Black Rock Desert


Nevada, USA


The Black Rock Desert is a dry lake bed and the surrounding endorheic basin in northwestern Nevada in the United States. The flat expanse of dry lake, or playa, is a remnant of the prehistoric Lake Lahontan, which existed between 18,000 and 7,000 BC during the last ice age. During the lake's peak around 12,700 years ago, the desert floor was under approximately 500 ft (150 m) of water.

The area was used in the mid-1800s by branches of the California Trail and Oregon Trail for settlement of the US West Coast. Since then, the area has been host to scattered mining activity. The Black Rock Desert also hosts various recreational, scientific, commercial and record-breaking activities which take advantage of the playa's enormous flat expanse.

Most of the region is federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area and 10 federally-designated wilderness area which protect the areas that had been part of the historic trails. BLM also manages recreational activities in the area.

It was the site of the most recent successful attempts on the World Land Speed Record[10]. In 1983, Richard Noble drove the jet-powered Thrust2 car to a new record of 633 mph (1,019 km/h). Noble also headed up the team that beat the Thrust 2 record. In 1997, ThrustSSC became the world's first and only supersonic car, reaching 766 mph (1,233 km/h).

Records Set at Black Rock

Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
October 4, 1983 Black Rock Desert, USA Richard Noble Great Britain Thrust2
Rolls Royce Avon Jet Engine
  633.468 mph (1019.47 km/h)  
September 25, 1997 Black Rock Desert, USA Andy Green Great Britain ThrustSSC
2 Rolls Royce Jet Engines
713.496 mph (1148.26 km/h) 714.144 mph (1149.30 km/h) Andy Green first person thru 700 mph barrier
October 15, 1997 Black Rock Desert, USA Andy Green Great Britain ThrustSSC
2 Rolls Royce Jet Engines
760.343 mph (1223.65 km/h) 763.035 mph (1227.99 km/h)

First supersonic record (Mach 1.016)
First person to set a record over the speed of sound by a land vehicle.

External links




  1. ^ "History". Walker Lake Interpretive Association. Retrieved on 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ "Lahontan State Recreation Area". Nevada Division of State Parks. Retrieved on 2008-11-04. 
  3. ^ "Background Documents for Black Rock High Rock Emigrant Trails NCA". Bureau of Land Management. 2008-04-07. Retrieved on 2008-10-26.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Land speed record