🔥🍉🚛 Transport: To The Playa And Back Again! 🔥🍉🚛

Let's Go To Burning Man!

"So, uh, hold on. How do I actually get to Burning Man again? It's in, like, California, right?" 

Mmmm, no. For quite awhile now Burning Man has been held in Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, just north of Reno (here, I made a Google Map for you). Wild guess here but as you are looking for tips on getting out there, Black Rock City is probably nowhere near where you are right now. But that doesn't mean you can't get there! You even have options! Just look, we've put them in a sexy, sexy table format:

🔥🍉🚛Cheap?Lots of cargo?Fast?Flexible?Reliable?Simple?
Your car★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Rental car★★★★★★★★★★★★★
RNO rideshare★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Burner Bus★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Chartered flight★★★★★★★★★★★
Flight share★★★★★★★★★★★★

And now for the texty, texty version of the exact same information:

Drive Your Own Car!

Your own car. The American Dream. With your own wheels you can easily come and go as you please, bringing your stuff along with you. But also? You have to deal with hella shitty traffic on a two-lane road for hours, having to clean a whole lotta playa dust out of your dream machine and - unless you carpool, which you should! - you’ll be leaving a hefty environmental footprint. Also we’ll probably make you take more trash home if you bring your own car. 

Did you mean to say “Drive Your Own Rental Car” there? Yeah, the same stuff applies, but also rentals will cost you more… And everybody in Nevada knows you aren’t renting that car to go camping. They will make you scrub that dust off if you don’t want to pay even more and may ask for a larger deposit than normal. That goes double if you are contemplating an RV (seriously, folks in Utah and Colorado are quite clear on what you want that big old rolling house for the week before Labor Day).

More Melon Tips For Those With Wheels:
  • If you are planning to bring and/or stay in an RV you MUST READ THIS.
  • You need a vehicle pass to drive your car onto the Playa. See our ticketing page for more on that.
  • Need directions to get to the Playa? Click right here
  • Oh, and also, READ THESE tips and rules for handling the traffic, because seriously, the traffic getting into and out of Black Rock City is awful.

Fly To The Playa!

Hey big spender, look at you! Yes, Black Rock City has its own airport that you can fly into. It is hella fast. But it is also hella expensive (though there are recent efforts to make it less so!). And while it is probably the least stressful way to get in (no lines!) it does come with its own headaches. Like tight (25 lb.) luggage limits. And fixed schedules. And the fear of dying in a tiny plane crash just like John John.

Melon Tips For Those With Wings:
  • You can fly to the Playa from Reno, LA, SF, Sacramento, and other cities. 
  • Prices start at $260 one way to/from Reno. 
  • For more details about the Burning Man Air travel, click here!
  • For more information on the brand-new-in-2016 Burner Express Air services, click here!


Hitching a ride is as old as the open road. And you honestly are probably not going to find a safer circumstance to use that thumb of yours (though probably you won’t use it literally) than heading out to That Thing in the Desert. Burners are friendly folk who are happy to help and like to leave as little of a trace as possible: the more people in a car, the smaller the carbon footprint.

Ridesharing out from the Reno airport is pretty easy - there is literally a table at the airport - and a number of Melons have done it (seriously, just ask about it on our Facebook group!). And in fact, the official Burning Man Rideshare site has folks looking to split rides from all over the country!

As for hitching a ride back from the Playa? That’s super easy. You can literally just stand at the gate with your hand out and you will get a ride. Or you can bike around town with a cute sign. Just give yourself some leeway to get where you are going because you will be on somebody else’s time schedule.

Melon Tips For Hitching Melons:
  • Check out the Burning Man Rideshare page to learn more. 
  • You can also try your luck at the Air Playa Info desk next to baggage claim in Reno Airport, where you might meet others who are looking to drive and split gas. 
  • If you're planning a rideshare for your return home, be very specific about where/when you'll meet your driver on the Playa. And be prepared… people do flake. 
  • You can also hitchhike out the old fashioned way. No, really! It works. Again, multiple melons have done this over the years without an incident.

Burner Express Bus from Reno or San Francisco

The Burner Express - a bus that goes directly onto and off of the playa without waiting in line (specifically the epic line of cars on the playa, it doesn't teleport through regular traffic!) - is quickly becoming one of the best ways to get out to the Playa either from Reno or from the Bay Area. It’s got a low carbon footprint, is not that pricey, is reliable and, best of all, it gets to skip the line coming and going(!!!!). Starting in 2016 Burner Express riders can even enter Black Rock CIty before the gates open on Saturday, August 27. Some of the buses even stop to let you buy groceries on the way in! 

Melon Tips For Your Express Pleasure:
  • Info for the 2016 Burner Express is right here
  • One-way from Reno->BRC is $80.12 without a shopping trip and $85.39 without shopping. Bringing a bike costs another $20.60.
  • One-way from SF->BRC is $113.88 with a bike costing an additional $51.50.
  • The earliest buses into BRC now start Saturday, August 27, before the gates officially open and do not require an Early Access pass!
  • Pro-tip: if you want to leave with the Burner Express AND you want to see the Temple burn, note that you’ll want a later flight on Monday. The last Express bus on Sunday, September4  leaves at noon and the first Express bus on Monday, September 5, leaves at 6 a.m. And the Temple burn is awesome!
  • In 2016 Burning Man is also offering something called Burner Express Plus tickets, which are 500 regular priced Burning Man tickets that you can only use if you take the Bus. It's all a little vague (you don't actually buy the tickets till you get on the bus) but they will be sold at noon PST, July 13 through your Burner Profile. More info here.


Feel free to reach out! If you are planning on walking in, hitching in, flying in or something in between there is a good chance that another Melon has done it before you. Ask other Melons (or the XVC) on our Facebook group and we'll all get through this together!

As seen on  the playa after the Temple Burn, 2013.