Reno to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Reno to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Reno is the biggest little city in the USA and situated in Nevada.  Reno offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • National Automobile Museum – The Harrah Collection
  • Casinos and resorts; Grand Sierra, Silver Legacy, Peppermill Reno, Eldorado Reno, Atlantis, Circus Circus, Sands Regency, Harrahs.
  • The Reno sign
  • Bars and restaurants of downtown Reno
  • The outlets at Sparks
  • Wild Island bowling
  • Sparks marina park
Reno Sign, Reno, Nevada

Reno Sign, Reno, Nevada

Some of the resorts and casinos in Reno are incredibly good value, staying over one or two nights in Reno is significantly cheaper than most other cities in the US.  In fact I spent the day in San Francisco before arriving late in Reno.  Then I spent the day and a second night in Reno before leaving early morning to Lassen volcanic national park.

Have you seen the Reno sign before?  Maybe in a movie? Reno appears in the following movies;

Michael Jackson machine, Reno

The Michael Jackson machine in Reno is very interesting.  Michael’s music starts playing in the back of the seat and the seat vibrates.  It was a fun experience.

Bars in Reno

Bars in Reno

You’ll find bars and restaurants at the riverfront in downtown Reno, perfect for a night out!  Before going to Reno you should check out what’s on.  Although the shows are nowhere near as good as Las Vegas, if you’re lucky there may be a good show on.  A couple of weeks after I left Jeff Bridges was on in Harrahs casino so you could get lucky with a show.

How are you doing for Nike shoes and t-shirts?  If you drive out to Sparks outlet mall you’ll find a Nike factory store, as well as many other brands.  You’ll also find the famous Sparks marina park.

Gas Station, Reno, NV

Gas Station, Reno, NV

In the US, gas prices vary greatly from place to place.  Once you know what a good price is and you pass a gas station with a good price, fill up!  From Reno to Lassen park was about a 2 hour drive on US-395 N.  Once at Lassen park, pay the entrance fee and you are free to drive around the park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park to Crater Lake

2018-03-28T14:44:03+00:00January 11th, 2017|North America, USA|25 Comments


  1. Diana - MVMT Blog January 20, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I’m not much of a gambler, but the bar scene in downtown Reno sounds like something I could get behind. And I can definitely see the appeal behind trying out the Michael Jackson slot machine regardless of whether you’re a gambler or not. How did you like Lassen? Were the hikes and views there pretty cool?

    • James Smith January 22, 2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

      There are great hikes at Lassen, you can also hike up Lassen peak. The views are amazing, beautiful pictures are guaranteed.

  2. Garth January 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    The Reno sign is so cool! love it. Heard of Reno, but didn’t know much about it, so thanks for sharing your experience, love a good slot machine too!

  3. Courtney Jones January 20, 2017 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    It’s always cool to see places in real life that you have seen in a movie! Reno sounds like a cool place to spend a weekend. Good for you walking away when you broke even! 😀

  4. Kelly January 20, 2017 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I always forget about Reno. I always think of Vegas and forget about Reno. And I have seen the Reno sign in a couple of movies. Love the Micheal Jackson slot machine though. That is hilarious. Glad to see you broke even on that gamble.

  5. luxurybackpacking | Emma January 21, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    This is a great article, I’m heading to the USA in summer this year and touring the West Coast and have yet to plan our itinerary, so will definitely be adding this to our list! Thanks so much, as we would never have heard of these places otherwise!

  6. Bhushavali January 21, 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

    OMG!!!! This is my first time on your blog and I can’t believe your trips!!! Whoa! You’ve done so many land trips. Antarctica to Alaska? Whoa!!!! When you say Nevada only Vegas comes to mind, so thanks for introducing me to Reno!!! Though Reno may not be my kinda place, Lassen Volcanic Park is most definitely my kinda place!!!

  7. Aryane @ Valises & Gourmandises January 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I agree with Bushavali, this isn’t my kind of city but it’s good to know what the options are along the way for a roadtrip on the Westcoast.
    I’m also not a gambler, but that Michael Jackson slot machine sounds like a hoot!
    I would love to visit all the great US National Parks one day, maybe when I move back home to Canada 🙂

  8. Melissa January 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    The bar scene in Reno looks like fun and I’ve always wanted to try a slot machine!! Did you get to try some hikes around there?

    • James Smith January 22, 2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Yes, after Reno I drove around 2 hours to Lassen Volcano National Park. It’s so beautiful and you can hike up Lassen Peak, you’ll definitely get your steps in!

  9. Kreete January 22, 2017 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time in Reno! The sign does ring a bell and the slot machine with MJ music sounds awesome. I tend to not play slots, but when I have, I have actually won pretty decent on some of the times. Can’t wait to read more about the National Park!

  10. LC January 22, 2017 at 5:27 am - Reply

    I’ve had a couple of friends stay in Reno on their way to/from Burning Man and it sounds pretty neat. Slots aren’t really my thing, but I kinda do want to go to Vegas… Although it sounds overwhelming… Reno could be a happy medium.

  11. Oana January 22, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

    I haven’t been to Reno but the other half of aroundthecompass visited this place a few years ago. He mentioned this place is a small and cheaper version of Las Vegas that is worth visiting.

  12. Lydia@LifeUntraveled January 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Reno sounds like a great place to relax if you’re not into the much bigger scene of Las Vegas. I love their motto of “The Biggest Little City in the World” – that says a lot! And if you’re going to gamble a bit, why not have some fun with the Michael Jackson slot machine! I’m curious to know which song(s) plays when you get 3 bonuses?

    • James Smith January 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      I’m sure it’s Smooth Criminal, you may remember in the video he throws the coin into the slot machine and screams ‘Ow’. That’s how this all starts, then he’s moonwalking and dancing on screen as the slots are moving. I’m sure I can remember some Beat It and Billie Jean involved at some point as well.

  13. SamH Travels January 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I’ve been to Vegas and found the place pretty overwhelming, so I think Reno looks like a great alternative. I hadn’t heard of Reno before reading this, but will certainly notice the sign in those movies from now on 🙂

  14. Shona January 23, 2017 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Reno might be a more sedate option than Vegas for me. Thanks for the details. 🙂

  15. Jenn | By Land and Sea January 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I’ve never been to Reno! Looks like a cool place though with less hustle and bustle than Vegas!

  16. Lisa January 25, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    I haven’t been to Reno in years but I still remember I had one of the best steaks ever there! Reno is little more low key than Vegas and a nice gateway to Lake Tahoe. Time for another visit!

  17. wayfaringsarah January 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    your adventure sounds so epic! Awesome post, keep them coming.

  18. Siddharth and Shruti January 27, 2017 at 5:04 am - Reply

    We are not really into gambling but Lassen Volcanic Park sounds amazing. On an unrelated note, did you get lucky on the slot machine?

  19. Tracy January 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    One thing I love about reading about new places is the improvement in my geographical knowledge as I had no idea where Reno was – even though I have heard of it!

    Like the sound of the Michael Jackson slot machines! Just to listen to the music as much as anything!!

  20. ThriftyTrails January 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Reno seems like a little Las Vegas haha! I would probably stop by on my way to Lassen to catch a show and have a drink. The free shows were lots of fun in Vegas I am sure they would be fun in Reno too.

  21. Trippin' Turpins (Kelly) January 27, 2017 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    We don’t gamble (anymore) we need our pennies for travelling. Having said that hubby still likes to pop into a casino for a (very) small flutter. In Cambodia his limit was $10 which he lost within a couple of minutes and that was it… he had had he few minutes of fun LOL ha ha ha so it was back on the bike for more sightseeing!

  22. Travel Lexx January 28, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Gambling isn’t really for me as I am terrible at it but would love the National Automobile Museum! Always wanted to check out Reno and see what it’s about. Thanks for sharing

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