Crystal Peak Portal

The town of Verdi was an active lumbering center as early as the late 1860’s, providing products for the local communities and mines throughout the region. Crystal Peak Park occupies much of the land that was formerly the property of the Verdi Lumber Company. The area was once a bustling industrial center including a sawmill, many railroad tracks, an engine house, large lumber storage facilities, and numerous outbuildings. The mill pond, which now provides a popular fishing venue, once stored logs until they were processed in the mill. Fire played a significant role in the history of the mills located here, as fire damaged or destroyed them and the surrounding areas eight times between 1882 and 1927.


Verdi Glen Resort, located here from 1924 through 1938, was a popular destination after the mill shut down operations and included a roadhouse restaurant and nightclub. Fire was also responsible for destroying the roadhouse in 1938, after which the resort was abandoned. Guy Marsh eventually bought the property and lived there with his wife Florence, who inherited the property upon his death. She deeded the land to Washoe County in 1993.


Despite its turbulent past, Crystal Peak Park is now a peaceful recreation area on the shore of the Truckee River, ideal for wildlife viewing, fishing, picnicking and enjoying nature. There are several artifacts and ruins that hint at the history of the land and an interpretive trail provides further information.


Located downstream of Crystal Peak Park, the historic Crystal Peak Toll Bridge, is another nearby spot of local significance. The first wooden bridge was built at this site in 1860 and called O’Neil’s Crossing. Crystal Peak Toll Bridge and Road Company was formed in 1867 and charged a toll for travelers crossing the bridge while on the Henness Pass/Dog Valley Road. This was a primary travel route between California and Virginia City before the completion of the Transcontinental Railway in 1869 and continued as a car route until Highway 40 was completed in the Truckee River Canyon. Flooding in 1906 destroyed the wooden bridge, and it was replaced by the current single span Parker truss bridge.


Another fun fact about the area - It’s said that the town’s current name was given by Charles Crocker, founder of the Central Pacific Railroad, after pulling a slip of paper from a hat with the name of the great Italian Composer Giuseppe Verdi. Some people also joke that the name, which means green in Italian, is fitting because the Ponderosa pine forests that dominate the area (and created the lumber industry around which the town was founded) create a stark contrast to the brown, dry expanses of sagebrush steppe to the east.


561 Crystal Park Rd, Verdi, NV 89439

8 AM - 7 PM

Car, Not ADA accessible

Paved parking lot

Walking/Hiking Trails,  Fishing,  Bird Watching,  BBQ/Picnicking,  Junior Ranger Activity Guide,  Photography
Restrooms, picnic tables, benches

Learn more at the Crystal Peak Park website.