THE FLY GEYSER on Fly Ranch in Nevada is an unusual (and unplanned) collaboration between man and nature. The multi-colored geothermal geyser, which constantly sprays water five feet in the air, building up the landmark by depositing minerals and multi-colored thermophilic algae on the surrounding terraces—is the result of a 1964 drilling project that was never properly capped.
The geyser discharges water into some 30-40 terraced pools over an area of 74 acres, but the travertine mound on which the geyser sits is relatively small at ~5 feet high and 12 feet wide, and always growing.
The 3,800-acre Fly Ranch property, where the geyser resides was purchased by Burning Man in 2016. Currently it’s not open to the public, but they’ve got plans to create a permanent, year-round site for artists and visitors.
How to get there:
Fly Ranch is located 21 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada. The Fly Geyser sits on private land (no trespassing on this fragile environment), but it’s highly visible, sitting about a ⅓ of a mile off of Route 34. The plumes of water can be seen from miles away.
What to consider
- This is private property, do not trespass to get closer to the geyser.
- The colors are real, but they’re not from minerals—they are the result of algae.
- There are actually two geysers on the property, the first was from a well dug in the early 1900’s, but the 1964 drilling site stole the pressure from the first and that cone now sits dry.
- Learn more about the Fly Ranch here.