March 15-16, 2014
A fun car camping overnight with Carlos at a magnificent, undeveloped hot springs on the edge of the playa of the Black Rock Desert.
»jump to the pics & details
the way in
We drove in from Reno, passing Pyramid Lake on Nevada 447, then traversing the southeastern edge of the playa on Jungo Rd. About 16 miles down the gravel road, we turned onto the dirt causeway that leads to Trego Hot Springs.
Even though we were car camping, we didn’t want to have to set up our campsite right next to the car. We scoped out the area and found a great flat area on the other side of the spring from the parking area. The site already had a little fire ring, so it was a perfect spot to make our temporary home.
After setting up camp, we wasted no time getting into the water. The hot water bubbles out of the ground at northwestern end of the spring and then flows down a long, straight ditch. Right where the water comes out of the ground, it’s too hot to stand, but the rest of the pool is just right. It’s probably between high 90s and 100º depending on where you are. The bottom is the same playa sand that coats everything the eye can see, so it’s a muddy affair, but every so often there are some rocks that offer a nice seat. After soaking in the springs for a while, we headed back to our campsite and had some lunch. Our bellies full, we set out for a walk on the playa. As the day wore on, we found ourselves back at the campsite and we slipped back into the water. The upper 60s of the day faded quickly as the sun set and the full moon rose. To combat the oncoming cold, we sparked up a nice little campfire while we prepared and ate dinner. As soon as the last embers of the fire were out, we retreated to the warmth of our sleeping bags and drifted off to sleep in the silence of the desert. That is… until at an unknown hour when a freight train came barreling down the tracks that run along the edge of the playa, whistle howling!
The morning was still quite cool and we stayed bundled up as we had our coffee and breakfast. As soon as that was out of the way, we hopped back into the gloriously warm water and stayed there for the rest of the morning. After we had our fill of the hot springs, we packed up and made our way back to Jungo Rd. About 3 miles southwest is another spring, Frog Pond. We stopped to look around on our way out. Its waters are clearer and a little cooler than Trego. The rim of its pools is lined with trees, too. It definitely looks like a prime candidate for another trip! After checking out Frog Pond, we hopped back in the car and made the trip back through the Nevada desert land to Reno.
Google map of Trego Hot Springs