Fly Geyser Nevada Tour – What You Need to Know Before You Go
- Nevada / Outdoors / USA
Want to visit the Fly Geyser? Here’s everything you need to know.
During our road trip through Nevada last year, we wanted to visit Fly Geyser, but it wasn’t possible because it was on private property. When Travel Nevada reached out to us about doing a trip that included a visit to Fly Geyser, we knew we had to fly back west.
The property has dealt with trespassers for years and they have a lot of measures to keep track of anyone coming onto the land uninvited. I even heard that they will shoot you with their shotgun. Luckily, in 2016, Burning Man Project purchased the Fly Ranch property, where Fly Geyser resides, and ever since they’ve started letting the public visit again through guided nature walks.
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Last Updated: November 22, 2023
− − Content Menu
- How to Book Your Tour
- Best Time to Visit
- Photo Tours + Tips
- Hot Springs
- History of Fly Geyser
How You Can Help
Where to stay, what to pack, planning checklist, what you need to know before visiting fly geyser.
We’ve put together this guide to help you plan your visit!
Booking a Tour at Fly Geyser Nevada
The Friends of Black Rock-High Rock (FBRHR) are the ones that lead the guided nature walks. They currently run 1 tour a day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 AM and 1 PM. Since space is limited, we highly recommend you book your tour as soon as possible. They release the tickets 4 weeks in advance, and the day you want may be sold out.
Tickets for the tour are donation-based, where all the proceeds go to support Fly Ranch and FBRHR. You must pay a $40 retainer on your credit card to reserve your place. After the visit, you have the option of donating all of it or asking for a full or partial refund.
If you are a no show, they accept the full amount as a donation.
Book your tickets here.
The tour lasts 3 hours and starts at the Friends of Black Rock-High Rock’s Visitor Center Store. They oversee 1.3 million acres of land and are one of the best resources for the area. Even if you don’t plan on visiting Fly Geyser, you should stop by to find out information about the Playa or any other parts of the desert.
Pro Tip: The FBRHR Visitor Center has the last flushing toilet, so use it. You can also use a porta-potty near Fly Geyser at the beginning or end of the tour. They had toilet paper but no hand sanitizer when we were there, but we also like to bring these with us in case. Also, you will have little to no cell phone reception, so get your last wifi fix at the FBRHR Visitor Center.
After meeting, you carpool over the Fly Ranch. It takes roughly 30 minutes to drive there. During the tour, they tell you more about the 3,800-acre property, the landscape, and how the Burning Man Project plans to use it. You learn about the flora, fauna, and natural resources, and the tour at the glorious Fly Geyser.
You walk through some tall grass before you arrive at the tent next to Fly Geyser. A few of the people in our group found ticks crawling on their clothes or in their shoes. According to the FBRHR, it hasn’t happened very much since they started doing tours, we just happened to be extra unlucky.
This geothermal geyser is constantly spraying water five feet in the air, depositing minerals, which then results in the growth of multi-colored algae on the terraces. That means you can visit multiple times and it will continue to change.
Pro Tip: Beware of ticks and check each other during and after!
When to Visit
Avoid the summer months (mid-June to mid-August) if possible. It gets extremely hot and there are more bugs out. Also, there are less ticks.
Also, unless you are attending Burning Man, avoid going during those dates. On the busiest days, the 2-hour drive from Reno can turn into an 8-hour drive.
Photography, Photo Tours, + Tips
Keep in mind that they ask you to put away your phone and cameras during the tour. They do this so that you can enjoy the property and connect with the land as you explore. It’s also for your safety! You will be traversing different landscapes and need to watch where you are stepping. Once you arrive at the Fly Geyser, you can take your photos there.
The first thing we saw on the tour was an art installation called the Pier by Matthew Shultz, which made its debut at Burning Man in 2011 and came back to Burning Man in 2012 with a ship. The boardwalk was beautifully set against a dry lake bed.
Photography Tours + Tips
As a photographer, the current nature walk definitely doesn’t leave you with a ton of time to shoot, but it is currently the only option. We had a chance to chat with the FBRHR Executive Director and they plan to put together a photography specific tour in the future. Check their site for the most up-to-date info.
This is the gear we packed:
- A wide lens ( this is the one we usually use on trips which weren’t wide enough). Fortunately, someone in our group had their 14mm lens . We definitely wished we had brought our 16-35mm with us.
- Tripod + ND Filter if you want to get some long exposure shots
See More: We Found the Best Camera Backpack of All Time
Soaking in the Hot Springs
Fly Ranch has roughly 100 pools on the property with a couple of dozen springs. Some of them are as small as dinner plates, and others are the size of big swimming pools.
In the past, locals would sneak onto the property to soak in the hot springs. Right now, they are not allowing the public to soak for insurance and liability reasons. They are also doing studies of the ecosystem to be sure that they can protect it long-term. They eventually hope to have a system to allow people to soak, so keep an eye out for an update.
How it FOrmed and Why it Looks Different Now
The Fly Geyser was a happy accident, but it’s not the only geyser on the property. The first geyser was found roughly 100 years ago. A well was drilled in hopes to make the desert usable for farming, but as they drilled, they hit the geothermal boiling water, which didn’t work for farming so they left it alone. Over time, a calcium carbonate cone formed.
In 1964, a geothermic energy company was looking for hot water and drilled a test site close by. Unfortunately, it wasn’t hot enough, so they re-sealed the well. Fortunately for us, the seal didn’t hold and the new geyser, what we know as Fly Geyser, ended up stealing the first geyser’s water pressure. The original still trickles but is mostly dry now, and the second one has grown significantly over the last 50 years.
If you look up older photos of Fly Geyser, you’ll see that there used to be three district spouts. They actually used to call it Three Sisters. At some point, people thought that it would be a good idea to use the geyser for target practice. Unfortunately, after shooting it up, it changed the shape of the geyser to what it looks like now. It’s still beautiful, but that’s why it’s important to protect this natural feature.
Fly Ranch is continuously working on giving the public opportunities to get involved. From time to time, they allow camping on the property in exchange for helping taking care of the land. FBRHR will also be looking for more volunteers to lead nature walks. To learn more, click here .
If you’re on the tour, pack out what you pack in. Help be a good steward to the land and take anything you brought in with you, including any trash you create. If you have time, pick up anything else you see to leave it better than you found it.
Visiting Fly Ranch is an easy day trip from Reno. It’s also part of the Burner Byway , which traces the path that annual burners make every August for Burning Man. We made a couple stops along this route, and if you want to build a whole trip around it, you can check out their three-day suggested itinerary here .
If you’re looking to camp, this map is a good resource for BLM land. The FBRHR recommends camping where Black Rock City normally is off of Soldier Meadow Road. If you are camping, be sure to bring 1 gallon of water per person per day.
The tour runs rain or shine. Also, remember you are in the desert. Daytime temperatures can get very high and nighttime will get cold. Keep hydrated and dress appropriately. Because you are walking through some taller grass, the FBRHR recommends wearing pants and closed-toed shoes.
- Reusable water bottle (these are our current favorites).
- Good close-toed shoes. We love these since they function well as hiking boots but don’t look like hiking boots. You walk through some tall grass with ticks.
- Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses
- Insect Repellent & AfterBite
- Layers of Clothing ( These give you an extra layer of protection from bugs )
- Rainjacket if rain is expected
You can even pick up some supplies in the FBRHR Visitor Center (drinks, snacks, emergency supplies etc), but it’s best to bring any supplies you need with you.
- Gerlach ( 20.5 mi / 25 min drive, map ) – There isn’t a whole lot there. They have the FBRHR Visitor Center, a small restaurant/bar, and a cafe/bar. They also have a gas station and motel.
- Pyramid Lake ( 58.2 mi / 1 h drive, map )
- Reno ( 128 mi / 2 h 12 min drive, map )
- Carson Valley ( 181 mi / 3 hr 5 min, map )
- Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
- Download these helpful language apps .
- Arrange a rental car for your trip.
- Get airport lounge access .
- Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
- Get a new backpack for your trip.
- Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
- Don’t forget your in-flight essentials .
Have you heard of the Fly Geyser?
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This Post Has 6 Comments
Get tickets for 2019 at https://blackrockdesert.ticketleap.com/
How long is the walking part of the tour, and how strenuous?
I would consider this an easy-moderate hike. Distance wise it’s not long at all. My guess if you walk 1.5 miles at the most (although it’s probably closer to 1). There isn’t anything particularly strenuous either, although it is very exposed so on hot days, the sun will be beating down on you. You also walk through some tall grass for a portion of the hike, but again, nothing very strenuous.
hello, nice photos & info about the Fly Geyser. However, I’ve waited a couple months to get tickets for November 20th 2018. When will they be available for Nov. please?? Sincerely, Jill Hacker
Hi Jill. They usually post them a month beforehand so I’m not sure why they aren’t up yet. I would reach out to them via their website to get an update. Good luck!
I’m interested to know if anyone has had healing effects from soaking in the water here
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Fly Geyser – One of Nevada’s Little Surprises
If we told you that there are six-foot-tall, brightly colored geysers that spew boiling water over five feet into the air in the middle of the Nevada desert, would you believe us? We probably wouldn’t believe us either, but it’s true. Nevada’s Fly Geyser is an accidental manmade wonder that has created a whimsically colored and fantastically shaped desert marvel that is a must-see for Nevadans and visitors alike.
About the Fly Ranch Geyser
The Fly Geyser is located on Fly Ranch , a 3,800-acre parcel of land in Northern Nevada purchased by the Burning Man Project in 2016. It is an amazing site that is located about two hours north of Reno, on the edge of the Nevada Black Rock Desert.
The first geyser on the site began to form in 1916 when residents were seeking irrigation water and drilled a well. This well was quickly abandoned when it was discovered that the water inside was too hot, and so began the development of the first geyser. Similarly, the main geyser was created accidentally in 1964 after a geothermal power company drilled a test well at the site. According to later newspaper reports, the well was either left uncapped or was improperly plugged. In either case, the scalding hot water shot from the well hole and calcium carbonate deposits began to form, growing several inches each year.
Jump forward several decades, and those deposits have become three large mounds that rise out of a field of tall reeds and grasses. The sediments are now almost 6 feet tall and are multi-colored green and red. The geyser’s trio of travertine cones still spew scalding hot water about four or five feet into the air. Scientists who are familiar with the geyser note that the coloring on the outside of the mounds is the result of thermophilic algae, which flourishes in moist, hot environments.
The inside of the mounds even contain quartz, according to Muñoz Saez , and this quartz is growing much more rapidly than any of the other geysers that she has studied in her career. Typically, quartz doesn’t begin to grow for about 10,000 years within geysers, which makes the Fly Geyser even more of a marvel.
How to Get to the Fly Geyser in Nevada
The Fly Ranch Geyser is located in Northern Nevada, about 20 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada (a popular stop along the Burner Byway ) via State Route 34. The Fly Geyser is easily visible from the side of the road and its plumes of hot water can be seen from miles away.
Tours of Fly Geyser
Fly Ranch is located on private land and is not currently open to the public, but if you would like to get an up-close view of Fly Geyser, Friends of Black Rock-High Rock offers 2- to 2.5-hour nature walks in partnership with the Burning Man Project. During the tour, you’ll explore two distinct areas of this stunning 3,800-acre property. To the south, there is inspiring Burning Man art, including the iconic Baba Yaga House and the extraordinary projects emerging out of the Land Art Generator Initiative, and to the north, there are wetlands, wildlife and numerous geothermal wonders, which of course include the awe-inspiring Fly Geyser. Guided tours of Fly Ranch and Fly Geyser are conducted by knowledgeable docents and tickets are donation-based , with proceeds supporting the continuation of these Nature Walks.
Other Things to Do Near Fly Geyser
After your visit to Fly Geyser, make sure to stop in Gerlach, both to fill up your gas tank and explore the quirky, remote town! Bruno’s Country Club serves delicious ravioli that are worth the trip, the Miner’s Club is a cafe and bar where you can quench your thirst, and Joe’s Gerlach Club is a watering hole where you’ll feel like a local.
Make a long weekend of it so you can spend even more time exploring the area, including Nevada’s famous hot springs , with a stay at Bruno’s Motel.
If you are ever driving that way, make sure to keep an eye out for the large plumes of steam coming from the Fly Geyser, one of Nevada’s many unique and beautiful attractions. And of course always respect the rules of the trail and Leave No Trace principles when exploring this unique and fragile landscape!
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Fly Ranch is a 3,800 acre ranch in Northern Nevada home to Fly Geyser. Projects are organized by thousands of participants and tend to focus on reconnection, healing, and the land. Our goal is to produce public benefits as an agricultural site with sustainable systems for food, water, power, shelter, waste, and air . Join a walk and read our survival guide to visit.
Fly Ranch has been and will be shaped by the 600 people who participated in a 20 year acquisition process, 800 LAGI participants, and 2,000 Fly Stewards. Anyone can propose, organize, and manage a project. Fly Ranch is the sum total of participants contributions. Projects tend to focus on the land, art, healing, transformation, regeneration, education, a thriving ecosystem, and a permanent home for Burning Man.
Visit Fly Ranch
Since 2016 stewards have walked, worked, and camped at Fly Ranch. We have found uses for relics from the old airport, ranch, and farm. We have cared for the land, started non-native species management , and grazed 150 cows .
LAGI, Fly Ranch, & sustainability
Watch & Steward the Land
Become a Walk Guide
Help others explore Fly Ranch
Fly Ranch Residents
We’ve documented 144 plants, 15 mammals, 138 birds, 12 reptiles, and more animal friends. The water is home to a metazoan with the highest temperature tolerance of any metazoan and photosynthetic microbial mats .
Water is Life
Life at Fly is connected to geothermal hot springs, cold springs, and tens of millions of gallons of surface water. The water is crucial for the Fly Ranch pyrg ( Pyrgulopsis bruesi ), an at-risk, highly vulnerable freshwater snail that only lives at Fly Ranch. This year, the pyrg was in an art piece at Black Rock City. Our goal is to protect the ecology from climate change impacts and a pipeline .
Get a sense of the land.
Burning Man Project’s 2030 goals are to be carbon negative, sustainably manage waste, and be regenerative. Fly Ranch supports these efforts. We could address the climate emergency if every government, organization, and person met these goals. We’re open-source and welcome collaboration.
As Burning Man’s CEO Marian wrote in Burning Man Project’s 2019 Annual Report , Fly Ranch sparked the 2030 Sustainability Roadmap : “Informed by our stewardship of the land and waters at Fly Ranch and the global climate crisis, we created an environmental sustainability roadmap that sets ambitious goals around waste management, ecological impact, and carbon sequestration.” A documentary from the International Wood Culture Society was filmed at Burning Man 2022 and shows how sustainability projects are coming to life in diverse and innovative ways.
LAGI & Fly Ranch
Since 2018 we’ve partnered with the Land Art Generator Initiative on a design challenge focused on food, power, water, shelter, and waste.
LAGI Fly Ranch Proposals
500 people on 185 teams submitted proposals based on our design guidelines . The proposals were reviewed by 200 technical advisors who left 2,000 comments. 50 members of the shortlist committee picked 52 shortlisted projects . 33 jurors selected the top ten projects. Lodgers received the most votes. Each of the shortlisted projects is open for comments. The top ten teams have started prototypes and we hope to build more.
LAGI Summer Campout
During the last couple weeks of May, 2022, LAGI teams, jurors, advisors, and supporters gathered for a campout. Teams worked on prototypes, research, and connected to the land. Read this article by the LAGI co-founders with beautiful pictures.
Fly Ranch Book
The Art Newspaper noted in a book review: “Hopefully, Land Art of the 21st Century will inspire action on the climate and ecological emergencies worldwide. The methodologies and design philosophies employed by real-world regenerative structures can be copied. The real value of these land art installations will be that they embody collective, sustainable and inclusive principles. It is through the creation of new ways of organising our societies that we will discover the wisdom to live together in harmony with our home planet.” Order from Hirmer or Amazon .
Ripple Haba Build
During the 2023 Burners Without Borders Campout, Ripple Project built a traditional Northern Paiute shade structure at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center . This is a photo from a Far Away Projects blog post on Ripple.
This short film shows the future vision of Lodgers Collective , a top LAGI at Fly Ranch team. The video by Zhicheng Xu showcases a mesmerizing glimpse into the future of the Fly Ranch landscape, brought to life through LiDAR scanned point cloud. The film juxtaposes this futuristic representation with the author’s on-site documentation, capturing the essence of the region’s vibrant ecosystem, birds, rodents, and lush vegetation.
Fly Ranch Media
Klosters Forum Podcast
Fly Ranch & Sustainability
Friends of the Inyo
Burners Without Borders Summit
Burning Man Journal
Climate Change Adaptation
Solar Mountain article
LAGI 2020 Call
The call below includes the top ten LAGI teams , jurors, and advisors. Hear from USA Today’s Nevada Woman of the Year Autumn Harry , Community Organizer Beverly Harry , Professor Kyle Whyte , Indigenous Women Hike Founder Jolie Varela, Burning Man Co-Founders Will Roger & Crimson Rose , and Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda . The link has timestamps .
Vision, Mission, & Goals
The Fly team helps people get involved. We focus on programmatic effectiveness, cost-effectiveness in how we allocate our $480K annual budget, transparency and collaboration through an open-source approach, and public benefit . We are accountable to our stakeholders .
Writer’s Emerging was a retreat to connect with the land and participate in creative workshops. One participant noted: “The Writers Emerging program epitomizes the highest and most multi-faceted potential of what your organization and its resources can do.” Read an interview with event producer Yodassa Williams to learn more.
The Labyrinth is a respite from often chaotic and overwhelming life experiences.
We Are Guests
Fly Ranch is on the occupied Numu (Northern Paiute) lands of at least four distinct Numu tribes . We can do more to support Indigenous peoples, address settler colonialism in our culture, and support direct action. Pictured: Medicine Garden at Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center. See PLPT post and video .
Tule Harvest at Fly Ranch
In 2022 Dean Barlese , Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe spiritual leader, took a walk at Fly Ranch and made plans to return to gather Tule. The experience led to a collaboration : “While there Dean noticed an abundance of tule, a culturally significant plant for the Paiutes, and asked for permission to return and harvest. Much of the habitat for tule has been eliminated or destroyed by agricultural runoff, wetland destruction, or grazing, making the bountiful and pollutant-free shorelines at Fly Ranch a treasure trove of tule, cattails, and rushes, all important to the Paiute people for various purposes.” The video below by @mistyyoungbear documents the harvest.
@mistyyoungbear Gathering tules at Fly Ranch, north of Gerlach with our lovely friends🤩 So lucky to have been a part of this. # #nativetiktok #gatheringtulle #learningtraditions #justindigenousthatone #teachingandlearning #pauiteland #burningmanpeople ♬ original sound - Misty Youngbear
We share content and discuss projects in our FB group.
We post pictures on Instagram.
We periodically send out an informative newsletter.
Links and photos about projects, ecology, campouts, operations, plans, and ways to participate.
Steve Tietze (header image). Introductory section: Fly Ranch Critter Cam (Joe Childs), Lodgers , Hirmer , Don Clark , Christopher Breedlove, Will Roger, Lisa Schile-Beers, Android Jones , Nicole Rodney, Baba Yaga’s Book Club , Robert Hershler & Donald Sada , SEED . Fly Ranch team: Erika Wesnousky (Volunteer Coordinator), Joe Childs (Land Steward), Lisa Schile-Beers (Land Steward), Matt Sundquist (Director), Zac Cirivello (Operations Manager).
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There's Only One Way to See Fly Geyser, One of the Strangest Rock Formations in Nevada
L ocated in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, Fly Geyser is one of the strangest, and most unforgettable, natural phenomena in the United States.
The most incredible feature of this geothermal geyser is layers of colors that coat the rock formation. Red, green, brown, and orange streaks form an earth-toned rainbow. It’s caused not by minerals, but by algae which forms in humid, wet environments.
Interestingly, Fly Geyser isn’t actually an ancient geological formation. It was formed in 1964, when locals tried to drill a well in the location. According to Visit Reno Tahoe, blistering hot water spewed out of the well, causing calcium carbonate deposits to form and eventually form three mounds that are today 6 feet tall and continue to grow as plumes of water erupts out of the mounds, sometimes 5 feet into the air.
Fly Geyser is located on private property called Fly Ranch, which is owned by Burning Man (yes, the same Burning Man that hosts a festival in the desert). However the public is allowed to visit through a guided nature walk. Prospective visitors need to purchase tickets through Friends of Black Rock-High Rock . This is the only way to get a close up view of the geyser.
Nature walks explore the 3,800-acre Fly Ranch property, and are guided by an expert on the ranch’s natural landscape. Tours traverse the wetlands of Fly Ranch, passing by smaller geysers and several hot springs. When it comes time to visit Fly Geyser itself, there is a wooden boardwalk which leads to the viewing area.
Though using phones during the tour is discouraged, there is an opportunity to take pictures at the end. Tickets require a $40 deposit which guests can choose to donate to Friends of Black Rock-High Rock on the day of the tour. Tours take place twice a day, in the morning and evening.
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Something to see and worth the ride and... - Fly Geyser
- United States
- Nevada (NV)
- Gerlach - Things to Do
It was great seeing Fly Geyser! The tour also took us around the property showing some art from... read more
Very well organized nature walk around ranch and geyser. Obviously this has Burning Man... read more
Something to see and worth the ride and hike!
For us, this was a great adventure and we truly enjoyed the hike out to see this geyser. Do your research folks. It is way out in the middle of no man's land. Yes, you need to make a reservation to get out there. Not easy to see from side of the road. You are out in dust-bowl country for sure. This is black rock desert area. Burning Man has volunteers to get you out to this site. It is worth the $40 donation. Make the donation toward the preservation of this area. You'll get to see some art from the Burning Man festival and hear some cool stories about that. See some wild horses and a stop of the hot spring. (No, you cannot go into the springs.) The end of the tour leads you to the Fly Geyser. This was the reason for us coming. It grows with team and is always spraying. We found it to be an amazing site. There is a wooden build ramp and deck area to get around the geyser and take pictures. Our guide was excellent and deserved the tip we also gave him. There is another new smaller one that has started and he will take you to see this close-by. This isn't a tourist trap by any means. They need to be careful with these grounds so people don't pile in here an destroy. Research and know and you will be ready to see an incredible geyesr!
Fly Geyser Ranch/site is an awesome view; (unfortunately, the lady official, manger at the site, I presume that she might be employed by The Burning Man group), making it so difficult & inconsideration of the tourists, had to be driven from different states, so as to approach the particular Ranch even though the tourist/visitor directly pay at site much more than their usual website entrance fee of $40. Gerlach is a 500 people small town , no hotel, no restaurant, no gas station etc. That is very CRUEL as well as EXTREMELY INCONSIDERATE to ditch the tourists driving long distance from other states, only to just promote the local Burning Man group. Let them wisely utilize all the possibilities of this Tourist attraction to develop the the entire town as well as the Fly Geyser Ranch itself.
You have to reserve a walking tour to access the ranch and the website where you reserve your spot charges $40 but also clearly states the tour is donation based and you can choose to be partially or fully refunded when you come to your tour. They never refunded any of my money, and they did not contact me or reply to my email to them. Also, when I visited in April there was only one gate marked for the fly nature walk(the name of the tour) and this was not the gate, so I missed half the tour. What a ripoff. The geysers are really cool, the guides were nice enough, but the tour itself was a ripoff.
For me on a personal level, this place was spiritual, filled with simple beauty and wonder. The area of Blackrock, this geyser called Fly Geyser is on a private ranch: however, you can make reservations thru the Blackrock website. Trespassing without the guide is indeed against the law. Fly Geyser and the surrounding area is a photographers blessing and surely a bucket-list place; known for the Northern Paiute Tribe and the Great Basin.
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Fly Geyser Near Burning Man: Nevada’s Stunning Secret That Keeps Getting Bigger
Most of the stunning geological wonders we travel to see are the products of natural forces. Some of those forces wield their powers slowly, like glaciers, rains and floods. Others, like volcanoes and earthquakes, alter landscapes suddenly. But every once in a while, a mind-blowing marvel of nature arises in the landscape because of an accidental action taken by one or more people. Such is the case with Fly Geyser, located on 3,800-acre Fly Ranch in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, about two hours north of Reno. Fly Geyser is the result of perhaps one of the happiest accidents imaginable because human error led to the creation of a geothermal treasure.
Though Fly Geyser isn’t known to many, hasn’t been viewed by many people and isn’t easy to access — a ticketed tour is required for an immersive view — it couldn’t be more worth your time and effort to see it.
How on Earth Did Fly Geyser and a Duo of Other Geysers Form?
At Fly Ranch, several columns of boiling water shoot up into the air through large mounds so strikingly colorful, it’s hard to believe they’re not part of an art installation — especially given the fact that the land is owned by the Burning Man Project, an organization that works to extend the culture of the annual world-famous Burning Man event , a “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance” that’s created entirely by event participants. About 70,000 people typically shape the pop-up city (aka Black Rock City) in the week preceding and encompassing Labor Day weekend in late August.
Geysers are a rare phenomenon because their formation requires hydrogeological conditions that only exist in a few places on the planet. Typically, geysers are also quite old — with most having been formed several thousand years ago. However, Fly Geyser and two other geysers at the site are quite young and resulted from human interventions — unintended tapping of geothermal sources.
The formation of the first of the three geysers started in 1916, and it only came about because some residents decided to drill a well for farming irrigation purposes. It didn’t take long for the drillers to give up on the project though: the water they discovered turned out to be a shockingly hot 200 °F. But the hole they created provided an opening for the boiling underground water to spew and deposit enough calcium carbonate to form a 12-foot-tall cone. Enter the geyser known as The Wizard.
That opening was followed by the creation of a second one at the site, which came about in a similar way — as the unintended result of a 1964 test drilling project conducted by a geothermal power company that ended up deeming the water they reached too cool to meet their energy objectives. After making that determination, they reportedly sealed the hole, but it didn’t hold. Scalding water began spouting out, depositing dissolved minerals that formed multiple, ever-growing cones (they’re presently about 6 feet tall) atop a 25 to 30-foot-high mound, as well as several travertine terraces with around 30 to 40 pools at its base. This is geyser #2, aka the amazing Fly Geyser, located several hundred feet north of The Wizard, which ceased being active after the underground pressure was released by Fly Geyser.
A third geyser at the site, called Will’s Geyser, was discovered in 2006, but it was most likely born of natural forces and sports a volcano-like shape that shoots water upward as high as five feet and grows at a rate of about six inches per year.
What Fly Geyser Looks Like Today
Imagine towering red-and-green mounds rising out of a terraced, pool-filled landscape; endless spouts of water; fields of reeds and grasses stretching out beyond them; and dark peaks looming in the distance. The towering mounds’ bold, algae-produced hues contrast sharply with the neutral tones of the desolate playa wilderness and desert mountains, shaping a vista that’s both beautiful and otherworldly.
But it’s not just Fly Geyser’s appearance that’s extraordinary. Fly Geyser is truly like no other geyser out there — the 200 °F temperature and high amount of silica in the spouting water has caused quartz to form inside at super speed. It typically takes up to 10,000 years for quartz inside a geyser to form, but Fly Geyser has only been around for 57 years!
How to See Fly Geyser
Fly Ranch is located about 20 miles north of tiny Gerlach, Nevada, the gateway town to Burning Man and a common stop for visitors traveling to the event on the Burner Byway via State Route 34. It’s possible to get a distant view of Fly Geyser from the side of the road; the spouts of water are visible from many miles away because of the playa’s flatness.
Getting an up-close view, however, is an altogether different matter since Fly Geyser is located on privately-owned land that’s closed to the public. The good news is Friends of Nevada Black Rock High Rock, an organization dedicated to the conservation of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area, has partnered with Burning Man Project to offer docent-guided nature walks of Fly Ranch from May-September. Reserve your spot for a three-hour walk (the cost of the ticket is donation-based) to get an immersive experience of Fly Geyser and the other two geysers on the property, as well as the opportunity to explore and connect with the Ranch’s broader geothermic environment. You’ll cover approximately two miles and learn a great deal about the flora, fauna, natural resources and history of the greater Black Rock Desert area.
The Future of Fly Ranch
In 2020, the Burning Man Project launched the Land Art Generator Initiative ( LAGI 2020 ) design challenge, inviting people to propose, build and scale infrastructure at Fly Ranch that supports environmental sustainability solutions. The organization’s goal is to rally the ingenuity of the Burning Man community and, over a three-year period, enable Fly Ranch to become a year-round platform for the huge talent that creators bring to bear on the fleeting Burning Man event.
Come see Fly Geyser and the landscape that surrounds it before it becomes a permanent home for Burning Man’s presently temporary, pop-up city. Once that transformation happens, the area will still be astonishing, no doubt, but in a very different sort of way. This unique development will also likely mean that many, many more visitors will flow into desert lands that are currently near-empty.
Read next: Hiking The Wave — One of the Most Astounding Places You’ll Ever See . One of the hardest places to get a hiking permit is also one of the most beautiful.
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Nevada's Rainbow Fly Geyser Isn't Open To The Public, But Here's How To See It
Also known as the "Rainbow Geyser", this accidentally-man-made wonder beckons visitors to get a closer look at its technicolor structure.
Fly Geyser Is One Of Nevada's Many Hidden Gems
- Fly Geyser in Nevada is a popular roadside attraction known as the "Rainbow Geyser" due to its unique and vibrant colors.
- Visitors can legally view the geyser from a distance or through private tours, but should not touch or get too close to preserve the delicate ecosystem.
- The best time to visit is during the fall, winter, or spring to avoid crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures. However, the geyser is open to visitors year-round.
What began as an accident is now a popular interest to tourists, and Nevada's Fly Geyser is a roadside attraction of the otherworldly kind. Its strange appearance gives off a unique rainbow of colors, thus giving it the nickname of the "Rainbow Geyser." While not the most well-known, mad-made natural wonder in Nevada, it's definitely worth looking at - especially since its wild hot springs can be seen from miles away. There are many things to see in Nevada besides the Vegas Strip , and this is one of them.
Unlike the natural geysers in Yosemite, this geyser isn't open to the public, but there is still such a thing as "thermal trespassing." Visitors can see it in several legal ways, whether from a first-hand view or observation from a distance. In 1964, this geyser was created when a geothermal power company drilled into a test well, and without proper capping or plugging, the geyser has since been left to do its thing in the middle of Northern Nevada.
UPDATE: 2023/11/21 15:34 EST BY NOAH STAATS
This article has been refreshed with new information on visiting the Fly Geyser in Northern Nevada and the best time to come here. Whether it's a Nevada road trip or you're off to Reno, here's everything you should know about this natural wonder.
Where Is The Fly Geyser In Nevada? Is It Hard To Reach?
The Fly Geyser is located on Fly Ranch, which is on roughly 3,800 acres that are owned by the Burning Man Project . This land was purchased in 2016, which meant it was no longer public access, meaning anyone wanting to see the geyser in action needed to find alternative ways. The geyser is about two hours from Reno, but it's worth the drive to see why this geyser is so amazing.
- Location : Fly Geyser is on the Fly Ranch in Hualapai Flat, roughly 0.3 miles from State Route 34.
What Makes Fly Geyser So Unique?
Geysers are fascinating, to begin with, since it's not every day someone has the chance to witness scalding water exploding into the sky in a cloud of mist. However, the Fly Geyser has drawn so much attention due to its unique structure and shape, and it's been constructed by nature over the last 50+ years. Due to the minerals in the geyser's water stream, the moisture that rains back down on the opening of the geyser has gradually created various tunnels and tubes, each sporting a vibrant color.
All of these minerals, over time, have become stacked and created the intriguing walls out of which the geyser's water stream shoots. The geyser itself is roughly 30 feet tall, and its awesome coloring comes from the thermophilic algae that live on its surface .
Related: 20 Stunning Photos Of Yosemite That Make Us Want To Pack Our Bags Immediately
Is Visiting Fly Geyser In Nevada Dangerous?
While it's a far cry from the most dangerous tourist destinations , there are some things visitors need to be aware of. The first is that even though this geyser was created by a human accident, that doesn't mean humans can't further disrupt its surrounding ecosystem. The minerals and algae that live in and around the geyser require very specific conditions to survive. Therefore, humans need not interfere by touching or getting too close to the geyser or its natural mineral pools.
On the visitor danger side of things, those should remember that this geyser is hot - the geothermal pools alone could reach 200 degrees. Much like Yellowstone's active supervolcanoes and geysers , you should stay back from these natural formations. More space is better.
- Super hot : Although coming to see Fly Geyser in Nevada is perfectly safe, getting close to it or going up to the geyser's top-end is never permitted. It's 200+ degrees!
Related: Yosemite National Park: How You And Your Dog Can Make The Most Out Of Your Visit
How Can Visitors View The Geyser Up Close?
Private tours can be booked to see the geyser from a close range. These tours opened in 2018, and it had been the first time since the Burning Man Project purchased the land, so they're definitely worth taking advantage of. Burning Man is actively researching to decide how they, too, can safely provide guided tours without infringing on the natural environment of the geyser. However, for those comfortable with a roadside view, head to Gerlach via State Route 34 - visitors should be able to observe this massive structure there.
- Private tours only : People can visit the Fly Geyser with a dedicated tour guide at a closer range. However, this will still be far from steam or the actual structure.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Fly Geyser In Nevada?
Regarding the best time of year to come see the Fly Geyser in North Nevada, this is between fall and spring. Because Nevada sees a desert-adjacent climate in its Southern region, North Nevada (where this geyser rests) will have better, cooler average annual temperatures. That said, the fall brings leaves changing and falling and fewer people at Fly Geyser. Therefore, coming here during an "off" time may be better for waiting in line, finding parking, and hotel rates.
Something else worth remembering is that the spring brings fantastic weather to Nevada, North and South, so if you're planning a state-wide road trip, spring is the best choice. Summer will see the most people here, and flights and hotel rates will be significantly higher, so that can be a bump in the road for vacationers. Additionally, it's worth it to check out Fly Geyser in the winter, as this will be the quietest time of year for tourism. That said, any time of the year welcomes travelers .
- Best time to see Fly Geyser : Fall, winter, and spring
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County Rd 34, Gerlach , Nevada 89412 USA
- Not Wheelchair Accessible
This location is on private property and is presented for information purposes only.
“insanely weird geothermal wonder”
Private property but tours are sometimes available - see comments. there's nothing quite like Fly Geyser (well, nothing on this planet, anyways). A lot of that likely has to do with the fact that it's the result of a freak accident, combined with just the right conditions. Back in 1964, the land was being drilled in search of geothermal energy sources. However, once the drilling was over, the well wasn't capped correctly (or capped at all, for that matter). It wasn't long before dissolved minerals began to bubble their way to the top of the well, accumulating all over and around it, creating the strange formations we see today. They're still growing-- each year, several inches are added to the surreal-looking pillars. Around the geyser are several terraces and pools which collect the water that's constantly spraying out the top-- the gusts of water can reach more than 5 feet in the air. The bright colors on the geyser are due to thermophilic algae, and it's made of several different kinds of minerals. The geyser and its terraces cover more than 70 acres of land. Fly Geyser isn't the only like fountain in the area-- several others were formed from other drilling projetcs done in the area, including one from the early 1900's that dried up when Fly Geyser started spouting. -Roadtrippers If you're interested in visiting, you're in luck. Some Burners purchased the property, and you can contact them to tour it. Here's what they have to say: We all have different views of what Fly Ranch could become: a healing center, a desert art center, an energy park, an organic farm, a botanical garden, a site for interactive teaching and learning, a Burning Man laboratory, a makerspace, a space for transformative gatherings, a sustainable model for communal living, and more. Our 3,800 acres holds diverse ecosystems and varied resources, so the future could involve some blend of these and other visions. The Fly Ranch team spent 2017 building momentum and capacity. We held community conversations in Black Rock City, at the Global Leadership Conference in Oakland, and Burning Man Project’s European Leadership Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. We were able to welcome 400+ community members, collaborators, artist, regional contacts, and local citizens to explore the property with us. We began a Land Fellowship program and a year-long environmental assessment, including an inventory of flora and fauna of the property. We’ve integrated our administrative operations with Burning Man Project and created an operationally effective working group and management team. We’ve started laying the groundwork for our technical operations. We re-launched our website with over 40 pages of content. 2018 will be a year of putting capacity into action. We will be deploying open-source technology tools for sharing information about the property and for anyone to participate in proposing, discussing, and collaborating on projects for the site. In April, the gates of Fly Ranch opened to the public as we began hosting open days for locals, leave no trace trainings, field trips for schools, and a Nature Walk program in collaboration with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock, a local conservation group. During the Summer, we will start to experiment with small group trips and overnight visits. We will clean the property and undertake key infrastructure projects like a small solar grid, composting systems, and walking pathways through a series of experiential community workshops. To get from our current place to the loftier possibilities, we’re planning on the community testing small versions of different visions to see what works. We will face real problems and learn from them. Some of these experiments have already begun: you can join a nature walk, become a Walk Guide, or volunteer as a Fly Ranch Guardian. This document is an overview of our current work and where we hope to go in the next 12 months. This plan, like the project, is a work in progress and the only guarantee is that some things will inevitably change. We have tried to make it clear where there are still questions remaining and where concrete plans differ from hopeful ambitions.
Reviewed by James Fisher
- Road Warrior
- 534 Reviews
- 489 Helpful
Note: This is on private property, but the owners do conduct tours seasonally for $25-$50/day (head to Bruno's Restaurant in Gerlach and they've been known to put tourists in contact with the owners). Or contact these guys: http://blackrockdesert.org/friends/2008-1004-fly-geyser-tour
Reviewed by aspasia469
How do i get in touch with the owners? Will be heading that way in a couple week!
Reviewed by Liveoutsidethelines
This property was bought by the people who do Burning Man and is in process of becoming a 365 day a year place of Awesomeness. http://journal.burningman.org/2016/06/news/official-announcements/we-bought-fly-ranch/
Reviewed by roadtripper719807
Reviewed by matthewsundquist
You can sign up to visit and join a nature walk here: https://flyranch.burningman.org/roadmap/
Reviewed by CurvesGentlemensClub
Reviewed by MickieJohnson
Would love to see, would like more information.
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28 Sep Fly Geyser
Located on a gated parcel of private property within the million-acre Black Rock Desert, Fly Geyser is not a natural phenomenon. It was created accidentally in 1964 from a geothermal test well inadequately capped. The scalding water has erupted from the well since then, leaving calcium carbonate deposits growing at the rate of several inches per year. The brilliant red and green coloring on the mounds is from thermophilic algae thriving in the extreme micro-climate of the geysers. Unfortunately, Fly Geyser is not at this time open to the public. The property (Fly Ranch) was purchased in 2016 by Burning Man Project. Read more here .
Click and drag to explore Fly Geyser. Touch here for the HMD (Google Cardboard) version.
Click here to see the location in Google Maps.
It’s too bad that a few people had to ruin it for those that would really love to see this place who wouldn’t leave their trash behind.
Osi E. Bragger
Fly Ranch will be purchased by the Burning Man Organization for 6.5 Million ! That will be finally the time to see the beautiful Fly Geyser! Do it could be costli Fly Guyser was owned by the Bright Holland Co.
My friend sent pictures of the geyser, and all I could say was, WOW! Yes, I, along with thousands of others would love it to be opened to the public, even for a fee. It’s beautiful. But, just like others who have responded, I so understand how disrespectful people are… throwing trash around, writing/defacing properties, and even being filthy in the bathrooms.
IF, there is ever a decision to do something more, please send me the info, as you now have my email.
Thank you, and hope it becomes a landmark.
Brunos knows nothing about Fly Geyser. They will not put anyone in touch with the owner. Is there any other way to ask the owner about a tour? I’d just like to see the geyser and take some photos.
I completely respect the desire to keep people off the property because people are disrespectful slobs, but I’m not one of them! I’m not looking to put anyone out and would never try to sneak onto the property without permission. Any other ideas?
Beautiful, but what about all that wasted thermal energy?
Fly a drone over it. They do not own the sky.
With all the awe-inspiring formations to see in Utah, why drive across Nevada to see one small man-made geyer, even if it is colorful. Have you seen Capitol Reef, Zions, Kodachrome?
Thanks for the great site and the way you connected it to the map. Indeed one could only wish that it would be a bit more accessible. Maybe open once a week for several hours. Still I respect their wish. Thanks for sharing.
It looks very interesting. Like somewhere in Iceland.
Who and how do you contact to get admission to see the geyser? Not everyone is a “marano” and would respect the site.
I’m from this general area of Nevada and it geyser used to be open to the public but got closed off years ago because the public was trashing it. There is now a group (The Fly Ranch Project) that is working on turning this area in a sustainable and ecologically friendly area that is open to the public. You can read more about it and donate to the project here: http://flyranchproject.org/ .
Some people might equate it to “selling out,” but no doubt the property owner could make some decent money by charging an admission. And I don’t doubt that he/she/they have thought about that before, as well – and probably very quickly realized that it would either require hiring a gatekeeper, or imposing an obligation (“reliable hours” and all that) which could be a rather intimidating burden. That is the kind of obligation that’s difficult for an individual to handle.
I’d really like to see it (not to mention the “Black Rock City” and Gerlach area, and hang about a bit, hear more about Burning Man, etc.), and a trip later this year might actually take me from Grants Pass to Reno, which would be a perfect excuse.
Burning Man WAS on my bucket list for years, until (1) I found out how long ahead I have to be certain of the trip, not to mention the cost of tickets, and (2) just the idea of spending days in bright sunshine and hundred-degree weather on a massive nullarbor plateau. No, not my idea of fun.
The owner of the property does not allow public access to his property. The geyser is visible from the road, but you need high power binoculars or at least a 500mm telephoto lens to even get a partial look at it. I don’t know how they got the pictures shown on the Internet, but that kind of view is not possible from the road. There is not much other than the Nevada scenery along the 100 mile trip on HWY 447 to see the geyser. Bruno’s in Gerlach is a good place to eat…the only place to eat. The population of Gerlach is about 80 people. I did enjoy the trip out there, but was disappointed at not being able to see the geyser like I thought I would be able to.
What a Beautiful place! Those look like Japanese 7 lucky Gods. Thanks for sharing the slide show.
Very unique and beautiful! Too bad the public can’t see this amazing Geyser up close!
The geyser used to be open to the public, but people tend to be pigs (I’d hate to see their homes) and would leave their trash and cigarette butts and the like instead of cleaning up after themselves, they just didn’t care. One of the unspoken rules of the Blackrock is pack it in, pack it out. So, people were just destroying the area like only humans know how to do.
The owner of the land might let you in for photography but you have to be nice and don’t stay long, he’s an old guy now. Otherwise, use the zoom lens and admire from afar.
Jan and Carla Walther
We come from The Netherlands and want the like to photograph this very nice place. Can you help us how we come in contact with the owner. Thank you very much.
How can something so beautiful be “private”??
Heaven is beautiful and private.You need an invitation to get in.
Hey any idea whom I would contact to shoot photos of this beautiful site? I am a landscape photographer from vermont https://www.facebook.com/ElmoreMtnPhoto
You can only see this from the road, and it is probably almost a 1/4 miles from the road. If you have at least a 500mm telephoto lens you might get some good pictures. It takes about 2 hours to get there from Reno, and it is over 80 miles north of HWY 80. The owner does not allow the public on his property.
Although it is not a natural phenomenon, the occurring formations as a result of the highly calcified water are a unique wonder in their own right. It is on private property, it is visible from a reasonable distance, but from what I have heard the owners of the property do not welcome visitors. My advice would be to take a camera with a powerful zoom lens, and plan on spending more time driving than exploring the property. It’s in a relatively desolate area, so make sure you have fuel and water. To me, it’s worth the trip. (As part of a larger expedition).
It should become a national park so that the public could pay to go and see it.
Why, so people can trash the place –
This is nice,,, but I guess it will be temporary too……Leave it like it is someone owns it ,, not the government
A prior well-drilling attempt in 1917 resulted in the creation of a man-made geyser close to the currently active Fly Geyser; it created a pillar of calcium carbonate about 12 feet (3.7 m) tall, but ceased when the Fly Geyser began releasing water in 1964.
Are we able to drive close enough to Fly Geyser to see it?
Fly Geyser may been seen from the road, perhaps 200 yds distant, but it’s on private, gated property.
Very nice! I have lived in Nevada for 36 years, and would loved to have seen this in person. Maybe someday it will become a landmark open to the public like Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Very pretty!
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The Fly Ranch property, on which Fly Geyser resides, was purchased by Burning Man Project in 2016.
Friends of Black Rock-High Rock DOES NOT have open access to Fly Geyser. PLEASE DO NOT TRESPASS. Fly Geyser is on private property.
Friends of Black Rock-High Rock offers seasonal, guided nature walks of Fly Ranch in partnership with Burning Man Project. These walks explore a portion of the stunning 3,800 acre property and give participants an immersive experience with the vast and dynamic environment.
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Only In Your State: Fly Geyser
May – june 2019.
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Nevada has many treasures, but only some of them earn the title of truly unique.
The word unique gets thrown around a lot, and its true meaning is often muddled. Merriam-Webster defines the word as “being the only one” and “being without a like or equal.” In this section, we highlight Nevada treasures that are not only special, but are truly unique and can be found nowhere else in the world; treasures that can be found only in your state.
Had Dr. Seuss had the ability to create one lasting physical memorial here on Earth, Fly Geyser would probably be his contribution. This magical manmade monument rests on the edge of the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. It owes its colors to the algae that comprises it; the brick-red, forest-green, and pastel-yellow hues are characteristic of hydrophilic algae that flourishes in hot, moist conditions. But, it actually doesn’t owe its existence to Dr. Seuss (that we know of). It owes it in part to a desert driller who probably had no idea that his exploratory excavations would create such a wonderful and vibrant piece of natural art.
In 1916, a well was dug at the site by desert farmers seeking irrigation water. The resulting water that sprang up from the well was close to boiling—far too hot to use for irrigation—and the project was abandoned. Over the years, a 10-12-foot calcium carbonate cone formed, growing higher as the water that flowed from the top deposited more minerals. Then in 1964, a company seeking water for geothermal energy purposes dug a second well at the site. The second well proved to be too cold for their purposes, and the new well was capped and abandoned. The cap, however, failed to seal, resulting in the discharge from the second well, lowering the pressure in the first well, drying the original well up. Like the original cone, the new geyser has grown substantially since its creation, resulting in the brilliantly colored fountains and pools that can be seen today.
Fly Geyser’s water is right around 200 degrees, and erupts constantly to about 5 feet in the air. The water contains high amounts of silica, which causes quartz to quickly form inside of the geyser. The water that exits the geyser has formed several terraces, resulting in about 30-40 pools that spread across the area.
In 2016, the Burning Man Project purchased the 3,800-acre parcel where Fly Geyser is located. Though the geyser is located on private property, Friends of Black Rock-High Rock offers guided nature tours of the Fly Ranch and Fly Geyser. Tours can be scheduled by visiting blackrockdesert.org/fly-geyser , and typically operate Friday-Sunday.
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The Most Beautiful Natural Wonder You've Never Seen Was Accidentally Created By A Power Company
Sometimes an accident leads to a wonderfully beautiful mistake - see potato chips, penicillin, chocolate chip cookies, and even Viagra (originally a medicine for blood pressure). Fly Geyser, a man-made geyser in Nevada, came about by accident as well, and eventually became a gorgeous natural wonder that no one ever gets to see. Fly Ranch Geyser, as it's traditionally called, rests about a third of a mile away from State Route 34 in the middle of Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Unfortunately, the geyser remains closed to the public, but if you're an urban explorer or a smooth-talker, you might find your way in.
Fly Geyser has an interesting history – it's a manmade drilling mishap that became one of nature's wonders. So what's the deal with this hyper-private tourist attraction none of us can ever visit? How far is Fly Geyser from Las Vegas, anyway, and why does this beautiful accident remain one of Nevada 's most hidden gems? Here is the story of Fly Geyser – the gorgeous man-made feat of nature that almost wasn’t.
Fly Geyser Isn't Huge, But It's Pretty Because Of Thermophilic Algae
Fly Geyser rests on the edge of Fly Reservoir in the Hualapai Geothermal Flats , an area in Nevada about 500 miles from Las Vegas that's known for its unique geothermal pools. The stunning geyser boasts a rainbow of colors created by a mix of sulfate (yellow), iron (red), and algae (green) . Though the geyser stands just five feet tall and 12 feet wide , it constantly grows in size because of the minerals deposited each time it blows.
Fly Geyser Sports Multiple Spouts, A Unique Feature Among Geysers
The water in Fly Geyser can shoot up to five feet in the air , which is kind of impressive because it can happen at all, but not really that awesome in the scope of wild things nature can do. For comparison, Old Faithful , a popular tourist attraction in Yellowstone National Park, reaches maximum heights of 90 to 184 feet tall – and that's not even considered the biggest geyser in Yellowstone. What makes Fly Geyser so unique, aside from its vibrant colors, are its multiple spouts, which actually account for its smaller stature in comparison to other geysers.
The Geyser Rests On Land Previously Known As Ward's Hot Springs
A map of California and Nevada from 1881 reveals a strange history for Fly Geyser. Originally, Fly Ranch was called Ward's Ranch. According to an 1886 geology report, Fly Geyser, before it was drilled, was Ward's Hot Springs . Ward likely refers to the Ward brothers, who sold the property to Louise Gerlach.
Its Location Has A Long History Of Hot Spring Activity
Located in the town of Gerlach, Nevada, which lies atop the Great Basin, Fly Geyser descends from a long line of hot springs in the area. Travelers headed through the area, home to the Northern Paiute tribe, christened the nearby area Boiling Springs in 1843 . And farmers drilled to create the first agricultural well on the property 100 years before drilling created Fly Geyser
Fly Geyser Was The Result Of A Drilling Mishap
Two geysers exist on Fly Ranch, though the original Fly Geyser is currently inactive. The original geyser came to be almost 100 years ago when a farmers drilled for water in an attempt to make part of Black Rock Desert suitable for farming. It turns out that water in a desert is very hard to come by—go figure! When the well was drilled, it hit geothermal boiling water with temperatures exceeding 200 degrees. The water was way too hot to be used for irrigation, so the geyser was left alone, where it continued to spew until the Fly Geyser robbed it of its water.
The First Geyser Became Inactive In 1964 After A Second Drill Hole
When the water in the original geyser was deemed unsuitable for irrigation, it remained undisturbed for years. Each time the geyser went off, it deposited minerals into the surrounding area. Over decades, this grew into a 12-foot calcium carbonate cone. That cone became adorned with rainbow-colored algae, making it a true natural wonder but, in 1964, the geyser's water pressure was leeched from a second drill hole that became the Fly Geyser. If man can make it, man can take it away, right?
The Second Hole Was Made By A Geothermic Energy Company
In 1964, Western Geothermal, a geothermic energy company, went looking for new places to root. They performed a test drill a couple hundred feet from the original geyser. The water they struck still hit 200 degrees – too warm to be used for irrigation, but too cold to be used for geothermic energy. Their attempt to seal the well failed to take. Water burst through, leeching the first geyser of all water pressure and forming Fly Geyser.
The Infamous Fly Geyser Tour That Isn't (Or Is It?)
If you want to check out Fly Geyser, joke's on you: you can't! You may catch a glimpse from the highway, but its location remains closed to the public. If you feel extra adventurous, you can see some of the geyser from the fence line, but it doesn't do the miraculous display of colors any justice. But if you come across the right security guard though, you might have some luck . Apparently, a tour group used to have access to the geyser, but they no longer do.
The Geyser Is Constantly Changing
The attempt to cap it after it had been drilled failed to stop the stream of water and, as such, it's been allowed to grow for over 50 years now. Due to the build-up of minerals and lifeforms on its rocks, the Fly Geyser is always growing.
Fly Geyser's Current Owners Are Burning Man (Yes, The Infamous Festival)
In 2016, Burning Man , the infamous desert festival, purchased Fly Ranch. In 2012, the company became a non-profit allowing fans to donate to Fly Ranch project. The $6.5 million used to purchase the expansive property did not come from ticket sales, vehicle passes, coffee sales or general donations. All money came from donors who specifically invested in the purchase of Fly Ranch.
Burning Man fans don't need to worry, though, as the festival isn't shifting gears. The company maintains their Black Rock City will not relocate and this will be simply a location to be used the 51 weeks of the year that aren't the Burning Man Festival everyone knows and loves.
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Fly Geyser: A Geothermal Masterpiece in Nevada
The Fly Geyser in Gerlach, Nevada is a unique and fascinating natural wonder that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Located in Northern Nevada, about 20 miles north of Gerlach, this geyser is easily visible from the side of the road and its plumes of hot water can be seen from miles away [ 2 ]. In this blog post, we will explore the history, geology, and tourism of the Fly Geyser.
The Fly Geyser was accidentally created in 1916 during the drilling of a well by the United States Geological Survey.
Water heated by the geothermal activity underground was found and released to the surface, creating the geyser we see today [ 8 ]. Over the years, minerals and algae have built up around the geyser, creating the unique and stunning colors that make it such a popular attraction.
To visit the Fly Geyser, visitors can embark on a nature walk around the Fly Ranch property, which includes dozens of hot springs, cold springs, three geysers, wetlands, and more.
The guided 3-hour walk around the property includes a 1.5-mile loop among the historic property at its lush, spring-fed wetland ecosystem, capped off with a visit to the stunning Fly Geyser itself [ 1 ].
The Fly Ranch Nature Walk tours last for three hours and can be reserved in advance [ 9 ]. Visitors can also make reservations through the Friends of Black Rock-High Rock website [ 10 ].
For photographers, the Fly Geyser and the surrounding area are a true blessing and a bucket-list place [ 7 ]. The incredible colors of the geyser and its unique geothermal site make it a popular location for photos and videos.
In 2016, the non-profit Burning Man Project purchased the 3,800-acre Fly Ranch, including the geyser, for $6.5 million. Since then, the unique geothermal site became available for visits [ 8 ]. While visiting the geyser, visitors should remember that it is located on private property and must be accessed through a guided tour [ 7 ].
Fly Geyser in Gerlach, Nevada is a stunning and unique natural wonder that is definitely worth a visit. With its fascinating history, geology, and tourism, it’s a great place for nature lovers, photographers, and anyone who wants to experience something truly unique.
@sciencechannel It’s wild what you find on the surface of Nevada. #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok #geyser ♬ Fly Geyser by Science Channel – Science Channel
Can I visit Fly Geyser?
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