gateway communities

Gateway Communities


The only paved highways to Gerlach and the Black Rock Desert connect from Cedarville, CA in the west (HWY 447), and Fernley, NV in the south (the I-80). Entrance roads surrounding the area can be reached from the I-80, Winnemucca, Imlay and Lovelock, and are unpaved. Roads in from U.S. 95 and NV 140 in the north east are also unpaved. Inquire locally before attempting to drive on any unpaved roads in the area. The only fully paved highway extending through the area is Highway 447, inquire locally or check with different versions of maps to get an idea of your travel before heading out!

Call ahead to be sure a business or area is open to visitors at this time.


Gerlach is the closest town and the southern entrance to the Black Rock Desert. It was established in 1906. Three years later the Western Pacific Railroad built a major train depot and a large roundhouse here. The only vestiges remaining of early railroading are a large wooden water tower near the town center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A kiosk near the water tower provides area information.

Services: Gas, tow service, mechanic, food, lodging, visitor information.

Bruno’s Motel / Country Club Restaurant / Gas 
Motel on the main strip in town. 40 rooms.
Kitchenettes & apartments available, RV parking, casino and restaurants.
Wireless internet. No phones. Restaurant open 10a – 8p. Famous for Bruno’s ravioli, hand-made like momma made 60+ years ago.

The Old Iveson Ranch
Working ranch located at the pavement-end North of Gerlach. Cabin rentals, room rentals, camping, RV storage, bathhouse set at the base of the Granite Range and near Public Wilderness Areas. Phones and wireless internet. Motorcycles, ATV’s and Horses Welcome. Open year-round.

Planet X – Call for Lodging options call for details
Planet X Pottery was established in 1974 at the foot of Granite Mountain between the Smoke Creek & Black Rock deserts of Northern Nevada.
We are trying to survive after the shutdown caused by the Coronavirus and we are now OPEN. Please come prepared with a mask. We have a hand washing sink available for before & after you shop.
8100 Hwy 447 PO Box 4 Gerlach, NV 89412

Soldier Meadows Ranch – Closed to public.


Just south of Gerlach lies Empire. Established in 1922 as a company town for the pacific Portland Cement Company, which mines gypsum in the nearby mountains. Finished gypsum products were produced and shipped to Gerlach on the shortest operating railroad in Nevada. USG idled the plant in January 2011; it now sits empty, the town evacuated.

Services: gas; mini-storage

Empire Distributing – Closed.

Black Rock Mini-Storage
General Warehouse/Storage in Empire, NV

Fernley & Reno/Sparks

Drive east on 1-80 from Reno/Sparks 30 miles to Fernley, the southern gateway to the NCA. Fernley is a growing community offering the most complete services within 100 miles. From Fernley, drive north on NV 447 for 70 miles. The route passes through the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation communities of Wadsworth and Nixon.

Services: Gas, food, lodging, groceries, medical services

Fernley Chamber of Commerce

Reno/Sparks Chamber of Commerce


From U.S. 95 just north of I-80 turn west on the Jungo Road. Drive west for two miles where the pavement ends and continue west on the unpaved Jungo Road for another 96 miles to the junction of NV 447, just north of Empire. Turn left and continue north for three miles to Gerlach. The BLM Winnemucca Field office is also located here at 5100 East Winnemucca Blvd. 775-623-1500.

Services: Gas, food, lodging, medical services, groceries

Winnemucca Convention & Visitors Authority


Drive north from 1-80 on NV 399 for 17 miles to where the pavement ends. Continue north on Seven Troughs Road for 50 miles to the abandoned mining site of Sulphur on the Jungo Road. Continue west on Jungo Road (unpaved and sometimes rocky in places) for 41 miles to the junction of NV 447 just north of Empire. Turn left and continue three miles to Gerlach.

Services: Gas, food, lodging, groceries, emergency medical services

Lovelock Chamber of Commerce


Drive northwest from I-80 by the north end of Rye Patch Reservoir for about 10 miles to enter the NCA at the southeast end of the Emigrant Trail corridor.


The western gateway to the High Rock region of the NCA is situated near the Warner Mountains and Surprise Valley, approximately 100 miles north of Gerlach. To enter the High Rock area from here, head east from Cedarville on 299E. The paved road ends at the Nevada border and becomes Nevada 8A. Follow 8A about 21 miles to the junction of 8A and Route 34. Continue about 1 mile and turn east (right) on 8A. The NCA boundary is within a few miles of the junction.

To reach the Black Rock Desert and Gerlach from Cedarville, head south on Main Street and follow State Route 447 about 83 miles to Gerlach. For more information, visit the BLM Surprise Valley Field office at 602 Main Street, in Cedarville. 530.279.6101.

Services: Gas, food, lodging, groceries, emergency medical services, airport

Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce


Cockrell Ranch – High Desert Lodging
7 miles north or past Eagleville on County Road 31

Surprise Valley Hot Springs
For 21 years of age or older.
PO BOX 509 96104
67254 Hwy 299 East
Call: 530-279-2040 


Modoc Forum:
Modoc Independent News:

Nevada 140 (Denio/Vya)

From this paved highway northeast of Winnemucca, connecting to Denio with U.S. 95 there are several unpaved and unmarked routes leading to the NCA. Local inquiries should be made as to routes and road conditions before attempting any of these drives.

Note: although Vya appears to be a town on maps, there is no gas station, and almost no services.


Old Yella Dog Ranch and Cattle Co.
Rte 8A, Vya, NV
One cabin is available, as well as some RV hookups and tent camping. The roads are not paved and this is a very remote location.

Services in Denio: food, gas, lodging