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Programs and Events at Galena Creek Visitor Center

Seasonal Nature Programs for All Ages


Galena Creek Visitor Center, Reno, Nevada, NV

Galena Creek Visitor Center.

Photo © Stan White

About Galena Creek Visitor Center Programs

There is some sort of activity or program every month of the year at Galena Creek Visitor Center. Summers are especially busy with hikes, ranger programs, youth day camps, and school break camps. Winter programs explore the snowy landscape around the Galena Creek Recreation Area. Visit the Galena Creek events calendar to see the latest what's going on and when. Unless otherwise stated, there is a $5 per person suggested donation for Galena Creek Visitor Center programs.

Galena Creek Visitor Center Programs and Activities during April, 2014

  • Spring Guided Hikes - every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Join us for a guided hike through Galena Creek Park with a local specialist. Please bring appropriate clothing and plenty of water.
  • Saving Lake Tahoe: Presentation and Book Signing - Saturday, April 5 at 7 p.m. Local author Michael Makley will deliver a presentation revolving around his new book "Saving Lake Tahoe: An Environmental History of a National Treasure." Learn about Lake Tahoe's fascinating history starting with the Washoe Tribe, followed by first contact with settlers and gold rushers, and continuing to the creation of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Makley's book portrays the changing interactions between man and the Lake Tahoe environment through the years, and documents past and present struggles to protect this treasured landscape. Copies of Makley's book will be available for purchase and signing.
  • Plein Air Painting Demonstration - Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m. Come out to the Visitor Center for a fine Spring morning and an outdoor painting demonstration. Carol Grigus, local artist and founding member of the Plein-Air Painters of Nevada will explain what Plein Air painting means to her, as well as what materials she uses and the challenges of choosing a painting site. She will then demonstrate her process of sketching and then painting the landscape in front of her.
  • Living With Fire: Preparing for Wildfire Season - Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. The wildfire season is quickly approaching and it is important that homeowners throughout Nevada's fire prone neighborhoods learn how to live with the wildfire threat. A fire adapted community reduces the potential for loss of human life and injury, minimizes damage to homes and infrastructure, and reduces firefighting costs. Spend your evening at the Galena Creek Visitor Center with Ed Smith, specialist of the Living with Fire program under the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. He will teach you about fire adapted communities and what you can do to your property before a fire starts as well as what to do during, and after a fire.
  • Galena Toddlers - Thursday, April 17 at 10 a.m. Nature education for the knee-high, including a story, activity, and craft, all led by one of our Visitor Center educators.
  • Build Your Own Hoop Tunnel to Grow Veggies - Saturday, April 26 at 1 p.m. Learn how to grow veggies year round! In this hands-on demonstration, local artist, photographer, and organic grower, Kevin Karl will demonstrate how to economically and efficiently build a durable hoop tunnel using off the shelf materials from the hardware store. Extend your growing season or start early with these easy to assemble structures. This is a hands-on demo and attendees will work with Kevin to build a hoop tunnel on site. Detailed plans and material list will be provided.
  • KNPB Treasure Quest at Rancho San Rafael - Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. KNPB Public Broadcasting is holding its 3rd annual Spring Event, and the Great Basin Institute will be there to join in the festivities. The event includes a pancake breakfast, geocaching, gold panning, games, and more. Bring the whole family and stop by the Great Basin Institute booth for a special nature craft.
  • Spring Bird Walk - Sunday, April 27 at 9 a.m. The Spring migration is underway as birds start flying North from their wintering lands. What will we see in Galena Creek Park? Rob Lowry with the Lahontan Audubon Society will lead this bird walk through the park, while scouting for birds. The Visitor Center has binoculars to lend.
  • Reno Earth Day at Idlewild Park - Sunday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate our planet at Reno's annual Earth Day event with food, educational booths, live music and performers, green technologies, live animals, and more. While your enjoying the many sights, stop by the Great Basin Institute's booth for a fun Earth Day activity.
  • Tackling Noxious Weeds - Saturday, May 3 at 2 p.m. What are noxious weeds, how are they different from regular weeds? How can I keep from spreading noxious weeds? Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Friends of the Black Rock-High Rock and the Great Basin Institute in this hands-on class to learn the answers to these questions and more. They will look at key characteristics to help you identify some of the more common noxious weeds found in and around northwestern Nevada. You'll also learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities to help in the fight against noxious weeds.

Summer Exploration Camps

Great Basin Naturalists at Galena is gearing up for the upcoming Summer Exploration Camps for ages 8-12 with new weekly themes, new special guest presenters, and the return of our Teen Leadership Academy for ages 13-17. Camps start in June and continue into August, 2014. Get the details and sign up online at the Galena Creek Visitor Center website.

Great Basin Naturalists Spring Break Exploration Camp

Spring Break Camp will feature two weeks of hiking, trail activities, and guest speakers, all of which highlight the ecological wonders found in the Galena Creek Recreation Area. This will be a quality outdoor experience for all, one that emphasize environmental science, park stewardship, and physical activity. Campers will learn by adventure to be nature detectives and wilderness explorers.

Daily camp hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be two sessions - March 31 to April 4, and April 7 to April 11. The cost per weekly session is $195. Early drop-off and late pick-up are available for a small additional fee. You can register online. For more information, call (775) 849-4948.

Other Things To Do at Galena Creek Visitor Center

Hiking - Galena Creek Recreation Area provides access to several hiking trails. In addition to a paved, half-mile nature trail next to the Galena Creek Visitor Center, there is the Jones-Whites Creek Loop Trail, Bitterbrush Trail, Upper Thomas Creek Trail, Dry Pond Trail, Upper Whites Creek Trail, and the Mt. Rose Wilderness Area. A Galena to Tahoe Trail, connecting Thomas Creek to Mt. Rose saddle, is projected to open in 2013, providing access from Reno to the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Fall and Winter - The forest in and around the Galena Creek Recreation Area has lots of deciduous trees and bushes, making it a great place to enjoy fall color while taking a cool hike. If you are a photographer, you can get some colorful shots of the changing seasons in the woods and along Galena Creek. When the snow falls, the Galena Creek Visitor Center offers programs both inside the building and outside at various places around the park. You can bring snowshoes and hit the trails exploring the winter landscape on your own. Other possible winter activities include sledding, tubing, and cross-country skiing.

Galena Creek Visitor Center and Park Hours

Summer season is May 1 through October 15. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Winter season is October 16 through April 30. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. The rest of Galena Creek Regional Park is open year around for day use. For more information, call the ranger office at (775) 849-2511.

Getting to the Galena Creek Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is at 18250 Mt. Rose Highway (Nevada 431). The Center and parking area are just inside the north entrance to Galena Creek Recreation Area. (You'll also see this area sometimes referred to as Galena Creek Regional Park.). From Reno, either go south on S. Virginia Street to the Mt. Rose Highway and turn right (at The Summit Shopping Center), or take U.S. 395 south to the Mt. Rose Highway exit and go right. Just after you get into the trees, looks for signs and a right turn into the Galena Creek Visitor Center parking area. For more information, call (775) 849-4948.

About Galena Creek Visitor Center

Galena Creek Visitor Center is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service (Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest) and Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space. The Visitor Center is operated by the Great Basin Institute, which provides staff, volunteers, and a wide range of educational nature programs for children and families. The Visitor Center is located along the scenic Mt. Rose Highway at the southwest edge of Reno, Nevada.

Source: Galena Creek Visitor Center website and e-newsletter.

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