Driving To Black Rock City

Photo by Timmmii, 2007; Empire, NV
When driving to Black Rock City, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Take Your Time – We know you’re excited to get to BRC. It is exciting, after all. But don’t try to rush things. You’ll get there. This means don’t try to pass slower vehicles on Hwy 447. This is a very dangerous single lane road to attempt to pass. This stretch of road is long, windy and hilly. You’ll be at the gate before you know it. Slow up.
  • Construction – If you’re coming from the west on I-80, be aware that there is some construction zones not too far from the Nevada border and traffic is winnowed down to one lane for several miles.
  • Slow It Down Through Small Towns – Once you get off I-80, you’ll be traveling through a number of small towns like Wadsworth, Nixon and Empire. Be very aware of your speed as you enter the city limits. We’re talking 25 mph. Seriously. Local police are sitting there just waiting for someone to zip through at 40 mph and will pull you over lickity split. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
  • Fill Up Your Gas Tank Before You Get To BRC – Although there are gas stations in Gerlach, Fernley and Empire, don’t count on them being open 24 hours a day. Your best bet is to stop off outside of Reno and fill ‘er up like at Boomtown or somewhere like that, before you get to downtown Reno.
  • Driving At Night – Many people like to drive to Burning Man at night. There’s less traffic on the freeways, and the wait at the gate is usually shorter as well. But that said, driving at night can be hazardous sometimes, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Hwy 447 and its multitude of twists, hills and blind turns. And don’t forget the potential for cattle to be wandering into the road. First, if you’re feeling sleepy, pull off the road and stop at a rest area or gas station as soon as you can. Or if you’re already off the freeway, be sure you have the energy to make it for the last couple of hours on 447. Much of the road is without shoulders and is often a steep drop-off, so there are few places to pull off the road if you’re road-weary. The local police won’t take so kindly to you parked on the side of the road either. Just play it safe, make stops when you can and get here without incident. We’ll all feel so much better.

About the author: timmmii

Tim was not born on a bayou, but he wishes he had, as that would be more romantic. Tim is a writer, editor, picky eater, lighter of some fluids, co-founder of Fireside Storytelling, wannabe statistician, avid bicyclist, host of the radio show Down The Well w/ Timmmii on RadioValencia.fm, fighter, loud, and Burning Man maven since 1999. Tim has other talents too but he prefers to leave you guessing.

One comment on “Driving To Black Rock City

  • Bigs says:

    as of Saturday night 80 east is free of construction from the bay to reno and past to wadsworth. For all we know Things may change in the morning.

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the flame!

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