Fly Geyser: Know before you go

This futuristic looking phenomenon is naturally made due to a man-made accident and is located in the North end of the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Now the Fly Geyser is one of Nevada’s best and least most visited attractions.

Over 100 years ago, a well was drilled to bring water to the surface to be used for farming. Turns out the 200-degree geothermal waters were too hot for irrigation. The well was closed but it, in turn, created the original geyser on the property. In the ’60s another test of the geothermal waters yielded a new geyser. The latest is known as The Fly Geyser. Standing 10-12 feet tall and consisting of calcium carbonate, limestone and covered in algae the combination has amassed some amazing colors. The funny thing is, it is actually NOT a geyser. Since the water flow from the spout is constant it is technically considered an ‘artisan well.’

In 2016 this area was purchased by the people that run the Burning Man festival, so it is on private property and you will need to be part of a tour to view it. The nearest city is Gerlach, Nevada which is about 2 hours 45 mins from South Lake Tahoe and 1 hour and 45 mins from Reno, Nevada.

The tour lasts approximately 3 hours from safety briefing in the visitor’s center to the completion of the Fly Geyser tour.

We were guided by Sarah who was a manager with the organization Friends of Black Rock. They aim to educate people on the region, its festivals and way of life which is “Leave No Trace.” Even with the numerous events in the playas, the message is pressed upon everyone to leave no trace after you’ve enjoyed the amazing surroundings.

One of the geothermal pools on the property

There are 3 geysers on the property and 150 natural pools ranging from temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 150 degrees (27 to 65 Celsius) so you should always test before jumping in. Make sure to ask about the playa, which is the 2nd largest alkaline flat in the world (behind the Flats in Bolivia).

Verify the schedule of any festivals that might cause more traffic issues. For example, Burning Man is usually from the end of AUG to beginning of SEPT. The 4th of Julplaya is over the 4th of July.

An art car left over from the Burning Man festival that doubles as a theatre stage


  1. You MUST have reservations! Tours occur randomly, once – three times a week max. Your payment is considered a donation to the Friends of Black Rock. Cost is $43.00 per adult 13 and over (that includes fees). Children 12 and under are free. Check out the website for reservations and times.
  2. Tour briefings start right on time and you will carpool as a group into the park.
  3. Walking visits will occur rain or shine. So, check the weather forecast first and make sure you bring water.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and possibly bring some bug repellant.
  5. There are a few rules on the hike:
    1. Leave no trace
    2.  No photo-taking while on the hike. Here is why….
      • Safety: They want you to see where you are walking
      • Time: So that you don’t slow down the group/tour
      • Immediacy: What you present and in the moment
  6. No drones allowed. This one was a bummer to me!

You will be able to take pictures once at the Fly Geyser.

Fly Geyser

My trip suggestion:

If you flew into Reno from somewhere, the best time is to do the trip on the day you’re flying out. I trekked it from South Lake Tahoe and was on the road by 0630. The drive up was beautiful, took about 2.5 hours and I was excited about the experience. But after that drive and then the tour, driving back another 3 hours kinda sucked! Would have been no issue to drive back to the Reno airport, drop my rental off and sleep on the flight home.

There is a place to stay in Gerlach if don’t want to start driving so early. Check out Bruno’s Country Club or you can call as well 1 (775) 557-2220

Best Welcome sign

Any other questions please leave a comment below or email me at   

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