People usually don’t start talking about Burning Man again until they start announcing when tickets will available, but thankfully the crew over at the Burning Man blog will post updates as they get them year-round. Some of it is really excellent behind the scenes stuff, especially as the event is ramping up, but today’s post really has nothing to do with next year’s event except for how it’ll leave the festival conditions for potential attendees.

See, it turns out all that rain that finally returned to the West Coast last week has started trickling into the valley where the annual festival is held. Normally the playa surface is dusty, soft, and kicked up in the air from all the activity of all the attendees; this makes it very difficult to navigate, even by bike (like riding through sand dunes). But if the area gets sufficient rain, the dust gets compacted back down into an actual lake bed that sometimes returns, leaving the dry summer with sufficiently firmer ground which makes the event super easy to ride around at and enjoy yourself. And from the looks of the valley today and the activity on the radar coming its way, it seems that the Gerlach, NV area just got itself that new (but obviously very old) lake.

Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com
Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com

It’s called Lake Lahontan.

Wait, what’s Lake Lahontan, you may ask? Well, our beloved Black Rock Desert is actually a dry ancient lakebed – the lake that was once Lake Lahontan (take a look at the dark rings around the mountains surrounding the playa and you’ll see where the waterline was). And during wet years, water flows from up north and fills – very thinly, it’s cool and creepy – some or all of the playa basin.

Definitely looks a bit ominous…

Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com
Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com

But also very neat to see…

Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com
Lake Lahontan | Photo © Taz / BurningMan .com

Welcome Back, Lake Lahontan! [Voices of Burning Man]

Header photo © McKay Jaffe / BurningMan.com