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New Reno Tahoe Visitor Center Opens!

TrailheadThe Galena Creek Visitor Center on Mt. Rose Highway is open to the public and available as a resource for travelers along the Mt. Rose Highway as well visitors to the Galena Creek Recreation Area and Galena Creek Regional Park.

The new Visitor Center is part of an ongoing partnership among the U.S. Forest Service and Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space to increase public understanding, appreciation and wise use of the many natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources of the Galena Canyon area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway.

“What an exciting and unique partnership to offer this opportunity to the public,” said Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor. “Many people have worked very hard to build this facility, and I am thrilled that we are now opening our center to the public,” Higgins said. 

The Visitor Center and Recreation Area are operated by Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Washoe County has partnered with the Great Basin Institute to operate the center. Great Basin Institute’s staff and volunteers will provide information about local areas of interest, hikes, camping and other recreational activities. They also plan to offer a variety of seasonal nature programs for visitors of all ages and abilities.

Visitor Center hours are 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday during the summer season, May 1 – October 15; and 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday during the winter months, October 15 through  April 30.

The new Galena Creek Visitor Center and Recreation Area is located at 18250 Mount Rose Highway. Additional highlights of the area include:

The entrance to the Visitor Center will now be the new north entrance to Washoe County’s Galena Creek Regional Park.

The center includes a weather station, exhibits, gift shop and book store. 

The Recreation Area has individual picnic areas and one large group picnic area and a new trailhead. The group picnic area may be reserved by calling Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space at (775) 823-6501.

A half-mile paved nature trail is located just outside the Visitor Center along with access to the Jones-Whites Creek Loop Trail and the Mt. Rose Wilderness.   

Funding for this project was provided by a series of grants form the Federal Highways Administration, WC-1 Regional Parks, Trails, Open Space and Libraries Bond of 2000, the U.S. Forest Service, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The mission of the Galena Creek Recreation Area and Visitor Center is to encourage under- standing, appreciation and wise use of the natural cultural and historical resources of the Galena Canyon area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway.

For more information about the Galena Creek Recreation Area and Visitor Center, or to volunteer as a docent or guide for the center, visit www.thegreatbasininstitute.org or call the Visitor Center at (775) 849-4948.

-Stefanie Givens

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