The journey from Sacramento, CA, to Reno, NV, is a trip that will let you and your family experience some of the most beautiful vistas that the U.S. has to offer. You can travel through sprawling Yosemite National Park, and there are several beautiful state parks along the way for you to visit as well. In addition, you’ll spend time in areas of the West Coast that are vibrant and lively, so get ready for a truly memorable RV experience. While a straight trip from Sacramento to Reno is just over two hours, if you have the time to meander a bit, there's a lot of eastern California and western Nevada to explore!
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park spans almost 1,200 square miles, so make plenty of time to take in its natural splendor. This national park is home to Yosemite Falls, which is truly picturesque. Yosemite also has sequoia trees that are more than a millennium old, and you’ll be amazed at their majesty. There is plenty to do in this national park, especially in the winter when you can ski, ice skate and go tubing. This is the only national park near your route, but there are plenty of state parks to consider.
Caswell Memorial State Park
Caswell Memorial State Park is a California state park that has beautiful plains and features a variety of places to fish and witness wildlife along the Stanislaus River. Gentle landscapes are a major draw for visitors to Caswell Memorial; this is a great place to relax and commune with Mother Nature. Remember to bring lots of protection from the sun when visiting Caswell as it gets quite hot in the park during the summer.
Grover Hot Springs State Park
Grover Springs is one of those California state parks that provides a differing experience depending on the season you visit. During the summer, it gets rather hot in this part of the state, but there are blizzards in the winter. Grover Hot Springs is located in Markleeville, and when you visit, be sure to check out the mineral pool-fed hot springs from which the park takes its name.
Washoe Meadows State Park
The first state park you’ll experience within the confines of the Lake Tahoe area, Washoe Meadows, is a dog-friendly state park that is part of the California parks system. This park is full of undeveloped meadows and forestland that you can explore freely. The park has picnic areas as well as day-use areas for small gatherings. While dogs are allowed in most of the park, they're not permitted on the dirt trails or the beaches.
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay is the second park in the Lake Tahoe area – this time, in South Lake Tahoe. Like Washoe Meadows, Emerald Bay does accept dogs in the two campground areas. One of the prime attractions at Emerald Bay is Vikingsholm. This part of the park requires a hike down to a home featuring Scandinavian architecture on the edge of the lake, and a Tea House that’s located on Fannette Island.
Donner Memorial State Park
Donner Memorial State Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As you may have guessed from the name, these are the same mountains where the famous Donner Party was trapped in the mid-1800s. Despite its harrowing history, the state park is one of the best places to stargaze; the nights are clear, and the stars stretch across the horizon.
San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge
As you start your trip, make sure to visit San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge. At the refuge, you’ll see Aleutian cackling geese, riparian brush rabbits, elk bulls, and even bald eagles. The woodlands are also majestic; you’ll see tree species like cottonwoods, oaks, and maples.
Eldorado National Forest
The Eldorado National Forest is a picturesque forest in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The park is located in California, but it also borders nearby Nevada. This is a park with a wide range of elevations. At its lower point, it’s about 1,000 feet above sea level, and at its highest, it rises to more than 10,000 feet above that level. This is one of the best Californian locations for plateaus and rivers. They also provide a nice rest area for travelers hiking the sometimes mountainous national forest.
Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake that has a maximum depth of 1,645 feet and works well as a great transition between the two states of California and Nevada during your road trip from Sacramento to Reno. Two-thirds of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline lies in California and the remainder in Nevada. From an arboreal standpoint, Tahoe is surrounded by tree species like Jeffrey pines, lodgepole pines, sugar pines, and red fir. The lake offers a variety of water activities and is a great place to fish for salmon and trout.
Coyote Moon Golf Course
You’ll find Coyote Moon golf course in Truckee, CA. This course rests on 250 acres of land and has many iconic features. Great examples of this include towering pines, granite outcroppings, creeks filled with fish, and colorful wildflowers. Naturally, you can also play a round of golf on the well-maintained course.
As you close in on the final destination on your Sacramento to Reno RV road trip, you should take the time to visit Idlewild Park. This is a 40-acre park on the Truckee River in downtown Reno, where you can experience the beautiful rose garden, which is on an acre of land. There, you’ll see hundreds of varieties of roses.
Lodi is the centermost city located in California’s Central Valley and has a population of 62,134. For museum-lovers, you can visit the San Joaquin County Historical Museum, the Hill House Museum, or the World of Wonders Science Museum. Lodi also offers some distinct outdoor activities. There are several golf courses, multiple hiking trails, and more than 85 wineries throughout the city. Lodi also has a few campgrounds to visit. It’s relatively easy to find spaces with full hookups, Wi-Fi, and pull-through and back-in sites. These include Mokelumne Beach RV Park and Flag City RV Resort, which are close to the city. As for dump stations, you can find those throughout the state.
You’ll pass through Modesto, California, as you travel in Stanislaus County during the second half of your Sacramento to Reno road trip. Modesto is a city of nuts; it’s the agricultural staple of the area, which is why the peanut is the mascot of the local baseball team. While here, check out places like the McHenry Museum, the Tuolumne River, and John Thurman Field so that you can see the Modesto Nuts play. There are some great Modesto campgrounds to consider. These include pet-friendly campgrounds like Kit Fox RV Park and Oakdale’s Woodard Reservoir Regional Park, which has a pool. There are also a few local dump stations available in Modesto as well.
Verdi, Nevada, is one of the last cities you’ll see on your Sacramento to Reno road trip. This is a census-designated place that’s about 11 miles from Reno, and it’s well worth a visit thanks to its long history and beautiful location. This town is actually named after the Californian Verdi Mountain Range because it’s located in its shadow. Fans of railroad history will love this town because of its famous train line and the train robbery that happened here in 1870. Being so close to Reno, you’ll be well-served to consider one of the nearby Reno area campgrounds. Places like River Rest Resort, Sparks Marina RV Park, and Shamrock RV Park are all great places to visit if you're making an RV trip. Reno also has plenty of dump stations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Reno, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Sacramento or Reno.