Galena Creek Recreation Area sits on what was at one time the town of Galena, which began as a mining town. Lead sulfate in the gold made the ore too costly to process, however, and Galena later become a logging town. Heavy timbers were shipped to Virginia City to help construct the gold mines there before the town was abandoned altogether in 1867. The deforestation led to erosion and flooding that would prevent a new town from taking shape.
Beginning at the Galena Creek Visitor Center, the Jones Whites Creek Loop circles a large portion of the Galena Creek Recreation Area and connects to trails that access lakes and ponds and can even join to trails climbing to the top of Mount Rose. From the visitor center, the loop first drops slightly before climbing several hundred feet and dropping once again to Whites Creek. From here the trail climbs gradually, hitting steeper switchbacks at a plateau about 1,500 feet higher than the lower portion of the trail. The trail traverses through pine forest, riparian areas, stony mountain crests, and features several stream crossings and some slippery sandy portions.
Bicycles are not allowed in the Mount Rose Wilderness; however, they are permitted throughout the Galena Creek Recreation Area. Park for free at the Galena Creek Visitor Center or any of the trailhead parking areas. Gates are open seasonally from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.