Discover the University of Nevada, Reno

Lake Tahoe & Reno

Visitors to Reno have come to expect the unexpected

Reno Lake Tahoe Area Photo

The biggest misconception about Reno is probably its location. Television commentators, scenes and dialogue in movies, even some of Nevada’s lore suggests that Reno and Las Vegas are next-door neighbors, related by the desert and a proclivity for casinos.

Reno, Nevada

Campus Powwow

Regional Highlights

One of the more unexpected aspects of Reno and the surrounding area is the number and variety of annual festivals and events.

From the comedies performed at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival to the awe-inspiring speed of the Reno National Championship Air Races, students have a lot to look forward to.

Learn more about Reno/Tahoe >>

Nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevada, Reno is closer to cities such as Sacramento and San Francisco than Las Vegas. In contrast to Las Vegas, Reno offers its residents an invigorating taste of all four seasons. Channeling the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River runs leisurely through downtown Reno. Numerous mountain ranges rise ruggedly from the desert basin, providing stunning views and unmatched sunsets. When you breathe the crisp mountain air and smell the hint of sagebrush on the breeze, you'll know you're in Reno.

Reno, the “The Biggest Little City in the World,” and sister city, Sparks, combine for a population of close to 400,000. Reno offers a favorable quality of life that has been recognized by numerous national sources, including Forbes magazine. Reno’s population enjoys an array of cultural activities, including museums, numerous theatre companies, a symphony, ballet and opera. There are several major venues for concerts, sporting events and other live performances, including Lawlor Events Center on campus and the Reno Events Center, located less than a 10-minute walk from campus.

An outdoor mecca

Visitors have called Reno one of the country’s true outdoor meccas, and for good reason. Within a one-hour drive of Reno are 15 world-class skiing and snowboarding resorts, Lake Tahoe, hundreds of mountain biking and hiking trails including the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, and the Truckee River, which runs from the California state line through downtown Reno, where one of country’s top outdoor whitewater kayak parks is located.

Reno's sister city, Sparks, is home to several special events that draw thousands of attendees to the area in the summer and fall. Lake Tahoe, which can be accessed from Reno from two different major highways, has been selected on numerous occasions as one of the nation's most popular destinations.

Jewel of the Sierra

Known as the “jewel of the Sierra" for its clear blue water and panorama of surrounding mountains, Lake Tahoe, with its 6,229-foot elevation, is the highest lake of its size in the U.S. Located beyond Donner Summit on Interstate 80 is California's state capital, Sacramento, less than two hours from Reno, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, which is less than four hours from Reno.