Magazine article Sunset

Beyond Burning Man

Magazine article Sunset

Beyond Burning Man

Article excerpt

You'll find plenty of elbow room-- and solitude - in Nevada's Black Rock Desert

In the late 1840s, unlucky pioneers believed that the Applegate-Lassen Trail across what is now known as Nevada's Black Rock Desert was the shortest route to the green valleys and gold fields of California. Little did they know it took them 200 miles out of their way. Travel across this inhospitable desert was difficult-livestock died of thirst, people succumbed to exposure and disease. As soon as a better route was plotted, this desert was avoided.

Until recently, that is. The same desolation that once scared people away is now a place where travelers can seek adventure or, perhaps, even pursue their dreams. Black Rock Desert is now one of the West's newest national conservation areas, with 10 associated wilderness areas where the land has remained pretty much unchanged for millennia.

The main attraction of Black Rock is the dry lake bed known as the Black Rock Playa, one of the largest on Earth. …

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