Home » 2007 Cross Country Road Trip

Reno / Grand Sierra Resort Casino & RV Park, NV

Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 12:00pm by Lolo
142 miles and 3 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Lazy Daze at Grand Sierra Resort - AJGLazy Daze at Grand Sierra Resort - AJGIt was a tough transition. Last night we had camped under the swaying lodgepole pines at Yosemite, and now here we were in the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno—perhaps we should have eased our way back into civilization more gradually. However, after 14 days out on the road, I desperately needed to do laundry, and on paper, the Grand Sierra Resort RV Park seemed like the perfect place to stop for the night—laundry facilities, heated pool, and easy access to the Truckee River Trail, which sounded like a great place for the boys to run.

Well, we’ve come to learn that things don’t always work out as planned. When we checked in around 7:30 that evening, we were informed that the laundry facilities were closing in 15 minutes and that the pool area turned into a nightclub after 8:00 with no one under 21 admitted. Oh great. Well, at least we had the running trail.

We pulled into our campsite, which consisted on a very dilapidated, crooked picnic table, and a rickety old fence separating us from the Truckee River Trail. Well, at least we were close to the trail.

Dad with picnic table - AJGDad with picnic table - AJGThe boys donned their running clothes and headed off for what they said would be a pretty long run. They were back in 10 minutes. Apparently the Truckee River Trail was home to many of Reno’s “homeless,” and Tommy felt very uncomfortable about weaving his way amongst them. Andrew, however, thought Tommy was just overreacting. I was having a déjà vu experience. This was the same argument we had had in Alaska last year, except that time it was over the prudence of running near grizzly bears and not homeless people.

I believe this was strike three for the Grand Sierra Resort.

Later that evening, we did try to make the best of our visit, and strolled over to a nearby Action Park where the boys did had some fun racing go-karts on a drift track. We also took a walk through the Grand Sierra Resort, but it was a quick one since the boys weren’t allowed in the casino areas.

Andrew driving golf ballsAndrew driving golf ballsAs we stepped out of the Resort to go back to our campsite, we were greeted by the pounding beat of “Rock the Casbah,” eminating from the pool area. Over the boys’ objections, I went in to have a peek. Let’s just say that this was not your typical KOA pool situation.

On the walk back to the campsite, we noticed a big, beautiful full moon rising over Reno. We would have sat out and enjoyed it, but our crappy picnic table had disappeared from our site while we were gone. Can you have a strike four?

I arose early the next morning to have first dibs on the washing machines. I had 6 loads, which had to be an all-time on-the-road record for us.

While the loads were going, we walked over to the Hilton Bay driving range right near the campground. This was actually quite fun. We each got a chance to drive some golf balls out over a man-made lake while attempting to get holes-in-ones on tiny islands in the lake. If you got one you won a prize. I wasn’t sure I wanted a prize. I was afraid it might be a few more nights in Reno. Anyway it wasn’t an issue. Although the boys came close at times, I barely made it out of the box withoug hitting the side walls.

Well, I think we were all pretty ready to leave Reno behind, but what was sad was that now, for the first time in 14 days, we were heading east, which meant only one thing—we were officially on our way home.


I'm not even going to attempt to describe Reno--there are plenty of guidebooks that can do a better job. However, I will take a go at the small piece of it that we did see, the campground at the Grand Sierra Resort.

As you approach Reno from the south along US 395, the first thing you see is the humongous Grand Sierra Resort (formerly the Reno Hilton), Reno’s largest casino-hotel complex. This 2.5-million-square-foot hotel has 2,003 rooms and a 100,000-square-foot casino and takes up a over a square mile of real-estate.

Behind the hotel is an RV park (formerly a KOA) with 178 full hook-up sites. A fence separates the northern end of the RV park from the Truckee River, but there is access to the river trail through a gate in the fence. Caution: there are quite a few homeless people that have made this area their home.

Guests of the RV Park have access to the hotel facilities, including the pool (adults only after 8:00 pm), numerous restaurants, a 20-shop arcade, Nevada’s largest casino floor, a 50-lane bowling center, the Fun Quest arcade for kids, and a lake top golf driving range. If that’s not enough entertainment, a nearby Action Park has go-karts and bungee jumping.

tuffiesmom on July 25, 2012

All went well with campsite and casino except neither is handicap friendly. Thanks to visitors for helping get my wheelchair in and out of the casino and over the lumps and bumps of the driveway.

Reno / Grand Sierra Resort Casino & RV Park location map in "high definition"

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