Live Life Unfiltered: 72 Hours in Reno Tahoe

The Biggest Little City in the World and the largest alpine lake in North America play hosts to an inexhaustible array of dining, nightlife, and outdoor adventure options including the Guinness Book of World Record's "World’s Tallest Artificial Climbing Wall."

By: Josiah Roe + Save to a List

Reno Tahoe brims with a sense that now is its time. Its unique combination of unparalleled natural beauty, a globally influenced Burning Man-fueled arts community, and a Wild-West-meets-Tesla infused entrepreneurial grit have coalesced into something wholly unique.

New mountain biking trail networks appear almost as quickly as new restaurants. Old hotels are converted into the tallest climbing wall in the world, towering over the Truckee River where kayakers send rapids past fishermen casting for the largest trout in North America. You can spend your morning skiing at 10,000’ and your afternoon climbing in the Black Rock Desert.

It is a place that defies definition; it is a place to live, unfiltered.

72 Hours in Reno Tahoe

Day 1 - 4:00 PM // Check In - Whitney Peak Hotel

The Whitney Peak Hotel is far more than just a stylish hotel, and is a basecamp for adventure, dining, and nightlife. Featuring a full climbing gym, the world's tallest artificial climbing wall, a concert hall, and the fantastic Roundabout Grill, all while being right in downtown, it is the perfect spot to call home base for a few days in Reno Tahoe.

4:30 PM - 7:00 PM // Sunset Hike of the Highland Loop Trail

The Hidden Valley Regional Park just east of Reno is a great way to get expansive views of the downtown and the Sierra Nevada mountains. The park is over 400 acres, with 65 acres developed and a dozen or so miles of multi-use trails with numerous overlooks of downtown.

7:30 PM // Dinner at Brewer's Cabinet

Burgers, beer, and a killer taco night, Brewer's Cabinet is an excellent brewery right in the heart of downtown Reno. The Tahoe Blonde is great for a post-hike refuel and their cocktails are just as refreshing.

Day 2 - 7:00 AM // Breakfast at Walden's on S. Arlington Ave

Walden's is a locally-owned local institution and their excellent made-from-scratch-daily menu is a great way to fuel up for the day. The "Smash Walden" is a solid take on the classic egg-and-sausage breakfast sandwich, topped with avocado and a slice of Monterrey Jack cheese, and the blueberry muffins are awesome.

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM // Fly Fish the Truckee River

The Truckee River is the only outlet of Lake Tahoe and flows 121 miles out of the Sierra Nevada mountains through downtown Reno and into the desert where it empties into Pyramid Lake. In addition to being a fantastic river for rafting, kayaking, and just relaxing in an inner tube with friends, it is home to the Lahontan cutthroat trout, the state fish of Nevada and the largest subspecies of cutthroat trout, reaching lengths of up to 40 inches. 

There are excellent fishing spots all along the Truckee, include a few good places right in downtown at Wingfield Park, but as always your best bet is to go with a local guide, and the team at Reno Fly Shop is a great place to start.

NOON - 1:30 PM // Lunch at Washoe Public House

Washoe Public House in downtown is a great restaurant for recharging after a long morning on the river. The pork belly egg rolls are great, and they have a decent selection of veggie and gluten-free options like the Super Food Salad.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM // Hike the Jones Creek Loop

Nestled in a forested area in the mountains between Reno and Lake Tahoe, Galena Creek Regional Park is seven miles up the Mt. Rose Highway from the intersection with I-580. Galena Creek flows through the park, creating separate north and south portions of the park, and the Jones Creek Loop is a great way to get a taste of all the park has to offer.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM // Drinks at The Lodge Coffee-Wine Bar

The Lodge Coffee-Wine Bar, mere minutes from Galena park, is a great place to stop and have a glass of wine after a hike or warm up with a cup of coffee in winter after a day on the slopes. Their elevated decks provide views that makes you feel like you are in a tree house, and their wine selection is esoteric in the best sense.

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM // Dinner at West Street Market

West Street Market is an awesome collection of restaurants and shops, from The Pizza Collective to DeLuxe's all-plant-based menu, the food does not disappoint, and the Thali Lounge's extensive selection of sustainable, organic, biodynamic wines is a must-see.

Day 3 - 7:00 AM // Breakfast at Roundabout Grill

Due to Tesla building its massive Gigafactory just outside of Reno, there has been a massive influx of new workers from around the globe, many of whom stay in hotels downtown until they find permanent housing. This has led to some fantastic culinary experiences, and breakfast at the Roundabout Grill inside Whitney Peak is one such experience where each workday they provide a complete Japanese breakfast of miso soup, steamed rice, a protein, green tea, and sides. It is wonderful.

8:00 AM - 11:00 AM // Climb at Pig Rock

Most people think of the Donner Summit area for great climbing in Reno Tahoe, but about 40 minutes north of town is a fantastic climbing area known as Pig Rock that is excellent for training and taking in the endless desert landscape. The entire area is BLM land making it great for dispersed camping like with an awesome adventure van from Escape Campervans. We took our new favorite pre, mid, and post-climb drink: the Creamy Cappucino +Protein from High Brew.

NOON - 1:30 PM // Lunch at Noble Pie Parlor

After a morning of climbing, a killer pizza is in order, and the pies from Noble Pie in Midtown are some of the best you can find in Reno. Located in the heart of Midtown, it is also a great place from which to explore the revitalized neighborhood, with shops, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops all around.

2:00 - 4:00 PM // Stand-Up Paddleboard at the Sparks Marina

The Sparks Marina, just minutes from downtown Reno, is a convenient and fun place to learn how to SUP or to spend an afternoon out on the water, and has fantastic views of the Sierra Nevada.

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM // Dinner at the Silver Peak Brewery

A true Reno Tahoe original, the Silver Peak Brewery has been around since 1991 and features a focused set of locally brewed beers and a menu designed accordingly. The desserts and the after-dinner drinks are particularly good: try a Mexican Coffee and the Chocolate Bread Pudding for a real jolt of energy.

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM // Throw Axes at Reno Axe

Reno Axe is exactly the kind of place that could only exist in Reno. Sign a waiver; order a drink; throw an axe. Repeat.

Day 4 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM // Climb The Big Wall

No visit to Reno Tahoe is complete without a climb up the Big Wall at the Whitney Peak Hotel. Be sure to set aside some time to go through the testing with the guides and get ready for some jaw dropping views of Reno and the surrounding area.

Optional: Photograph Bonsai Rock

Bonsai Rock is one of the most photogenic places along the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe and a visit is well worth it if you have the time, particularly at sunset.

Learn more at

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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