Hike Black Rock Point

Rate this Adventure 1.5 miles 500 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Josiah Roe

Solitude, isolation, and unparalleled views of the Black Rock Desert from atop the rock from which it draws its name.

Overlooking the Applegate & Overland Emigrant Trail Split, Black Rock Point is a large, dark rocky outcropping from which the Black Rock Desert derives its name. The views are perhaps the best in the entire Black Rock Desert - High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.

The hike to the summit itself is straightforward; it is getting to the trailhead itself that can be tricky.

The only "road" on official maps (whether Google or USGS topos) is an unmaintained dirt/mud trail that leads directly south from the north off of Soldier Meadow & County Road 217 past Double Hot Springs eventually ending at the obvious & clearly marked Black Rock Hot Springs where you can then turn left (east) towards the trailhead. This is also perhaps the most indirect & most difficult route to take.

The most direct way to the trailhead is to head towards Black Rock Hot Springs across the playa: the flat, alkali remains of the prehistoric Lake Lahontan. The are numerous access roads to the playa from either Jungo Road along Jungo Road / County Road 49 along the southeastern edge or from County Road 34 and Soldier Meadow Road.

The difficulty here is that in the winter and spring after any kind of rain the playa is impassable for some time. The lakebed will turn into a kind of mud that will absorb even the most hardcore of 4WD vehicles until the lake dries out. Be mud and moisture aware!

Once you arrive at Black Rock Hot Springs, follow the road around to the NE side of the Point where it leads up a rough, nearly 4WD road to the saddle between Black Rock Point and the Black Rock Range to the east. It is on this saddle that there is a BLM-created parking area and a clear trailhead. 

The use trail is marked clearly by rocks and cairns, and note the fossils that can be found all around. Simply make your way to the summit and enjoy the best views in the entire Black Rock Desert.

As always please practice the principles of Leave No Trace and leave the Conservation Area as you found it for future generations to enjoy.

Note: for new visitors to Black Rock Desert it is always a good idea to drop by the Friends of the Black Rock Desert office in Gerlach for the latest info on desert and playa conditions. The desert can be a remote & unforgiving place with no facilities. They are there to help!

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Hot Springs


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