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The tiny hamlet of Gerlach, Nevada, is famous as the gateway destination for the infamous Burning Man festival. This desert community is also home to the land speed record. Just two hours from Reno, Gerlach was founded as a train outpost and has survived as a truly unique place that folks love to visit. Gerlach’s quiet and dusty streets, history, amazing night skies, and a fun, friendly population draw people to use little Gerlach as a base of travel in and around this desert, mountain area. Gerlach will draw you in with its quirky personality, and welcome you to its little corner of Nevada. Enjoy your own Old West adventure in this great little place and book an RV in Gerlach, NV.
Imagine 1.2 million acres of stunning desert scenery. A flat expanse, surrounded by black jagged mountains reaching into the sky. At night, 360-degree views from the desert floor stun you with millions of stars that seem so close, its as if you can reach up and touch them. This is the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. Camping, hiking, birdwatching, rock climbing and hunting are all activities enjoyed in this desert expanse.
Farther north of the Black Rock Desert is another magical place of rugged desert landscape, hot springs and historic homesteads known as the Sheldon National Antelope Refuge. This remote refuge is worth the drive in the Gerland RV rental, but make sure to bring everything you need, as there is no service. Fill up the gas tank, make sure you have enough food and water, and enjoy the scenic drive which is suitable for most vehicles (check local road and weather conditions before you go).
Two hours southeast of Gerlach, near Sparks, is the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Here is a completely different setting than the desert landscape of Gerlach. Just a few hours away you can drive your Gerlach rental RV from low desert flatlands to pine-forested mountains. Every season has something to offer. Camping, hiking and birdwatching in the summer, skiing and other winter sports in the colder months. Enjoy dozens of beautiful lakes for boating, fishing and swimming. When the summer rains come, or during the spring melt of the winter snowpack, astounding waterfalls flow.
Lake Tahoe is an easy three-hour drive south of town in your Gerlach rental motorhome and offers full marine recreation opportunities, including boating with power or sailboats. There is also lakeside hiking, camping and other activities for enjoying the beauty and splendor of this lake nestled into a gorgeous mountain backdrop.
For a sleepy little town, Gerlach has a lot going for it. Don’t expect the hustle and bustle of a city. Here, you come to enjoy the “middle of nowhere” feeling that we all need sometimes. Unplug and unwind in Gerlach, and enjoy its slow pace, unique personality, and a surprising amount of services that will make your Gerlach motorhome rental adventure comfortable and fun.
In late August, thousands of travelers come to the Gerlach area to celebrate the famed Burning Man Festival. Participants create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis, and celebrate community, sustainability, self-expression and loveable weirdness. The event culminates with the burning of a huge wood sculpture that is crafted each year.
In October, Gerlach celebrates Race Days, a combination car show, street fair, chili cook-off, open mic festival commemorating the land speed record that was set in the area. Festivities also include live music, golf cart races, kids' races, a pancake breakfast and more.
The rest of the year, Gerlach offers visitors a friendly place to kick back and relax. You might even discover yourself when you visit Guru Road, a unique art installation using local rocks and other found objects, dotted with words of wisdom, tributes to locals, and even tributes to Elvis and Aphrodite. Guru Road is just north of town, off of Highway 34.
Right in town is the Gerlach Water Tower Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally constructed in 1909 to serve the needs of the railroad, the 30’ redwood tower fell into disrepair in the mid-1950s. In 2006, monies were raised by the Ladies Auxiliary to repair the tower to its former state. Today, this park offers wonderful picnic areas, tables and barbecues.
Depending on what time you arrive in Gerlach, your experience will either be that of the Wild West, or a sleepy little town where you can completely unplug and unwind. Your RV rental by owner in Gerlach can help you enjoy everything that this beautiful area has to offer.
Locals like to say, “It’s pretty quiet here, and we like it that way”. Here in Gerlach, you can experience the rural west at its small-town best. Gerlach is about as unique as things get, filled with ranching character, and a rustic charm. Most of the year, this magical place (some say certain sites are haunted) is about as quiet as it gets. The closest towns are Nixon to the south, 60 miles away, and Cedarville, CA, 85 miles north. Neither have full markets. So, if you’re looking for a middle-of-nowhere retreat, surrounded by friendly residents and basic services, Gerlach may just be your own heaven on earth.
Places to park your Gerlach rental camper are plentiful, with the Black Rock Desert area, local and privately owned RV parks, and a myriad of locations in the national conservation areas and wildlife refuges nearby. There aren’t a lot of services, but you’ll find basics at the iconic Bruno’s market, including camping supplies, groceries, fuel, and other necessities. There are nearby ranches that offer parking and facilities for your Gerlach rental RV, including Old Iveson Ranch and Soldier Meadows Ranch. The “Playa” in the Black Rock Desert is a popular spot to park your Gerlach travel trailer rental; the playa is actually the bed of an ancient lake.
Well, Gerlach is a tiny town, and the pickings are slim when it comes to dining. The bars have limited food options, and the local market in nearby Empire has some basic groceries. So, your dining experience in the immediate area of Gerlach will be limited to pub food and what you prepare in your Gerlach rental RV. The good news is that if you venture south toward the Reno and Lake Tahoe area, after enjoying the peace and quiet of Gerlach, you’ll find every type of cuisine you can imagine.
Enjoy quirky Gerlach, its friendly residents, festivals and happenings, and quiet solitude. Plan your retreat and book a Gerlach camper rental today.