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Environmental Field Studies & Galena Creek Visitor Center

Our Mission

The Great Basin Institute offers interdisciplinary environmental field studies, courses, and workshops for university students, K-12 learners and educators, and the public. Courses, special events, and workshops focus on ecological issues nearby and farther afield. GBI joins field study, outdoor education, and service learning with on-site visits to culturally-rich spots such as Galena Creek Recreation Area and spectacular landscapes like Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose Wilderness Area, Death Valley National Park, Great Basin National Park, and La Manzanilla, Mexico. Load your backpack, lace up your boots, and sign up for a day hike, one of our “Life on the Edge” youth programs, service-learning conservation, or a field studies course—and get ready for a great adventure!

Interpretive Programming

Give your kids a ticket to outdoor adventure this summer at our day camp, located at Galena Creek Regional Park. Led by experienced instructors, campers will discover local animals, plants, birds, fish, rocks, and cultural history through hands-on games, hikes, guided activities, and special guests. They’ll explore area parks, make friends, do “Learn & Serve” projects—like helping prevent wildfires—and still get time to watch the clouds go by! Parents may register their children for individual weeks or the entire session. Photo by Kevin Karl.

Support the Visitor Center

From a vibrant Campfire Series to Naturalist-led hikes to our Youth Summer Day Camp, your generous support helps us provide quality family and environmental education programs at Galena Creek Park. The park’s setting in pines that smell like butterscotch, its unique flora and fauna, a world-class Visitor’s Center, and easy access from Reno, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe, make Galena Creek ideal for picnics, hiking, and exploring the natural and cultural history of our region. Come and experience ‘Life on the Edge’ at Galena Creek.

Galena Creek Store

In fall, 2009 the Great Basin Institute (GBI) took the helm of the Galena Creek Recreation Area Visitor Center (GCRAVC). The mission of the Visitor Center is to encourage understanding, appreciation, and wise use of the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the Galena Canyon area and the Mt. Rose Scenic Byway. Partnering with Washoe County, and the US Forest Service, GBI offers interpretive programs through the center as well as seasonal programs, including residential and day naturalist science camps.