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There's Only One Way to See Fly Geyser, One of the Strangest Rock Formations in Nevada

Nevada Photo + Video + Film Insider Guides
by Matador Creators Dec 22, 2022

Located 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.

If you’re not able to book a nature walk, head to Gerlach, Nevada. The geyser is located about 20 miles north of Gerlach, and is easily visible from the side of the road.

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