What began as an accident is now a popular interest to tourists, and Nevada's Fly Geyser is a roadside attraction of the otherworldly kind. Its strange appearance gives off a unique rainbow of colors, thus giving it the nickname of the "Rainbow Geyser." While not the most well-known, mad-made natural wonder in Nevada, it's one that's definitely worth getting a look at - especially since its wild hot springs can be seen from miles away. There are many things to see in Nevada besides the Vegas strip, and this is one of them.
Unlike the natural geysers in Yosemite, this geyser isn't open to the public but there is still such a thing as "thermal trespassing." There are several legal ways visitors can see it, whether it be a first-hand view or observation from a distance. Back in 1964, this geyser was created when a geothermal power company drilled into a test well and without proper capping or plugging, the geyser has since been left to do its thing in the middle of Northern Nevada.
Where Is It?
The Fly Geyser is located on Fly Ranch, which is on roughly 3,800 acres that are owned by the Burning Man Project. This land was purchased back in 2016 which meant it was no longer public access, meaning anyone wanting to see the geyser in action needed to find alternative ways to do so. The geyser itself is about two hours from Reno but worth the drive in order to see why this geyser is so amazing.
What Makes It So Unique?
Geysers are fascinating, to begin with since it's not every day someone has the chance to witness scalding water exploding into the sky in a cloud of mist. However, the Fly Geyser has drawn so much attention due to its unique structure and shape, and it's one that's been constructed by nature herself over the last 50+ years. Due to the minerals in the geyser's water stream, the moisture that rains back down on the opening of the geyser has gradually created various tunnels and tubes, each sporting a vibrant color.
All of these minerals, over time, have become stacked and created the intriguing walls out of which the geyser's water stream shoots out of. The geyser itself is roughly 30 feet tall, and its awesome coloring comes from the thermophilic algae that live on its surface.
Are There Dangers Associated With It?
While it's a far cry from the most dangerous tourist destinations, there are some things visitors need to be aware of. The first is that even though this geyser was created by a human accident, that doesn't mean humans can't further disrupt its surrounding ecosystem. The minerals and algae that live in and around the geyser require very specific conditions to survive, therefore humans need not interfere by touching or getting too close to the geyser or its natural mineral pools.
On the visitor danger side of things, those should bear in mind that this geyser is hot - the geothermal pools alone could reach temperatures of 200 degrees.
How Can Visitors View The Geyser Up Close?
There are private tours that can be booked in order to see the geyser from a close range. These tours were first opened back in 2018 and it had been the first time since the land was purchased by the Burning Man Project, so they're definitely worth taking advantage of. Burning Man is actively doing research to decide how they, too, can provide guided tours in a safe way without infringing on the natural environment of the geyser. However, for those who are comfortable with a roadside view, head to Gerlach via State Route 34 - visitors should be able to observe this massive structure there.