Update from Fly Ranch — Camping, Nature Walks, Hot Springs and More!

Hello friends! 

We want to take a moment to share and celebrate the last year of progress on the land at Fly Ranch and honor the incredible contributions of our community and volunteers who make this project possible. We’re excited to share what’s in store for 2023.

2022 Programming Recap

Over the course of our season, we averaged 60-250 people at Fly each week and saw more than 1,000 unique visitors to the property. We continued to be entirely powered by renewable energy; in 2022 we quadrupled our solar reserve and eclipsed 100 kwh of capacity on site. We also launched a major update to the Fly Ranch Virtual Tour. Here are few highlights from last year’s programming:

  • The Fly Guardians are an all-star crew of volunteer site stewards who camp at the springs and protect its natural beauty and critical habitat. They completed more than 130 24-hour shifts with a crew of 42 active Guardians.
  • Friends of Black Rock-High Rock hosted the fifth season of weekly nature walks for the public at Fly Ranch. In 2022, Friends ran 52 Nature Walks with more than 750 participants. 
  • We prototyped Fly Ranch Stewardship Days and hosted eight of these volunteer action days between April and October with more than 80 registrants.
  • We continue to graze 150 head of cattle, fix fences, address non-native plant spread, and do many other ranching projects. (It’s not all Burning Man all the time!)

2023 is going to be another exciting year with several ways to get involved at Fly Ranch. We’re glad to be able to give you a preview of how to get involved.

(Photo by SEED Project)

Stewardship Campouts

Once a month, starting March 2023

In 2023, we are very excited to welcome the public to join us at Fly Ranch for weekends of stewardship, fellowship and fun! These weekends are an opportunity to invite the Fly Ranch community to camp on the property once a month. Each weekend will focus on a hands-on stewardship project while setting aside plenty of time to explore the property, soak in the hot springs, make new friends, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. You can learn more and sign up here.

Fly Geyser, 2022 (Photo by Peter Thoeny)

Fly Ranch Nature Walks

Saturday mornings and evenings, April to October 2023

The local conservation group Friends of Black Rock-High Rock offers three-hour nature walks on Fly Ranch where participants can explore two distinct portions of the 3,800-acre property. This is a great offering to share with friends and family who want to explore the ranch on foot and experience the Fly Geyser in person. Signups for 2023 Fly Ranch Nature Walks can be found here.

(Photo by Thomas Takano)

Fly Ranch Guardians

Volunteer roles, available all year

If solo camping is more your flavor, the Fly Ranch Guardians are a network of volunteer land stewards who help monitor and preserve the beauty of Fly Ranch. This unique role is a hybrid of the Black Rock Rangers and the Earth Guardians. It provides an opportunity for volunteers to spend several nights at a time in the desolate beauty of the Hualapai Valley and experience the land and hot springs first hand. Fly Guardians monitor the property, interact with and educate visitors, and prevent trespassing or misuse of Fly Ranch. If you’re interested in volunteering as a Guardian, you can learn more here.

Fly Labyrinth, 2022 (Photo by Steve Teitze)

Labyrinth Walks with Will Roger and Crimson Rose

Sundays at 2:00pm, year-round

Each Sunday afternoon, Burning Man co-founders Crimson Rose and Will Roger walk the entirety of the Fly Labyrinth that they lovingly hand-built throughout the course of the pandemic. Will and Crimson have graciously invited Fly Ranch and Burning Man community members, and the public, to join them each Sunday. You can either check with us at flyranch@burningman.org or stop in at the Burning Man Gerlach Office at 390 Main Street to get the latest information. Learn more about the Fly Labyrinth here.

About the Fly Ranch Project

We are a year-round platform for artists, makers and organizers of the Burning Man community and an incubator for wider cultural, ecological, and programmatic experiments. Our top priorities are to care for the land and help people engage with programming to build toward that. We’ve supported Burning Man’s 2030 Sustainability Goals. We take stewardship seriously and are working to address nonnative plant sprawl, reverse the impacts of decades of conventional ranching, and protect hundreds of acres of critical wetlands habitat, including the home of the at-risk and endemic Fly Ranch Pyrg. Through all our work we try to balance ecology, human habitation, land art, gatherings and sustainability. These projects and our vision have formed through an open-source process. All of our documents can be found on our website. Fly Ranch is located on occupied Numu (Pyramid Lake Paiute) tribal land.

Do you enjoy pretty pictures and cute animals? Browse the Fly Ranch Instagram.

Cover photo by Ben Henretig

About the author: Zac Cirivello

Zac Cirivello

Zac has been managing teams in Black Rock City since 2010. He spent three years as a part of Burning Man’s Communications team developing the organization’s voice as a nonprofit and driving strategy behind key communications initiatives. He studied Environmental Science and spent a decade producing events and festivals focused on arts, community development, sustainability, and food. As Operations Manager for Fly Ranch, Zac oversees communications, community engagement, affiliations and site operations for the project.

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