Driving Directions

Don't Fuel up in Gerlach

The Jack Rabbit Speaks (Volume 16, Issue #28) is advising people to fuel their vehicles in Nixon and Fernley and not fill up in Gerlach in 2012. The issue is highway safety. Once again, the JRS forgets that a significant population of Burning Man does not go through Nixon.

This is the post from JRS:


We had a meeting with the Washoe County Sheriffs recently. One of their biggest concerns is that when people are arriving and stop for gas at Bruno's in Gerlach, the traffic backs up past the railroad tracks, and then people trying to get around the backup move into the oncoming traffic lane. And this is bad.

So here's what we'd like you to do if you're coming up Hwy 447 from I80:

1. Get final gas in Fernley, Wadsworth, or Nixon!
2. If Bruno's is full and starting to back up, don't stop on the highway and block the road. If people ARE stopped, don't do risky things like moving into the oncoming traffic lane or stop on the railroad tracks.

The only good solution is for people to gas up in Fernley, Wadsworth, or Nixon. So please, do that.

The solution is to drive 190 miles out of your way to fuel up?

I can foresee several problems. One, it's 97 miles from Cedarville to Gerlach. That's 220 miles round-trip from Cedarville, CA to Black Rock City, NV. Your vehicle, if fully loaded or towing may be getting 10mpg or worse. Another is the fact that Exodus is so slow that you very well could wait in your vehicle for at least 4-8 hours to go from your camp to the highway.

My solution is to tank up before you leave Cedarville. I might suggest a small gas can as an emergency back-up for safety. If Cedarville is closed, you have to go to Alturas, another 27 miles and one 6,200' pass away.

Check your fuel gauge when you reach Gerlach from Cedarville. If you have more than half a tank, you should be safe to get back with no issues. If not, I really advise you to fuel up in Empire before you enter Black Rock City. It saves you the nightmare of 60,000 people leaving Burning Man, then traveling to Empire, getting fuel and then heading north towards Cedarville.

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