General Park Information:
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is a 570 acre park with restrooms open all year.
Amenities Include: Playground, dog park, volleyball, horseshoes, exercise area, hiking, picnic area, barbecue area, arboretum, reservable buildings, multi-use field, gardens, amphitheater, museum, labyrinth, fishing, and bird watching.
Here is a link to Rancho San Rafael Regional Park on Washoe County’s website.
Download a one-page park guide here!
View the slideshow to see some of Rancho San Rafael Park's amenities!
History of Ownership
Washoe Indians – The Chief’s Family.
Source: Lawrence & Houseworth Publisher. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
The history of ownership of the land which is now part of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is extensive and complex. The local Native American tribes called this area their home before the Western settlers arrived and claimed the land for agriculture. Native American tribes still call this area their home, and more information can be found on the Reno, Sparks Indian Colony website here. Researchers believe the first owners to use the property for agriculture were the Pincolini brothers.
This Pincolini family consisted of five brothers who came to Reno from Italy between the years from 1897 to 1904. The brothers bought the land for a ranch where they raised cattle, hogs and eggs, which they sold to the hotels in downtown Reno. Later, Russell Jensen purchased the land for raising sheep and built the first structures on the site -- a 5-room house for the ranch manager plus several other buildings for raising sheep.
Rancho San Rafael Entrance
Image provided by Washoe County
Park Donors and Influencers
Max C. Fleischmann Foundation: This foundation (1951 to 1980) provided Reno with monetary gifts for 29 years, including Rancho San Rafael Park. Mr. Fleischmann made his wealth from the production and sale of yeast, margarine, vinegar and gin in the US and Canada. He had no children or heirs when in 1951 he committed suicide by shooting himself (he was dying of cancer). Before he died, he instructed his trustees to give away all his money within 20 years of his wife’s death.
Source: UNR collection
Submit Your Park Stories and Photos!
Do you have personal photographs or stories about this park and are willing to share your memories with your community? Stories and photos can be recent adventures in the park, old memories of what the park used to be like, or fond remembrances of what this park has meant to you in the past. Sharing your photographs and memories will help to build our shared history of these important public places.
Click here to upload your photos and/or stories!
Community Stories and Photos:
Doggie Ambassadors Project:
Becky Kellett, Kristen Puchert, and Genevieve Darling are the Doggie Waste Ambassador for this park. Thank you for helping to keep Rancho San Rafael free from dog waste!
To learn more on how you can become a volunteer Doggie Waste Ambassador, click here.
Rancho San Rafael Park Researcher:
Jill is the History Researcher for this park. She has dedicated time to research and document the history of Rancho San Rafael Park and region, in addition to conducting several in-person interviews. Thank you Jill for your commitment to our parks and historic preservation!
Wilbur May Arboretum: Park Guide
Nevada State Journal
Virginia ("Ginnie") Kersey