Be warned...if you have ever visited a larger city zoo (San Diego, San Francisco, etc.) then you will doubtlessly be disappointed with your experience here.  That statement may seem harsh, but it is an important one, because with the right expectations you are better prepared to have a decent time at the Sierra Safari Zoo.

The Sierra Safari Zoo is located north of the city of Reno at the Red Rock exit off of 395, approximately 10 minutes out of the downtown area.  It is in an undeveloped area of the desert, so expect lots of dirt, rocks, sagebrush, and anything else you associate with high desert landscape.   There is typically plenty of parking available. 

There is a small gift shop with restrooms when you first enter; this is also where you pay your entry fee.  The zoo itself is quite small and can be toured quickly.  Expect to see caged birds, peacocks, tortoises, other smaller reptiles, a small variety of big game animals, a few monkeys, and camels.   The largest section of zoo is a large penned area with an incredibly large number of deer that you can feed.  Most of the viewing areas are outside and unshaded, which makes for a very hot day if you visit in the summer, so a hat and sunscreen is highly recommended.

The zoo can be viewed in its entirety within an hour, so it is not a destination at which you can expect to spend a great amount of time.  However, if one combines a zoo trip with a trip to the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary (which is off the same highway exit but in the opposite direction of the zoo), an entire day could easily be had.