With more than 75,000 people traveling through these normally quiet rural towns, we have a significant impact on the communities surrounding the Black Rock Desert. Drive slowly. Be courteous and patient, dress appropriately, and be respectful. We are guests here. Be polite and friendly to all local residents, follow posted speed limits, and remember to Leave No Trace.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
Traveling from the West, South, or East to Burning Man on Hwy 447, you will drive through the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe reservation. Please be respectful and supportive of the Pyramid Lake community. Speed limits are strictly enforced. Be courteous to Tribe members. Be respectful of the lake and land — they are considered sacred, and the lake is home to two types of endangered fish. Artifact hunting and graffiti are prohibited. Stay in your vehicle during periods of increased traffic congestion.
The I-80 Smokeshop in Wadsworth and the Nixon Store in Nixon are open for extended hours during peak travel times, and will be fully stocked with gas and other supplies for travelers to and from Burning Man. There are also RV parks and campgrounds, a restaurant and saloon, gray water disposal services, auto/tow service, and a car wash in Wadsworth and Nixon.
Tribal members also offer services along the road such as car washes, tacos, food drives, and trash collection. Note, all vendors are required to register with the Tribal government, and with NDOT if operations occur on state easements. To learn more about the Paiute tribe, including permit info and locations, visit plpt.nsn.us and the Local Towns section of the Burning Man website.
Pyramid Lake Camping & Day-Use
Pyramid Lake is a beautiful ancient lake at the heart of the Paiute Tribe Reservation, with plenty of day-use and camping opportunities before or after a week on the hot dusty playa. All day-use and camping requires Tribal permits. You must obtain a permit to swim in or camp around Pyramid Lake.
Day-use permits are $10 and camping permits are $15 per day. Permits may be purchased at the I-80 Smoke Shop in Wadsworth, Nixon Store in Nixon, Ranger Station in Sutcliffe, or at several locations in Reno, Sparks, or Fernley. To purchase camping, day-use, and other permits online, or for a list of permit locations and additional information about Pyramid Lake, please visit this page. Do not enter closed areas near Pyramid Lake.
Proceeds from permits help support the Tribal Government, and water quality and environmental programs that protect the unique ecosystem of Pyramid Lake year round. The Tribe advises all travelers that the north, east and south sides of the lake, Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge, including the Pyramid and Needles areas, are off-limits and closed to everyone but Tribe members. The beaches on Highway 446 from Popcorn Rock to Warrior Point are open to the public.
If you purchase fireworks on the reservation, you must shoot them on the reservation, and only in specific locations. You must be over 18, and shooting hours are between dusk and midnight. Fireworks are not allowed at Burning Man.
Gerlach & Empire
The citizens of Gerlach and Empire welcome us. Please be considerate of them in return. Drive slowly. Don’t block driveways or streets. There are two gas stations, a market, water store, restaurant, and several street vendors. If you pull over to patronize these businesses, please avoid causing traffic issues. Remember, regular traffic laws apply, and you may be ticketed for obstructing traffic or creating a nuisance. Do not replenish your water supply from a private local spigot. Water is precious in the desert, and this water belongs to local residents. For more info, go to the Local Towns section of the website.
NEW FOR 2019
We have news about our friends at the Empire Store. They have put in a new parking lot across the highway from the gas station and store! No more parking on the road! Here are some things you to know before you go:
- Flaggers are in charge! If flaggers are moving traffic past the parking lot you must keep moving. Do not stop to ask questions, just do as they say. They have a dangerous and important job, please show them respect.
- Parking is limited, especially for RV’s. If the lot is full you must continue down Hwy 447.
- The parking lot is SHORT TERM 30 minutes max – i.e. no hanging out or using the parking lot as a meet-up spot. If the attendants ask you to move along, please do. This parking lot is for people who are shopping. It is not a rest area.
- If you pull into the gas pumps you will NOT be able to pull around into the parking lot, you will have to continue on towards Black Rock City.
- Do not park on the side of the road and try to walk to the store. This is extremely dangerous, and you may be cited by law enforcement.
- The parking lot will be open during Exodus. All of the above will still apply.
- DRIVE SLOWLY! Obey all traffic laws, law enforcement, flaggers, and parking lot attendants. Look out for each other and get to Black Rock City safely!