Gerlach Correspondence – May 2017


Kayaking in Gerlach? 

This wet year has brought an unusual amount of water to the Black Rock Desert. Folks have been kayaking, paddleboarding and floating, taking advantage of this rare phenomenon.

“I’ve never seen this much water on the playa” said a local resident of over 30 years.

Water forms every year on the flat playa, but this year there has been an exceptional amount. The water tends to move with the winds, so sometimes you will find it to be more accessible than others. As of this writing, north winds have pushed the lake back towards the banks at 12 Mile, but just a few days ago the water line was farther out. Don’t expect more than a few inches of depth unless you get out quite a ways.

The 12 Mile entrance is typically the best place to launch from. Be warned, the “lake” does dry up quickly, so visit soon, before it disappears. 

Above all, DO NOT drive on the playa where it is still wet. You will get stuck. People have already been digging deep ruts into what most people hoped would be a “healed” playa from all of these rains. Tread lightly! 

That said, while you’re here stop in at Bruno’s Cafe and check out their newly remodeled bar (almost a year now, but hey … for infrequent visitors and newcomers, it’s new). A new menu was presented in April featuring more yummy choices, like jalepeno poppers, more burger variations, nightly chef specials, and lots of other tasty fare, including hand-made pizzas. Check out the Bruno’s Country Club page on Facebook.

Black Rock Rendezvous

Memorial Day Weekend – May 26-29.  The family friendly Rendezvous is a great way to learn about this area and to get out and explore with experts. The weekend features tours, workshops, conservation projects, a pot luck, dutch oven cook-off, giant raffle, campfire poetry/music and more. 

Camp is located just off the flats near Cassidy Mine. Due to the unusually wet playa, main camp may be located at the top of Cassidy Mine Rd. this year. There are many places to explore that are off the main flats. 

Check back as our schedule may change due to weather. This is a Leave No Trace event, so bring everything you need for the weekend and Pack it In, Pack it Out.  Porta-potties will be provided. For more information visit the Black Rock Rendezvous website.

The Friends of Black Rock/High Rock has up-to-date area information. Stop by their visitor center and gift shop at 320 Main Street in Gerlach.

If you’re planning on coming, please send an RSVP to so they can get a headcount and be prepared for you!

Planet X Memorial Day Weekend Show

And while you’re here, don’t forget to swing by Planet X Pottery for their Memorial Day weekend show and sale, May 27 – 29  (10am-5pm). Planet X is located at 8100 Hwy 447 (8 miles west of Gerlach).

— Margie Reynolds