Thanks to the support of people like you who share our commitment to northwestern Nevada’s extraordinary landscapes, Friends of Black Rock-High Rock has become a leader in stewardship, education and conservation of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area.
What We Do
Founded in 1999, we provide education and resources for people using the land within the Black Rock High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area. Our membership includes environmental scientists, kite-boarding enthusiasts, campers, star-gazers, conservationists, historians and visitors from all over the world. We work closely with the Burning Man Project, the non-profit organization that hosts 70,000 visitors to the Black Rock Desert at its annual event, promoting land stewardship through Leave No Trace principles.
Stop by our Visitor Center in Gerlach before you start your adventure and speak with locals and experts on the public lands. We provide free maps, travel and weather information including driving and camping conditions on the playa and in the wilderness areas. You can also stock up on books, camping gear, Friends apparel, snacks, coffee and more.
When you are ready to explore, you don’t have to go it alone. Join our staff, members and board on organized events that combine education, recreation and stewardship activities. The annual Black Rock Rendezvous in May is an opportunity to tour the backcountry with experts on the history, natural features, wildlife and challenges to the delicate ecosystem in the NCA. We celebrate the Fourth of Juplaya with user groups from all over the world who spend the holiday weekend exploring all of the recreational opportunities on the Playa. For star-gazers, there is no better opportunity to experience the night sky during Perseids Meteor Shower campout in August.
The Visitor Center is the starting point for most of our events, including Fly Geyser Nature Walks. Acquired by the Burning Man Project in 2016, Fly Ranch is a 3,800-acre parcel that features dozens of hot and cold pools, three geysers, wetlands, a playa, an old farmhouse, dozens of animal species, and more than 100 identified types of plants. Friends of Black Rock High Rock staff and volunteers lead guided tours with small groups, providing insight into this fascinating and constantly evolving project with the Burning Man team. Interested in a tour? Visit our sign up page here.
The Black Rock NCA has limited federal resources to protect the land. Our members are engaged in a variety of conservation projects designed to keep roads and trails usable, clean up and maintain the popular hot springs and make sure that the unique and quirky art and installations are safe, accessible and protected from overuse.
The land inspires artists from all over the world—from painting and photography to textiles and creative writing. You can see many examples in our Gerlach Visitor Center! Our Artist-In-Residence Program gives grants to those interested in living and creating in the area, drawing inspiration from the natural beauty and history of the land. The program is made possible by our partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management Winnemucca District Office and the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
More than ever, we’re engaged in getting more boots on the ground with Citizen Science projects. We work with local residents and members who contribute their expertise and volunteer their time to monitor the springs, drought conditions, wildlife, noxious weed inventory and mapping.