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 March, 2014
- Winter 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. These will be snowshoe guided hikes when there is adequate snow cover. The Visitor Center has limited pairs of snowshoes to lend for these hikes - RSVP at (775) 849-4948 to reserve a pair.
- Nevada's Changing Wildlife Habitat - Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m. University of Nevada, Reno Professor Sherman Swanson will discuss his and George Gruell's book Nevada's Changing Wildlife Habitat. This is the first book to explain the transformations over time of the plants and animals of this region and how they came about. Swanson will examine changes in vegetation and their impact on wildlife species, as well as the general health of the environment.
- Snowshoe Thompson Guided Hike - Saturday, March 8 at 10 a.m. For nearly two decades, John "Snowshoe" Thompson used hand carved 9' oak "snowshoes" (later known as skis) to travel back and forth to carry the mail and supplies between Placerville, California and the isolated community of Genoa, Nevada. Join us for an exclusive guided hike led by Steve Hale, who portrays Thompson in first person character and historical costuming.
- The Orion Nebula Astronomy Presentation - Saturday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. A special presentation about the Great Orion Nebula, led by representatives of the Astronomical Society of Nevada. The Orion Nebula is a star nursery, where new stars are being born, and has invited much academic study into how solar systems form. Find out more and have your astronomy questions answered at this indoor presentation, followed by outdoor telescope viewing of the Orion constellation and more.
- Galena Toddlers - Thursday, March 20 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.
- Pacific Fishers: Ecology, Managment, Conservation - Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m. Dr. Sweitzer will present an overview of the biology and conservation situation surrounding the Pacific Fisher. Not often seen by humans, these animals are closely associated with mature and old growth forests in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Currently, the species is under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for potential listing as a threatened or endangered species in the west.
- How To Identify Hawks Workshop - Sunday, March 23 at 10 a.m. The Galena Creek Visitor Center has a great collection of raptor specimens on loan from the Lahontan Audubon Society. Join long-time LAS member Alan Gubanich for a workshop on how to identify these species, using the specimens on hand at the Center. Bring your bird guides and binoculars.
- Untrammeled: Creation of Mt. Rose Wilderness - Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. September 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, legislation that led to the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System, including the Mt. Rose Wilderness. Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the U.S. Forest Service as they explore the history of the Wilderness Act and how it led to the creation and management of Mt. Rose Wilderness. They will also discuss the importance of preserving its wilderness character and future opportunities for you to get involved.
Great Basin Naturalists Spring Exploration Break 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.