Headwaters of Galena Creek

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 2 Beginner-intermediate
Length 5.8 miles round trip
8850 feet
+750, -750 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Half day
Season December through April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted on first mile of road or in Galena Creek drainage. Low elsewhere on road. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Mount Rose
Start Highway 431, 7.8 miles northeast of Highway 28 and 0.3 mile southwest of Mt. Rose Summit. A building and snow-covered road are located on the north side of the highway. Parking is limited; as an alternative start the tour at the parking area located 0.4 mile to the west.

Description   Link to more information about description

The tour into the headwaters of Galena Creek gives you a glimpse of a beautiful chunk of backcountry set aside for non-motorized winter use. The meadow-like area where the tour ends is idyllic with towering ridges and peaks surrounding. Nearby is 9,897-foot Tamarack Peak, 10,490-foot Mount Houghton and 10,776-foot Mount Rose. Enjoy lunch when you arrive and explore the headwaters at your leisure.

Image in meadow in Galena Creek drainage
Headwaters of Galena Creek. Saddle separating Galena Creek and Third Creek in background.

Extensions of this tour include:

This tour is composed of two distinct sections — a continuous but never steep 2.4-mile climb to a saddle and a 0.5-mile descent into the Galena Creek drainage. The Third Creek tour can be used as an alternative return route back to the trailhead; it avoids the road, but you are likely to encounter snowmobiles.

Be aware that this tour has more elevation change than most other tours rated beginner-intermediate, but the gradient is never steep.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 2.4
Elevation change: +550 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski west on the snow-covered road, which gradually turns north up the Third Creek drainage, for a total of 2.4 miles until you reach a saddle (2) and the highest point of the tour. The saddle separates Third Creek from the Galena Creek drainage.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 2.4 - 2.9
Elevation change: -200 feet

Descend gradually north for 0.5 mile into the meadow-like area (3) in the headwaters of Galena Creek.

Return to trailhead
Miles:2.9 - 5.8
Elevation change: +200, -550 feet

Retrace the route for 2.9 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour