In June 2016, the non-profit Burning Man Project announced that they had purchased the Fly Ranch, including the geyser for $6.5 million. The Burning Man Project is planning to provide controlled access to the property in the future.
The Fly Geyseris an unusual (and unplanned) collaboration between man and nature. The multi-colored geothermal geyser, which constantly sprays water five feet in the air, building up the landmark by depositing minerals and multi-colored thermophilic algae on the surrounding terraces, is the result of a 1964 drilling project that was never properly capped.
There are actually two geysers on the Fly Ranch property.
The first was created nearly 100 years ago as part of an effort to make a part of the desert usable for farming. A well was drilled and geothermal boiling water (200 degrees) was hit. Obviously not suitable for irrigation water, this geyser was left alone and a 10 to 12 foot calcium carbonate cone formed.
The geyser, known as Fly Geyser, was drilled in 1964 and the water they struck was that same 200 degrees. Hot, but not hot enough for their purposes. The well was supposedly re-sealed, but apparently it did not hold. The new geyser, a few hundred feet north of the original, robbed the first of its water pressure and the cone now lays dry.
The geyser is covered with thermophilic algae, which flourishes in moist, hot environments, resulting in the multiple hues of green and red that add to its out-of-this-world appearance.
images credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org
The geyser discharges water into some 30-40 terraced pools over an area of 74 acres, but the travertine mound on which the geyser sits is relatively small at ~5 feet high and 12 feet wide, and always growing.
Fly Ranch is a roughly 3,800-acre parcel of land that features 640 acres of wetlands, dozens of natural spring-water pools ranging in temperature from hot to cold, sagebrush-grasslands, and a small area of playa that opens onto the Hualapai Flat. It is truly an oasis in the desert.
The Fly Geyser sits on private land (no trespassing on this fragile environment), but it’s highly visible, sitting about a ⅓ of a mile off of Route 34. The plumes of water can be seen from miles away.
Fly Ranch will start hosting nature walks soon.