Introduction to Sparks, Nevada

The Nevada city of Sparks, part of Washoe County, is located in the Truckee Meadows of northwestern Nevada between the Carson and Virginia Mountain Ranges, only 4 miles east of Reno and about 12 miles from the California border. Perched at an elevation of 4,500 feet, the city is bisected by Interstate I-80. Named for former Nevada Governor John Sparks, the city which at various times had been called East Reno, New Wadsworth, and Harriman became incorporated as the City of Sparks in 1905. Although originally distinct from Reno, the city has grown close to its western neighbor to the point where today they are often referred to as a twin city ("Reno-Sparks").

Things to do in and near Sparks

Sparks is widely known as the premiere special events venue for much of northern Nevada. "Arts in Bloom," a Mothers Day festival held at the Sparks Marina Park, features artwork, food and entertainment. "Star Spangled Sparks" is a Fourth of July celebration which includes a milk carton boat regatta, a kite flying contest, arts and crafts, entertainment, food, and drink. Labor Day weekend is the setting for the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off that features free entertainment, fun events and fantastic food. Oktoberfest is a fall event celebrating the sights and smells of Bavaria and featuring musical entertainment. On Thanksgiving Day, Sparks hosts its annual Turkey Trot, where participants can work off their Thanksgiving dinner by choosing between a 2-mile walk and a 2-mile or 10K (6.2 mile) run. The Sparks Hometown Farmers Market, held every Thursday evening from June through August, features fresh picked produce from some of the region's finest growers, a variety of international food and beverage, arts & crafts, stage music, and street performers.

The Sparks-Reno area is filled with entertainment and cultural sites. Gaming action is available at many local casinos, and the area includes museums and other attractions as well. Here are a few of the area's points of interest:

  • John Ascuaga's Nugget
  • Silver Club Hotel/Casino
  • Western Village Inn & Casino
  • Mint Casino
  • Rail City Casino
  • Victorian Penny Park
  • Tamarack Junction
  • Sparks Heritage Foundation and Museum
  • Atlantis Casino Resort (Reno)
  • Fleischmann Planetarium (Reno)
  • National Automobile Museum (Reno)
  • Nevada Historical Society (Reno)
  • Nevada Museum of Art (Reno)
  • Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery (Reno)
  • Wilbur D. May Museum (Reno)
  • W.M. Keck Museum (Reno)

Sports fans can take the very short trip to Sparks' neighboring city of Reno, home of the University of Nevada, Reno and its Wolf Pack athletic teams. The Wolf Pack participates in the NCAA's Division I (I-A for football) as members of the Western Athletic Conference. Reno is also the hometown of a minor league baseball team, the Reno Silver Sox. The Sox are an independent team playing in the Golden Baseball League (GBL). In 2006, their inaugural season, the Silver Sox won the GBL Championship.


Total Population 93,437
Male Share of the Population 49.2%
Female Share of the Population 50.8%
Senior Citizens 13.6%
Employed Population 16+ 43,772
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 48.7%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 22.9%
Median Earnings25+ $33,527
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,311
Median Earnings With High School Degree $28,058


Median Family Income $62,616
% Above Poverty Level 87%
% Below Poverty Level 13%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 2.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.9%
% Using Public Transportation 1.5%


People Living Alone 26.9%
Median Gross Rent $954
Median House Value $184,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 44.7%
US/American 0.1%
English 8.6%
Irish 10.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Sparks Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 114 miles NE of Sacramento, California
County Washoe
Metro Area Reno
Standard Zip Codes 89431, 89433, 89434, 89436
P.O. Box Zip Codes 89432, 89435
Phone Area Codes 775
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.535
Longitude -119.751

Sparks Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station SPARKS
Distance 1.4 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 46 F
Apr Temp 34 to 65 F
Jul Temp 52 to 90 F
Oct Temp 34 to 71 F
Annual Precip 7.4 inches
Distance 3.7 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 46 F
Apr Temp 33 to 64 F
Jul Temp 51 to 91 F
Oct Temp 34 to 70 F
Annual Precip 7.4 inches
Distance 16 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 40 F
Apr Temp 34 to 54 F
Jul Temp 58 to 82 F
Oct Temp 40 to 61 F
Annual Precip 14.2 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Sparks, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Greenbrae (89431)

Happy Valley (89431)

Lockwood (89434)

McCarran (89434)

Mustang (89434)

Patrick (89434)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Reno 234,161 $61,229

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Sparks Hospitals

(775) 331-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Results:  5
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Sparks High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,328 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.7

Serves 1,772 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.8

Serves 1,239 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

A Charter School.
Serves 124 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.8

Additional Details
Sparks Colleges
Sparks colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Sparks
Additional Resources
Info for Sparks Government Officials

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