Getting to burning man can be half the fun at least if you take the right route 🙂 Some they might need to go a different way, especially if you have a big trailer and can’t make a little climb, otherwise coming from Seattle to Burning Man this is the funnest way, pretty fast, and very few police to write speeding tickets. (Note we now include a link to a second route suggested as faster though not funner) Also see our Burning Man Time Lapse and Best Burning Man Video Pages)
Estimated route time and Distance
Seattle to Gerlach, NV
Distance: 660 mi.
Driving time: 16 hours
The whole trip takes about 14-16 hours, if you wish to sleep on the way, we suggest Summer Hot Springs, Bend Oregon, or Lakeview. Lakeview OR is on the California border and therefor super close to BM and has a couple of cheap hotels.
Seattle to Vancouver Washington
The first step is take I-5 south from Seattle or points nearby, if you are far east of Seattle then take I-5 to 97 south, and connect with ur Map in Mount Hood.
Right Before Vancouver there is turn off for 205 this takes you around Portland and saves time. If you need to stop in Portland go for it, you can easily get to the next leg from Portland as well.
After getting on 205 you will cross the Colombia river and get onto 84 for couple miles, then follow these instruction to get to 26 Eest, remember 26 is Burnside in portland so if you find Burnside just follow it East until it is a highway.
26 Takes you to top of Mount hood and eventually you will turn south to Highway 97. FRom here it is a couple of hours To Bend the mid point of the trip and a good place for food and supplies!
From Bend continue about 30 miles to La Pine and the turn East again at Or-31
I highly encourage you to tank up in La Pine, no matter what your fuel situation might be. There are no 24 hour gas stations for the rest of the journey. You can use a credit/debit card at the Alturas Chevron after hours.
La Pine to Lakeview, OR
Distance: 145 mi.
Driving time: 4.5 hours
US-97, OR-31, US-395
After fueling up in La Pine, you head east through Oregon on the second most desolate stretch of the trip. You pass through some wonderful country during the day and by night, well, have your windshield fluid topped off because you will pass through swarms of bugs that are unbelievable. Also, watch for animals on the roadway such as deers, cows and of course, skunks.
Lakeview, OR to Cedarville, CA
Distance: 65 mi.
Driving time: 2 hours
US-395, CA-299, CA-447
Gas prices are on average cheaper in Oregon than California so completely top off before leaving Lakeview. There is one gas station south of town that closes around 10:00 PM and no other that is regularly open until Alturas. This is where you face the Cedarville Pass. It is 6305 ft and there is no other alternative. Check your water and if driving with a trailer, be courteous to other drivers going up the pass who may be able to pass you. Downshift rather than riding your brakes going down the pass, they can overheat and catch fire.
Cedarville, CA to Gerlach, NV
Distance: 83 mi.
Driving time: 2 hours
This is the most desolate stretch of the journey. The only business along the way between Cedarville and Gerlach is the small store and Post Office in Eagleville, Planet X Pottery a few miles outside of Gerlach and that’s it. There is almost no houses and I do not know if the ones along the route are occupied or not. One mile before you reach Gerlach, there is a short road that allows you to cross directly to NV-34 and skip Gerlach entirely.
Gerlach, to Burning Man
Distance: 11 mi.
Driving time: 20 minutes
Here is the Map for Summer Hot Springs, once I got gas here when I ailed to abide by the instructions to gas up in La Pine 🙂
205 to 26
Take exit 22 for Interstate 84 E/U.S. 30 E toward The Dalles
Merge onto I-84 E/U.S. 30 E
Take exit 16 for 238th Dr toward Wood Village
Follow US-26 E and US-97 S to your destination in Bend
148 mi / 2 h 48 min
Turn right onto NE 238th Dr
Continue onto NE 242nd Dr
Slight left onto NE Burnside Rd
Continue onto US-26 E
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