summer, the Black Rock Desert is more than worth a trip at any time of year. Head north of Reno to the alluring and mysterious Black Rock Desert, which makes for a great day trip.

This is also one of the largest flat surfaces in the world,  with over 200-square-miles of craggy ground covered in sagebrush and scrub. The area has some of the most rugged canyons, pristine hot springs, and expansive dry lake beds or “playa” features in the state.

There are hot springs as well if you are tired of staring into the vast horizon.

Distance: 3 hours and 5 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake is undoubtedly one of the best day trips in Nevada from Reno. Located approximately 40 miles out of The City of Reno in the state’s northwestern region, the lake is 125,000-acre big.

It is one of the largest natural lakes in the state and offers plenty of opportunities for wandering around. The Pyramid Lake gets its name from the pyramid-like limestone formations that jut out of the water just off the eastern shore.

There’s also a Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center for those interested in visiting.

Distance: 1 hour and 30 minutes 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Highway 50, Nevada

Highway 50

If you want to go for a long, long road trip, then explore Highway 50. Also known as the “loneliest road of America”, the trip is definitely alluring.

This 3000-mile route had no attractions or points of interest along the original stretch of road. Now, there are a few attractions along the road, plus you might even see wild mustangs along the road.

The appeal definitely lies in the emptiness of the road and the vast nothingness – enjoy it!

Distance: 1 hour 

Ideal for: Road trips

Sand Mountain Recreation Area, Nevada

Sand Mountain

Located just outside of Fallon, the Sand Mountain Recreation Area is located just off Highway 50 and makes for a great day trip. The region attracts off-roading enthusiasts from near and afar.

Nevada sand dunes originate from the ancient glacial Lake Lahontan that for the most part, dried up 9,000 years ago and now provide plenty of outdoorsy entertainment options to visitors.

Visitors can indulge in hiking, biking, motorbiking, and dune-buggy.

Distance: 1 hour and 31 minutes

Ideal for: Off-roading

Mount Rose, Nevada

mount rose

Located just an hour away from Reno, Mount Rose is the crown jewel of the 30,000-acre wilderness area bearing her name. Mount Rose attracts lots of skiers in winters, as it is not very populated but offers some great skiing slopes.

In summers you can indulge in hiking, as there are many popular trails that lead hikers up into the wilderness area and finally Mount Rose Summit.

Distance:  31 minutes

Ideal for: Skiers

Steamboat Hot Springs, Nevada

Steamboat Hot Springs

If you want to enjoy a day of hot springs, then Steamboat Hot Springs is just twenty minutes out of town. Here you will get the opportunity to soak in therapeutic hot springs.

This can be a relaxing way to spend your day away from Reno and in these therapeutic and medicinal pools which will leave your rejuvenated.

Distance: 16 minutes

Ideal for: Relaxing day

Sacramento, California


Head across the state line to Sacramento in California. There are lots to explore in the state capital and there are lots of tourist spots like the Railroad museum, an entertaining downtown area, and great dining options.

Sacramento also has a fascinating history, so history buffs will also have a great time.

Distance: 2 hours and 16 minutes

Ideal for: Family getaway


Reno has many day trips that you can take across the country of Nevada. The state has lots of gems like Steamboat hot springs and Mount Rose.

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