View Full Version : Black Rock Desert

Brian Vuillemenot
12-Jun-2006, 14:02
I'm interested in photographing in the Black Rock Desert in northwest Nevada, so if you have any experience or photo advice about this area I'd like to hear it. Is it basically just a big dry lake bed, or are there areas with rock formations, scrub vegetation, etc.? I'm also intrigued with the possibility of photographing the Fly Geyser, but am unable to locate information about visiting it. Aparently, it is on private property- does anyone know where I could get permission to photograph the geyser? I know that they have the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert, but I'm not interested in photographing that or even being there at the same time- I want the place to myself! Thanks for your advice!

Jack Flesher
12-Jun-2006, 14:32
Ahhh, the Black Rock desert. Lots of flat, lots of salt, not a whole lot of black and not very many paved roads.

BUT! There is some hope ;) Here is a shot I grabbed on a chilly morning about 6 years ago in that very desert:


paul stimac
12-Jun-2006, 15:02
To get permission to go on the Fly Geyser you'll need to speak with Bill Spoo. Go to Bruno's (the restaurant in Gerlach) and someone there will be able to tell where to find Bill.

The geysers you're talking about are actually on Hualapia flat.

As far as places on the Black Rock to shoot, just go out there and drive and look. You'll find places. Bring a map, extra water, extra gas.

If I where you I'd visit a guy name Steve Chandler http://www.chandlerphotos.com/ He's a nice guy.

Have fun,

Donald Qualls
12-Jun-2006, 16:03
Also very important on the Black Rock desert: bring a cell phone and a means to keep the battery charged, or separate battery. There *is* marginal service out there, line of sight to some fairly distant peaks, and the phone might save your life.

It's easy to get stuck out there this time of year, if it's been rainy late in the season. The lake bed can look dry when it's not, and you won't find out until your vehicle is axle deep in the mud. You will *not* get yourself out, and the tow truck in Gerlach is not cheap -- bring cash, you never know if they'll be able to get a cell connection for a card authorization out there.

Follow all the usual stuff in desert navigation, of course -- have a GPS with you, if possible, as well as map and compass. However much water you think you'll need, double it. Take extra fuel for your vehicle, too (or at least cans; you can fill up in Gerlach, if you don't mind paying a little extra).

Nope, never been there, but I've read all this stuff a dozen times when the spring season opens up for rocket flying on the lake bed...

12-Jun-2006, 23:33
Yes, the Fly Geyser is on a private property and you need the permission of the owner to enter it...I've been there 5 years ago to take some pictrures of the Fly Geyser but have no idea where it was, so I was suggested to go to Bruno's restaurant in Gerlach where I found very helpful people who put me in contact with the owner and I was able to fimd the geyser and enter the private property (I was given the keys and I stayed there for a couple of days)...


Brian Vuillemenot
14-Jun-2006, 16:53
Thanks, guys. I probably won't make it up there until the fall, but that's good information to know!

Jay Wolfe
15-Jun-2006, 12:21
Mark Klett had a small book with 4x5 Polaroids of the Black Rock Desert. If you can find a copy, it might give you some ideas of what's there and what to look for.