Driving to Burning Man from Portland

Listen to 94.5 FM for BM traffic information, 95.1 FM for Gate Info

Click here for weather.

Route: 

  • Portland to Eugene
  • to Klamath Falls (Fred Meyer here open to 11 p.m. on Sunday) 
  • to Alturas, CA (Fill up on gas--in case it's night, esp. if worried about Cedarville's gas station being closed)
  • to Cedarville (BBQ available, even fairly late)
  • to just North of Gerlach (not actually passing through it, but turning left North of Gerlach and driving to the playa).  The 447 turn left to get to BM without going into Gerlach. It comes up fast and is not well marked

Potential Fuel Stops:  Alturas (117 miles/17 gals);  Cedarville (98 miles/14 gals; either 9 pm or midnight close call here); Gerlach (48 miles but potentially long waits).

Map Link Portland to BRC

Alternative routes, in case of road closures

Information re the drive from PNW to BRC

Sunrise/Sunset:  6:25 a.m/7:52 p.m on drive 

Detailed sunrise/sunsert, moon phase calendar

Sample Driving Schedule:  Leave Portland at 11 a.m; Eugene at 1 p.m.; Kalamath Falls at 4 p.m.; Alturas at 6 p.m.; Cedarville 6:45 p.m.; 3 hours to BRC enterance.  

2017 Wait Times

Gait wait times in 2017 [from enterance to park to festival; there is a short gap of road before where they may be some delays]

wait times 2.png

Detailed Driving Information

Eugene to Klamath Falls, Oregon
Distance: 168 mi.
Driving time: 4 hours

From Eugene you will pass through the Willamette National Forest with breathtaking views and wonderful Douglas Firs. This is the last time on the journey you will see trees like this. From here on out the land becomes more arid as you go.

Just south of Eugene, take exit #188A to OR-58 (Willamette HWY) towards Oakridge/Klamath Falls. Keep going left at the fork in the ramp.
Take OR-58 to US-97 (86 mi total).
You will pass through Goshen (6.6 mi).
You will pass through Pleasant Hill (4 mi).
You will pass through Trent (4 mi).
You will pass through Minnow (7.2 mi).
You will pass through Crale (5.7 mi).
You will pass through Hampton (4 mi).
You will pass through Willamette City (9.5 mi).
You will pass through Oakridge (1.4 mi).
Note: This is the last town of any size until Klamath Falls.
Note: Kitson Hot Springs is 4.6 mi away down Kitson Springs Rd.
You will pass through McCredie Springs (10 mi – 18 min).
You will cross the Willamette Pass (5,128 ft).
You will pass Crescent Lake.
You will pass through Crescent Lake Junction (24 mi – 42 min).
You will reach US-97. Turn slightly right and head south for Klamath Falls (16.7 mi).
Note: If you need gas or food, La Pine is 28 mi north on US-97.
Take US-97 to Klamath Falls (78 mi total).
You will pass through Chemult (11 mi).
You will pass thorough Beaver Marsh (18 mi).
You will pass by Modoc Point (50 mi).
At Modoc, you will follow the shoes of Upper Klamath Lake into Klamath Falls (20 mi).
You will pass through Algoma (21 mi).
Welcome to Klamath Falls.

***

Klamath Falls to Alturas, CA
Distance: 100 mi.
Driving time: 2.5 hours

You have to weave through Klamath Falls before you head off to Merrill, then on to California. It is approximately 24 mi to the border. The entire town closes down at 11:00 PM. There is not a single grocery store open until 7:00 AM. The only thing open late is a Denny’s located next to the Safeway.

Stay straight to go onto KIT CARSON WAY. (2 mi).
Stay straight to go onto OR-39 (5 mi).
Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto KLAMATH FALLS LAKEVIEW HWY (0.2 mi).
KLAMATH FALLS LAKEVIEW HWY becomes OR-39.
You will pass through Merrill, OR (12 mi – 30 min).
In California, OR-39 becomes CA-139. Head south to CA-299 (56 mi total).
You will pass through Tule Lake (8 mi – 15 min).
You will pass through Newell (7 mi – 14 min).
You will pass by Copic (2 mi).
You pass through a California Agricultural Station (think of it as a border crossing). You will be asked pointed questions about certain fruits and vegetables you might be carrying (12 mi).
You will pass by Perez (2.6 mi).
You will pass through Ambrose (20 mi).
Continue to the intersection of CA-139 and CA-299 (8 mi).
Take a left at CA-299 and head East to Alturas, CA (19 mi).
Just past the interchange, you will pass through Canby (1 mi).
Welcome to Alturas, CA.

***

Alturas, CA to Cedarville, CA
Distance: 23 mi.
Driving time: 32 minutes

After leaving Alturas, there is nothing in the way of services until Cedarville. The Cedarville Pass is 6,305 ft and from the top of the pass to Cedarville is very steep and windy road. If you ride your brakes, they can easily overheat and catch fire. Also, beware of cows that congregate on the roadway halfway down. No, I am not kidding.

CA-299 becomes US-395 outside of Alturas. I think right at Main Street.
Continue past the California Agricultural Station to the turn off for CA-299 to Cedarville (6 mi).
Take CA-299 to Cedarville. Along the way you cross the Cedar Pass (6,305 ft) (17 mi).
Welcome to Cedarville, CA. Here you’ll find gas, food and groceries. See our Cedarville information page for a full listing of businesses.

***

Cedarville, CA to Gerlach, NV
Distance: 83 mi.
Driving time: 2.5 hours

This is the most desolate stretch of the journey. The only business along the way between Cedarville and Gerlach is Planet X Potter a few miles outside of Gerlach. There are almost no houses and I do not know if the ones along the route are occupied or not.

Turn right at the gas station (after gassing up) and continue south to Gerlach on CA-447 (82 mi).
The road is actually called Surprise Valley RD.
You will pass through Eagleville (15 mi – 26 min).
In the distance to the left, you will see Middle Alkali and Lower Alkali Lake.
The color of the road completely changes. Welcome to Nevada (8 mi – 15 min).
You will notice the lack of anything except hills and scrub bushes.
You pass Planet X Pottery (50 mi – 1 hour 30 min).
You arrive in Gerlach (10 mi – 15 min).

***

Gerlach, to Burning Man
Distance: 11 mi.
Driving time: 20 minutes

We can’t emphasize this enough, when in Gerlach and the surrounding suburbs, drive below the speed limit. You will see more police officers in Gerlach than you saw during your entire journey. They have no problem writing tickets for any offense. However, it has been our experience that the officers will treat you with the same amount of respect that you show them. So our advice is to be courteous to the locals and participants alike. Remember, anything you do reflects on the event as a whole.

Head north from Gerlach to the fork in the road (1 mi).
Veer right and continue on NV-34 (11 mi).
On the right side of the road you should see the entrance of the event. Follow the signs posted by Burning Man staff to conclude the journey. There will be directions on how to get to the event from here. Follow the posted signs, drive below the speed limit and if you for some reason cannot find your way, stop at a bar and ask for directions. I highly recommend that you top off your tank before heading out to the event.

And the exit wait....

Actual sunrise/sunset at BRC (adjusted for terraine)