Event FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q. What is Burning Man?

A. Burning Man is a thriving worldwide community of artists, makers, and community organizers, guided by the 10 Principles, with events happening all over the globe. Burning Man spawned from Black Rock City, the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert — and has taken root everywhere!  Black Rock City is an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to Radical Self-expression and Radical Self-reliance. Our First-timers Guide is a good place to start to learn more.

Q. Where is Burning Man being held this year?
A. Black Rock City will be held in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The towns of Empire and Gerlach, as well as the Paiute Tribe which has a long history in the area, serve as guardians of the desert region.
Q. What are the dates for the event?

A. Black Rock City is always held the week prior to and including Labor Day weekend. In 2022 the dates will be August 28 through September 5.

Q. What night does the Man burn?

A. Saturday night before Labor Day.

Q. What is this year's theme?

A. The art theme for 2022 is Waking Dreams. Past themes have included Fertility, Wheel of Time, The Inferno, The Body, The Floating World, Beyond Belief, Vault of Heaven, Psyche, Hope and Fear, The Green Man, The American Dream, Evolution, Metropolis, Fertility 2.0, Caravansary, Carnival of Mirrors, da Vinci’s Workshop, Radical Ritual, I, Robot, Metamorphoses, The Multiverse, and The Great Unknown.



See our tickets page for complete ticket information.

Q. How much is a ticket for my child?

A. Children 12 and under accompanied by a parent will be admitted for free, (but require a Kid’s Ticket, which helps us better understand the composition and diversity of BRC’s citizens). Children between 13-18 require full-price tickets. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 21 years of age. If you plan to bring a child, please read the Kids at Burning Man survival guide.

Q. Will I be able to buy tickets at the gate?

A. Tickets will NOT be sold at the box office of the event. Plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance of your arrival to the gate.

Q. Are the gates to the event open 24 hours?

A. Yes. However, the event ends at 6pm on Monday, September 5 and no unused tickets will be accepted for entry after this time. The Box office closes for Will Call ticket retrieval at Saturday, September 3 at noon. The main Gate access for entrance closes for BRC Exodus at 6pm Saturday, August 3rd. All entry traffic after this time and until the event ends Monday, September 5 will be directly to the 12 mile access and Point 1 for city access.

Q. Will I be able to leave and return to the event?

A. While leaving Black Rock City during the event and returning to the default world will probably be the last thing on your mind, in and out passes are available at the gate. If you leave without receiving a pass, you will not be able to return without paying full price for a ticket again. See the Preparation section of this FAQ for further information.

Q. We would like to visit Burning Man, but can only spend part of the day there. Are you selling 1-day or 2-day passes at the gate?

A. No. Black Rock City is an experiment in temporary community. Relationships are created, neighbors meet one another, and our collective survival is challenged. This is not a spectator event. It is difficult for you to take a role in the community if you are in Black Rock City for one or two days. To experience Black Rock City, you will want to become part of the community. Therefore, there are no day passes sold, and no discounts given based on your length of stay. Of course, it is not necessary that you come for the entire week. You are welcome to arrive early in the week and stay for just a portion of the event.

Q. I am a member of the press. How can I get a complimentary ticket?

A. Burning Man Project does not issue comp tickets to the press. Press must purchase their tickets like every other participant. If you plan to cover our event, you’ll need to register with our Media Team prior to the event. Go to the Media & Press in BRC section for more information, or email press@burningman.org.

Q. Where does my ticket money go?

A. Our ticket prices are on par with other festival and large-scale event prices. Here’s where your money goes.



Q. What should I bring?

A. Thank you for asking the million-dollar question. Burning Man is an exercise in radical self-sufficiency. You have to bring all you need to survive, and then some. Some people bring only the basics; others bring everything including the kitchen sink.

  • Water, food and shelter are imperative — you will be asked to turn around at the gate if gate personnel believe you cannot meet your basic survival needs. Carefully read the Survival Guide, and prepare accordingly.
  • After you have taken care of your survival, everything else is up to you.
  • If you are fond of sleep, earplugs are a participant’s best friend.
  • A bicycle (well-lit, and ideally decorated) is helpful for enjoying our vast and burgeoning metropolis. Bring a lock — and use it! Bike theft unfortunately does happen.
  • For maximum enjoyment of the event, bring toys or costumes with which you can express your creative spirit.
  • Sharing resources is encouraged! Talk to other camp members and check the Spark classifieds.

Q. What can I buy once I get there?

A. Black Rock City is a decommodified space.

  • Only ice is sold in Black Rock City, found at 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and in Center Camp. Profits from ice sales are given directly to the communities of Empire and Gerlach. Check out the Afterburn Report for Camp Arctica to see the exact distribution of monies.
  • You need to bring ALL supplies, food, water and tools you will need for survival in a harsh environment. No food or sundry items are sold anywhere in Black Rock City.
  • If you forget something vital, your best bet is to make friends with your neighbors.

Q. What can I expect from the weather?

A. In Nevada, there is a saying: if you don’t like the weather, stick around for five minutes and it will change. Only one thing is completely predictable about the weather in the Black Rock Desert: Unpredictability.

  • Be prepared for volatile extremes, and ready for anything and everything. Come with ample shade producing shelter, warm clothes and sleeping gear, and lots of water. Please read our Survival Guide.
  • Temperatures by day have been known to exceed 100 degrees.
  • Pre-dawn temperatures can approach freezing.
  • Thunderstorms and dust storms arise with breathtaking swiftness, transforming the playa into a gigantic mud puddle in a matter of moments.
  • Winds are often 20-30 mph under normal conditions, and winds from 40-70mph can be felt during a storm. You are advised to secure your tent, shade structure and loose items in preparation for this possibility. We encourage you to visit: Securing your Structure for valuable information about creating a weather-worthy campsite.
  • While the weather in late August/early September is usually warm, it can be downright arctic. Participants at Burning Man have witnessed many freezing-ass-cold evenings and daytime temperatures in the mid-70s. In 1999, many longtime participants found themselves unprepared for a week’s worth of high winds and low temperatures. When it comes to the weather at Burning Man, it’s much better to be over-prepared.


Getting To Black Rock City

Q: I hear there will be no driving on the playa; how will I get to my campsite?

A: You may drive to your camping spot, but do not plan to use your vehicle as transportation on the playa for the duration of your stay. This is a serious safety issue and will be strictly enforced. No driving will be allowed without a Black Rock City DMV permit.

Q: Can I camp next to my car?

A: As long as you are not in walk-in camping, you can and you should keep your vehicle at your campsite. You may not use it for transport around our city. Black Rock City is fully accessible by bicycle or on foot.

Q. Where is the closest airport?

A. The nearest commercial airport with scheduled service is Reno International, 127 miles away. Many participants also fly from the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose are about 350 miles from the event). Keep in mind that you will be flying on Labor Day weekend, and flights fill up quickly and are often expensive. General aviation aircraft may land on the playa at the temporary Black Rock City Airport which is adjacent to the event (yes, you can fly into BRC!). Small aircraft planning to land at Black Rock City must contact the Airport Manager at airport@burningman.com well in advance. In addition, Burner Express Air (BxA) is a charter air service that transports Burners to and from BRC. You must have a Burning Man ticket in order to travel on Burner Express Air — find out more about BxA here.

Q. I'm coming from the East Coast and can't rent a car. What kind of transportation do you provide from Reno?

A. You are responsible for getting yourself to Black Rock City. If you are looking for a ride, there are some options.

  • The Burner Express bus service has pickups in San Francisco and the Reno Airport to Black Rock City and back. This service offers faster arrival, speedier entrance, reserved camping, and quicker departures than driving personal cars into the city.
  • Burning Man Project has its own rideshare board on Spark!
  • Leave a message on the regional section of our ePlaya Bulletin Board, especially the Reno ride-share bulletin board to arrange a ride.
  • Many people who arrive at the small Reno airport look around to find others that seem to be BRC bound. Those that trust serendipity and do find a ride from the airport should expect to share costs for gasoline and car rental.

Regardless of how you get to BRC, you are still responsible for all of your water, food, and shelter needs.

Q: What is the policy with regard to Recreational Vehicles (RVs)?

A: RVs are fine, but may not be delivered by an outside vendor (you must drive it in yourself). There are no hookups in BRC. Do not discharge gray water or sewage. RV servicing logistics may differ from last year. Stay tuned for details, and read the RV Guide.



Q. What is a Theme camp?

A. A very good question, indeed. Theme camps are interactive camps designed by the camp members with the intention of engaging participants within their camp. More information can be found in the Theme Camp & Villages section. Theme camps are located throughout Black Rock City and reserved placement can be applied for through the Placed Camp Questionnaire. For registration deadlines, visit Theme Camps.

Q. What is a Village?

A. Villages are a collection of two or more theme camps that come together to share resources and are centered around specific themes and values. Each camp within a village offers its own unique contributions and interactivity as part of the village. A village is more than a collection of camps; they create something greater than separate camps can create on their own. More information can be found in the Villages section of the Camp Resource Guide and in Placement’s FAQ on Planning a Theme Camp or Village.

Q. How do I register my theme camp or village?

A. The Placed Camp Questionnaire is accessed through Burner Profiles and generally opens in January – February of each year.

Q. Should I join a theme camp or village ahead of time, or when I arrive?

A. It is not at all necessary that you join either a theme camp or village. Whether you do or not, we ask you to find a way to participate; theme camps and villages involve teamwork and group participation. If you have an idea for a theme camp, consider creating one yourself. If you are planning on having an unregistered camp, you can secure a space in open camping. Just ask Greeters when you arrive where which part of the city have open spots and they can advise you.

Q. Can I create a large art installation?

A. Absolutely. You can either build your installation as part of your camp, or place your art on the open playa. Be advised that the open playa is not available for vehicles (except for installation purposes) or camping. If you’d like to stay near your installation you may want to build it as part of your camp. The area facing the city is open playa and you are welcome to install art in this space. If you are planning on creating an art installation on the open playa, please visit the Creating Playa Art section of the website.

Q. Are there pre-assigned places for theme camps and art installations?

A. This year, we will place all returning registered theme camps and endeavor to place as many new theme camps as space allows, who will then be mapped and assigned a space prior to arrival on the playa. Art installations that register by the deadline of June 1, 2022 at 12PM will be given placement on the open playa. Therefore, it is best to register your theme camp, village or art installation early. Registration is not a prerequisite for creating an art installation or theme camp — much of the best art is found in unexpected places!

Q. I have some handmade crafts that I'd like to sell in order to cover my travel costs. Where can I set this up?

A. Black Rock City is a decommodified space. Learn more about that here. Other than the sale of ice at Arctica, there is NO VENDING in Black Rock City. Participants who are found vending will be asked to leave.

Q. I'd like to play on the main stage, how can I get there?

A. There is no Main Stage in Black Rock City.

  • We encourage you to create your own stage or performance space, or connect with a project or theme camp who might like to feature your performance art. Post to our eplaya Bulletin Board or on Spark.
  • Theme Camps and Villages who are planning a stage should work with other artists (musicians & performers) as well as their neighbors to fully utilize space.
  • Acoustic music and performances will be at Center Camp, and we are looking for performers and artists of all sorts to contribute their talents.
Q. What about amplified music at Burning Man?

A. Amplified music is a favored method of participation and self-expression at Burning Man, and one that influences a large number of people. If you are planning to bring amplified sound to Black Rock City, read the BRC sound policies here.

  • Amplified music in camps should be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Large-scale sound art/systems MUST register for placement.
  • Large-scale sound systems are restricted to those camps located along the 2:00 and 10:00 axes.
  • Sound systems should be no bigger than 300 watts.
  • Sound levels produced by any electronic system or device should not exceed 90 decibels at 20 feet outside of a camp or village.
  • Sound levels emitted from any camp should not cause serious disruption to adjacent camps.
Q: Where is the rave this year?

A: Black Rock City is not a rave. While the city is home to many individuals from the electronic music community, they are not the majority. Burning Man is an experiment in temporary community, and one that is radically all-inclusive. Yes, this includes ravers.


On The Playa

Q. How is the event laid out?

A. Black Rock City is organized as 2/3 of a circle. There are axes on each half hour, from 2:00 to 10:00, intersecting with ten concentric semi-circles. You will be given a map of the city upon your arrival. Center Camp (the center for civic activities) is in the middle of the curve, and the man is a little over 1/4 mile north out from the center. You can usually find the map online in early August. Check out the archive of previous years here.

Q: Can I reserve a campsite?

A: Not in the traditional sense, no. While there are clearly marked roadways, there are no “camping sites,” other than the spaces previously allotted for pre-placed theme camps and art installations. Those awarded placement have applied in advance. Learn about the placement process here.

Q: Is there a quiet place to camp?

A: Like all cities in Nevada, Black Rock City is alive 24 hours a day, and with the extreme heat during the day, much of the activity takes place at night. We ask that each person respect their neighbor. If you are fond of quiet for sleeping, we recommend earplugs. Walk-in camping tends to be more dispersed and further from amplified sound, and therefore a bit quieter.

Q: I heard something about 'walk-in camping.' What's that?

A: The area on the backside of the city will be reserved for those that wish to leave their car and portage belongings away from the outside road. This vehicle-free area will by default become walk-in camping. Cars will be left in a parking area nearby. No moving vehicles will be allowed in this area.

Q. What kind of facilities do you provide for those in a wheelchair?

A. We are wheelchair friendly, and provide several wheelchair accessible bathrooms. Additionally, you can contact wheelchairs@burningman.com with questions.

Q. What kind of facilities do you provide for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Burners?

A. As of 2022, there are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters available for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Burners in Black Rock City. You can access this service at Playa Info in Center Camp, which is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers from 9 am to 6 pm, unless otherwise posted.

Q. Are there toilets?

A. Yes, we distribute over 1,000 porta-potties around the city for general public use and more in special locations throughout the city (like the Airport, medical facility, etc), in addition to some in Empire and Gerlach. The potties are serviced on a continuous and rotating basis, 24 hours a day during the event. We do our very best to keep them clean and stocked with toilet paper.

NOTHING other than human waste and toilet paper is to be put into a porta-potty. Numerous discarded items in porta-potties have caused tremendous problems and prevented the timely cleaning of the potties. It has also threatened our ability to dump waste locally and in Reno, NV. Please do not discard any trash or any non-human-waste items into the potties.

Q. What about medical emergencies?

A. We encourage participants to practice Radical Self-reliance and bring first aid kits. However, Black Rock City is a challenging event in a harsh desert location, and medical needs do arise. If you have an illness or injury that is more severe than you can manage yourself, get yourself to one of our medical stations at the 3:00+C and 9:00+C. Look for the large red crosses. The main Emergency Services Department (ESD) station and the Rampart Emergency Care Center are co-located at the 5:15 and Esplanade site.  Any Black Rock Ranger (look for the khaki shirts) or ESD (look for the yellow shirts) staff, or really anyone you see with a radio can help you in finding the right care.

For serious medical emergencies, ambulances and helicopter transportation to the hospitals in Reno are on call. It’s worth considering a $50 membership from AirMedCare Network to protect you financially, as emergency medical transport is expensive. Membership application is here.

Q. So what's the deal with open fire at camps?

A. Everyone enjoys a burn barrel around which to gather, or the light of a tiki torch to guide them back to camp at night, but open fire presents a unique set of challenges on the playa. Wind is an ever-present aspect of the Black Rock desert and must be taken into consideration. Winds can blow sparks and embers out of fire barrels and blow them across the open playa great distances until they settle against something (tents, shade structures, camping gear, art works, etc.). Wind is also a factor with torches and taller flame effects. Precautions should be taken to prevent the wind from knocking them over, and a sufficient perimeter around them kept clear from flammables. To help you prepare for and use open flame or flame effects in your camp we have created these guidelines to help keep your camp safe and to protect the safety of participants. Please read them thoroughly.

Q. What is the policy on taking pictures?

A. All individuals wishing to shoot still or motion pictures in Black Rock City and distribute that imagery publicly, regardless of commercial intent, are required to have their projects reviewed and approved prior to coming to Black Rock City, sign a professional use contract in accordance with Burning Man Project’s media policies, and have their cameras tagged at Media Mecca, Burning Man’s on site press room. These steps are designed to protect the privacy of participants and artists alike. If you are considering filming or videotaping for professional purposes, or if you wish to share your images beyond friends and family, regardless of your intent to make money from your images, you MUST have a commercial agreement on file with the Media Team prior to your arrival onsite. Commercial use of images taken at Black Rock City without permission is subject to cunning legal action. This includes amateurs and professionals who capture images. Click here for further information.

Q. Is there any place to hook up my RV? Can I link into Burning Man's power grid?

A. You will need to use your own power source such as a generator, batteries, or a renewable energy source such as solar panels. If you choose to use a generator, we recommend using it your generator sparingly out of consideration for your neighbors and the environment.

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: Absolutely, most definitely, not. Leave all pets at home or with a trusted caregiver. Pets are prone to responding adversely to loud noises, huge sound systems, explosions, fireworks and crazy costumed people. The extreme temperatures and harsh conditions of the Black Rock Desert are not suitable for pets. As of 2003 Black Rock City is a NO DOGS event. This is for both the well-being and safety of all participants and their four legged friends. Please read our section on dogs and other pets. Send any questions to dogs@burningman.com.

Q. What's the best way to get around?

A. Black Rock City is a pedestrian-friendly city that is easy to navigate with a bicycle or on foot. We encourage you to decorate your transportation. You may not drive your car at the event. This is a serious safety issue – moving cars create large clouds of dust, reducing visibility dramatically. Please recognize the importance of this rule. The sole exceptions for this are Mutant Vehicles and vehicles for people with disabilities. If you would like to bring your Mutant Vehicle art car to Black Rock City, see the Mutant Vehicle Licensing and Criteria. You will need to apply and then register with the Black Rock City DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles) dmv@burningman.com. If you have a disability and need a vehicle to get around Black Rock City, see the Vehicles for People with Disabilities page. For more information read through the Vehicles at Burning Man section of this web site.

Q: How will I find my friends once I arrive?

A: Ideally, pick a meeting point and time in advance. However, there are several onsite resources for locating friends:

  • If your friends are in a listed camp, its location should be indicated on the BRC Map & Guide you will be given at the Greeters Station.
  • BRC camps and addresses can also be found via the Directory computers, located at Playa Info (our information booth) in Center Camp.
  • You can also leave and retrieve messages in the Directory.
  • You can post a note or flier — right next to hundreds of others! — on the community bulletin boards at Playa Info.
Q: I have a family member that is ill, and I may need to be contacted in the event of an emergency, what can I tell them to do to reach me?

A. Emergency messages should be sent to 911@burningman.org. The message will be passed to the Black Rock Rangers, who will do their best to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you’re awaiting news or expecting emergency transmissions, you might want to plan to check in each day. For more information about contacting people at BRC in the case of an emergency, read through this webpage.

Q. What about trash disposal? Will there be a dumpster for me to toss my trash into on the way out of Black Rock City?

A. NO. Nein, negatory, absolutely not under any circumstances. Did we mention that there is NO trash disposal in Black Rock City?

Playa Weddings

For many couples who attend Burning Man together, Black Rock City is the obvious choice when they choose to tie the knot. While the unpredictable desert can be an unusual venue for a couple’s big day, the couples who have wedded in BRC reflect on their ceremonies with fondness, and most of them emphatically insist that it was the perfect spot for their matrimony.

Since regulations and guidelines in Nevada are very specific, it’s a good idea to write to us at weddings@burningman.org. We’ll give you the skinny on what you need to know to plan your playa wedding.

Below, you’ll find some basic suggestions to help you on your way to wedded bliss.

Arrange at least a few weeks in advance of Burning Man for a religious official or judge to marry you. Plenty of wedding officiants attend Burning Man; ask around, send a message to weddings@burningman.org, or post a message on the e-playa to find someone.

It’s possible for a friend to officiate at your wedding instead. At least a few weeks before your wedding, your friend can get ordained at the Universal Life Church website — as they boast, it takes just three minutes! Then s/he should follow the instructions for ministers below. (If anyone knows of other religious organizations that ordain anyone for the asking, please tell us.)

If your officiant lives outside Nevada, you and your fiancé(e) will need to give that person both your full names and address(es) so that s/he can obtain written permission to marry you. It will probably take your officiant a few weeks to secure this permission. The County Clerk *might* give your officiant last-minute permission to perform your wedding, but why make extra work for her?

Before Burning Man, go to the Pershing County Clerk’s office to get a marriage license. The County Clerk will issue your license on the spot, so you can stop there on the way to Burning Man. You need to bring $60 (per couple) for the license and you both need a driver’s license or some other reliable form of ID. (If you’re NOT a citizen of the U.S. you’ll need a passport.) Nevada does not require a blood test to get a marriage license. The County Clerk’s office is in Lovelock (east of the Burning Man site on I-80) at 398 Main St. It’s open normal office hours Monday through Friday.

There are no legal requirements concerning what you must do or say at your wedding. Create any sort of ritual, game, or party you like. Your minister or friends might want to take charge of the creation of your ceremony.

Don’t forget to get your marriage license signed by your officiant and two witnesses after your wedding. The officiant is legally responsible for sending your certificate to the County Recorder’s office after leaving the playa.

Best wishes!

Preparation Videos

Welcome to the Preparation Video Channel. Watch, Enjoy and Know: this channel is a work in progress. If you’ve got or know of great videos that fit within this theme, please upload to share the work! To see other video channels that have been created, visit our main Video Gallery

Safety (Third) Videos

Desert Survival


Packing and Prep


Etiquette and Ethos


Getting In, Out and Around


Leaving No Trace Videos

Wood Chips


Tent Stake Removal


Rakes and Cleanup


100 Miles to Black Rock City – Northwards! The beginning of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal reservation and America’s Solar Highway

Wadsworth, one of the last small towns before heading north off into the desert to Black Rock City, is on the southern end of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal reservation, nestled along the big bend of the Truckee River. This community and Nixon, 17 miles up north at Pyramid Lake, have been very supportive of Burning Man over its history and are happy to see us. Some final opportunities for supplies, medical care, car repair, and camping can be found here or in Nixon, as well as in nearby sister-city Fernley. Also found here are the beginning installations of what has come to be known as America’s Solar Highway, thanks in part to the efforts of Black Rock Solar.

Taking exit # 43 off of the interstate, I-80 Smoke Shop & Campground will soon be on your right with food, ice, gas, food, plenty of last-minute supplies, and RV & camping opportunities.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Further down the road you’ll be entering the heart of town, and you’ll want to turn left on Highway 447 in order to get to Burning Man. Or if you are coming from the east from Fernley (I-80 Exit #46), you’ll turn right onto Highway 447. Here or near this junction you will find Hoya Deli and the Big Bend RV Park. Additionally, there will be several road-side shops in Nixon very accommodating with native food and crafts, last-minute supplies, services, and very warm hospitality. The Tribe encourages people to only buy food and goods from vendors with a Food Handlers Permit from HIS (Indian Health Service), and to only dump their trash with vendors who have a trash permit from the Tribe.

For further information on Wadsworth and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe check here.

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Photo by Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

A Final Announcement to All Travelers

PLEASE drive the posted speed limit and keep an appropriate distance between you and the car in front of you while traveling throughout the reservation. SLOW DOWN (speed limit is 25mph) on your way through Wadsworth, Nixon, and Sutcliffe, while also being cautious and mindful of children at-play and considerate of the townspeople that trying to access their homes, businesses, tribal services, and crossing the road. Finally, throughout this last stretch of your journey to Burning Man, please keep a steady hand on the wheel and a careful eye out ahead for wandering cows, horses, jackrabbits, and other creatures along the road, as this is wide open country.

Pyramid Lake

The Final Stretch to Black Rock City — In the heart of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation and America’s Solar Highway

Pyramid Lake is a beautiful ancient lake located in the heart of the Paiute tribal reservation 35 miles northeast of Reno, midway between Reno and the Black Rock Desert. Most people traveling to Burning Man from the south, east, and west via State Routes 445, 446, and 447 will pass by this wonderful lake and northwards through Nixon on their way to the playa.

The Pyramid Lake community — which includes the towns of Nixon and Sutcliffe, and Wadsworth to the south — has always been supportive of Burning Man over its history, and the traveler will find the community very hospitable and happy to see them.

Picture of the Pyramid, and Anaho Island. View on top of a hill on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo by Scott Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Picture of the Pyramid, and Anaho Island. View on top of a hill on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo by Scott Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller

Coming into Nixon, the traveler will find The Nixon Store with gas and last-minute supplies, as well as the breath-taking Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitor’s Center nearby filled with tribe, land, and lake history. Additionally, there will be several road-side shops in Nixon very accommodating with native food and crafts, last-minute supplies, services, and very warm hospitality. The Tribe encourages people to only buy food from vendors with a Food Handlers Permit from HIS (Indian Health Service), and to only dump their trash with vendors who have a trash permit from the Tribe.

It is highly recommended to check out Pyramid Lake, itself, if you have the time. Guaranteed to be a moving experience, whether you spend a few hours or camp overnight, especially after a week on the playa. BUT DO NOT LEAVE ANY OF YOUR TRASH THERE!

Day-use recreational activities and overnight camping around and upon the lake require a permit. Permits can be purchased at various locations in Nixon, Sutcliffe, Wadsworth, and in Reno/Sparks. Proceeds from the sale of permits help support the Tribal Government and the water quality and environmental programs that protect the unique eco-system of Pyramid Lake year round.

Two seagulls waiting by the beach on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo courtesy of Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

Two seagulls waiting by the beach on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Photo courtesy of Scott H. Carey. Submitted by Nathan Heller.

You can purchase permits online here. Information on local businesses and other resources can also be found below. For further information about Pyramid Lake and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, check here.

It is also important to note that, due to vandalism, graffiti, and theft over the years, the east side of the lake, Anajo Island, The Pyramid, and The Needles on the north side of the lake, are off-limits to everyone but tribe members. Moreover, please do not do any artifact or souvenir hunting.  Not only is it illegal. It is disrespectful of the tribe, their heritage, and the land and lake. AND AGAIN, DO NOT LEAVE ANY OF YOUR TRASH! In short: Leave No Trace.

Finally, also found cropping up all over the place in Nixon are various, phenomenal solar arrays. As of 2012, the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe has over 301 kW in solar panels on their public and government buildings. If you are in Nixon and like solar, check out the Pyramid Lake Museum array–it is in the shape of an arrowhead and was designed in part by Konch Blindman, a member of the Black Rock Solar crew and Paiute tribe. Finally, in 2010, the Governor of Nevada declared Highway 447 America’s Solar Highway, thanks in part to the efforts of Black Rock Solar, which has led to 447 kW of solar installed in the past three years along 75 miles of the highway.

A Final Note to Travelers

PLEASE drive the posted speed limit, and keep an appropriate distance between you and the car in front of you, while traveling throughout the reservation. Please also SLOW DOWN (speed limit is 25mph) on your way through Wadsworth, Nixon, and Sutcliffe, while being cautious and mindful of children at-play and considerate of the townspeople that are trying to access their homes, businesses, tribal services, or crossing the road. Finally, throughout this last stretch of your journey to Burning Man, please keep a steady hand on the wheel and a careful eye out ahead for wandering cows, horses, jackrabbits, and other creatures along the road, as this is wide-open country. AND LEAVE NO TRACE!

Gerlach and Empire

Gerlach welcome sign, 2012 (Photo by Gary Geer)

Our Neighbors

If you’re driving to Burning Man, you’ll likely travel through Empire and Gerlach, gateway to the Black Rock Desert, and center of the known universe.

Here is some basic info about these small and neighborly towns and resources and directions.

Gerlach is a small town filled with small wonders. Although established by the Western Pacific Railroad as late as 1905, the town’s historical significance dates to prehistory. For centuries early humans settled in this region, finding it plentiful in spring water, food and natural shelter. In more recent history, triangle-shaped Black Rock Mountain served as a compass point for pioneers en route to Oregon and California’s gold country. These hardy emigrants traveled from spring to spring, stopping in Gerlach along the Nobles Trail, or traveling to Soldier Meadows before passing through High Rock Canyon along the Applegate-Lassen Trail, where you can still find their names carved into barren rock as testimony to their ordeals.

Empire was established with the founding of the gypsum mine in 1923, and U.S. Gypsum owned and supported the town since 1946.  90% of the drywall produced in the United States came from materials mined here.

Since the Empire mine closed a few years ago, the economic impact has been enormous on both Empire and Gerlach, and the combined population of both towns has fallen nearly 80% to around 100. The railroad that passes through and tourism provide economic activity to the towns year-round. However, the economic impact of Burning Man has to helped keep both towns afloat, and many of the residents themselves have been to the event over its long history on the playa just to the north.

Gerlach, Empire and the surrounding environs are a great place to visit the rest of the year.  A truly remarkable community and beautiful place. Check out the Friends of Black Rock High Rock for further info, and the legendary Bruno’s Country Club is the most popular spot in town year-round and serves as meeting place with hospitable conversation and information about the region and history.

However, Bruno’s (or any other place in town) is not the place to inquire about the Fly Geyser (which is closed year-round) or other hot springs in the region. Don’t ask. In fact, during Burning Man, much of the surrounding environs is closed, and there are some important things for everyone to be mindful about on their way to and from Burning Man:

Some Important Reminders Passing Through

  • Respect that Gerlach and Empire are a very small rural and agricultural community with some conservative roots. Conduct yourself appropriately and with courtesy and you will be very welcome.
  • During Burning Man, do not come to the event, Gerlach or Empire if you do not have a ticket. No tickets are sold at the event or in Gerlach or Empire.
  • Respect all Closures – most of the playa and the hot springs in the region are closed during Burning Man. If you’re interested in visiting them the rest of the year, visit the Friends of Black Rock High Rock office in Gerlach (see info further below).
  • Speed limit is 25 mph in Gerlach, and obey the speed limit in Empire and traffic directions in both towns.
  • The road south and north of and through Gerlach/Empire is only one lane. If traffic is backed up, do not try to bypass it by veering into the other lane.
  • Unless you are a customer at any of the businesses in Gerlach or Empire, keep moving through town.
  • No general parking allowed throughout Gerlach and Empire and observe the No Parking signs.
  • Respect all public and private property.
  • No loitering.
  • No hitchiking.
  • No nudity – you must be fully clothed.
  • No drugs.
  • As pets are not allowed at Burning Man, you cannot leave them in Gerlach or Empire, so don’t bring them.
  • The Gerlach Park is closed during Burning Man.
  • Finally, Leave No Trace – do not leave it on the playa, and do not leave your garbage in business or citizens’ dumpsters, in their yards or along the side of the road. Go here for disposal locations in the region, while you’ll also likely see entrepreneurs on the side of the road with dumpsters charging for trash disposal.

Groceries, Water, Merchandise and Information

Empire Distributing General Store, Deli and Gas
Mile Marker 69 State Route 447 – 775-557-2311

Owned and operated by long-time Burners, they are very supportive of our community. Cash only but ATM is available. The year-round grocery store, and one of the last places to get gas. You can get all sorts of food, water, ice, booze and beer, sodas, coffee and espresso, firewood, cigarettes, toiletries, hats, clothing, glasses, goggles, tarps and other camping supplies, dust masks, batteries, and some auto supplies. They also have a deli with sandwiches, and you can get some Burning Man calendars and posters, and books and films on Burning Man. During Burning Man, outside food and merchandize vendors will also be set up.

Gerlach General Improvement District
330 Short Drive – 775-557-2601

2018 hours:
Mon. 8/20 – Wed. 8/22 9am-6pm
Thurs. 8/23 9am-8pm
Fri. 8/24-Sun. 8/26 8am-12am
Mon. 8/27 & Tues. 8/28 9am-8pm
Wed. 8/29 & Thurs. 8/30 9am-4pm
Water is $.50/gallon for the first 100 gallons.

5 gallon containers 2 for $35
6 gallon container $20
7 gallon container $25
15 gallon containers $50
Container price includes water to fill them

The Gerlach GID (the local governing body of Gerlach) will be selling potable water to fill up RVs and water tanks of any size, with the funds going to support the town of Gerlach. Look out for directional signs just as you enter town on Main Street, the station is located in front of the town’s Community Center. Rates are 50 cents per gallon up to 100 gallons, 45 cents per gallon between 100 and 200 gallons, and 40 cents per gallon for above 200 gallons. Water container are also available (free water with purchase of container) 5 gallon @ $20, 7 gallon @ $25 and 15-gallon @ $45. Cash only, but ATM is onsite. Orders can be placed in advance and waiting for you upon your arrival.

Trash Collection:
Location: GGID Transfer Station 205 Transfer Rd.
Saturday 9/1 8am-5pm
Sunday 9/2 8am until the dumpsters are full
Price is $5/30 gallon trash bad or equivalent

Burning Man Carwash

The Gerlach Lions PCO will be doing the Burning Man Carwash this year! The carwash is on Sunday, September 2. Car wash is at the Gerlach School. Follow the signs. They will be using this money for field trips and helping with other extracurricular activities.

Wanna see what’s going on in Gerlach right now? Check out the webcam.

First-Timer’s Guide

Burning Man is not a festival. Burning Man is a community and global cultural movement guided by 10 practical Principles. Together, we build Black Rock City, a participatory, temporary city in Nevada, USA. The global Burning Man community also co-creates Regional Events in more than 35 countries around the world.

We don’t book acts or provide entertainment. What happens here is up to you! There is no corporate sponsorship. You are entering a “decommodified” space where participants value who you are, not what you have. There are no spectators! You are expected to participate, collaborate, be inclusive, creative, connective and clean up after yourself.

Wondering where to begin? Here are some resources to help you get started.

Get Involved

The power of every Burning Man experience is held by each member of the community. It requires everyone to do their part.

Trojan Horse; pull (Photo by Andy Pischalnikoff)

Ways to Participate

Burning Man is the sum total of the activities of its participants. How you participate is as unlimited as your imagination.

Connect with Spark!
Working on a project and looking for help? Got skills and resources and want to work on a project? Connect through Spark, our online system facilitating creative collaborations in our community.\

Connect in Burning Man Hive!

Burning Man Hive is a new virtual space for the Burning Man community and the Burner-curious to share their skills and knowledge, to learn from one another, and to support each other’s work in the world. Join from your Burner Profile and start connecting with other Burners now. Join for free using your Burner Profile! Some great places to start are the interactive orientation Touching Down Course, the Virgin Burner Guide created by a fellow newbie RayC, the Matchmaker Group to connect new Burners with existing camps, and Ask a Burner to seek guidance from seasoned Burners. There is also the Black Rock City 2022 Topic for all-things related to BRC 2022.

Survive and Thrive

Burning Man sets a high bar for creating community under extreme conditions. Learn how to meet it — or even raise it.

Burning Man Survival Guide

Mandatory reading for all Burning Man participants, this guide tells you everything you need to know about how to survive and enjoy the event. Read up and be prepared.

Marque Cornblatt’s WaterBoy project, 2005

Staying Informed

Subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter so you don’t miss out. The JRS is Burning Man Project’s official newsletter. In addition to year-round information about the growing community and culture of Burning Man, it includes important up-to-date information about preparing for Black Rock City.

You can also subscribe to the Burning Man Journal, which is the digital “paper record” for all of Burning Man culture. Beyond Burning Man is a collection of community musings on creative culture, impact, and innovation on Medium.

Leaving No Trace

Leaving No Trace and care for the environment are fundamental values of the Burning Man community. We have always believed deeply in leaving a place in better condition than we found it in.

  • Greening Your Burn
    Learn how to reduce your environmental impact at Black Rock City and beyond.

Explore the Culture

Our values and principles set Burning Man apart from other events and communities.

10 Principles — Radical Inclusion (Photo by Mario Covic)

The 10 Principles

The ten core guiding tenents of Burning Man.

Event FAQ

Important answers to frequently asked questions.

The Regional Network

Looking to get involved with your local Burning Man community? Explore the global Burning Man Regional Network and find out what’s going on in-person and virtually right near you all year round. Your local community may host Burner meet-ups or newbie events that can help you learn the ropes.