Black Rock Hot Springs

General Description: A huge hot pool with a fancy dock
General Location: Black Rock Dessert
Pool Type: Sand bottom pool next to a death pit
Pool Temps: Extremely Hot (106° - 110° F), Very Hot (104° - 106° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Only when the Playa is dry (Spring and summer)
Restrictions: None, but it is closed during Burning Man
Elevation: 4000 feet.
Distance from road: 0.00 mile.
Map Reference: Gerlach NV USGS 1:100,000 scale quadrangle, or Black Rock Point West NV USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle


The Hot Spring:

  Black Rock Hot Spring is an amazing spring at the base of a large black rock that gives the dessert its name.  The spring was used as a campsite along the old pioneer trails in the area, because of the green vegetation caused by the spring that could feed the cattle and horses.  An old shepherd's wagon is falling apart next to the spring and is a cool bit of American history.  According to stories one party of pioneers in the 1950's could not control their dog and it jumped into the spring dieing within a couple minutes.

  The source of Black Rock Hot Spring is a death pit that is about 20 feet wide by 15 feet long and unknown depth.  A steady flow of 150 degree water emerges from this hole in the ground and flows down hill into a large shallow pool surrounded by marsh.  A volunteer built deck and walking platform connects the edge of the marsh to the pool for a nice soak.  The pool is larger than the death pit with a diameter of around 40 feet.  The water temperature in the pool around the deck is a comfortable 103-105 degrees F depending on ambient air conditions.  If you want to test your fate the water gets hotter as you get closer to the death pit but be very careful.

  The easiest way to approach this spring is from across the playa but this should only be attempted during the late spring and summer when the playa is dry.  Even from this way four wheel drive and high clearance is required because of the couple hundred yards from the playa to the spring.  You can approach the spring from the north on a long 20 mile dirt road.  Four wheel drive and high clearance is required and it is very slow going, but you can use this road when the playa is wet.  This road is not used very often because of the playa super highway and much better maintained road on the west side of the dessert.

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