Make the journey to Black Rock City just as fun as the destination
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Dip into Lake Tahoe
Whether you drive through the Sierra or fly into Reno, you can’t miss a quick stopover at the gorgeous mountain lake, 150 miles from the playa. Go a couple days early and hike in the Desolation Wilderness (pictured). Relax on the beach, or hit the water on a standup paddleboard or kayak at Sand Harbor. Downhill mountain bike on one of the local slopes, or ride the stunning Flume Trail. If you plan to stay a night or two, be sure to book camping sites or other accommodations well in advance.
The Sierra are full of beginner-friendly as well as expert granite routes with stunning views of Lake Tahoe below. Even if it’s your first time on the rope, you can climb up Donner Summit. The North American Ski Training Center will take care of all of the gear, including shoes, helmet, harness, and even sunscreen, and will tailor the experience to your level.
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Tune in at Pyramid Lake
On the road to Black Rock City, take a break to stretch your legs at the Pyramid Lake Visitor’s Center and learn more about the desert around you. The lake is also the last body of water you’ll see for a while, so dip your toes in and enjoy it. Traffic can back up heavily from this point on. Don’t forget to turn on Burning Man Information Radio (94.5 FM) to get up-to-date information and connect with the assembling community.
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Make a last pit stop
Stop by Gerlach, the last town before the desert proper, for a quick bite and a cold drink. Planet X Pottery has a relaxing bar out back and multiple galleries to browse. Don’t miss the famous ravioli at the unassuming Bruno’s Country Club. Take note! The community has mixed feelings about the influx of thousands of Burners every year. Be on your best behavior, and save the outlandish costumes (or lack thereof) for later.