An attendee walks on stilts across the desert, leaving tall art structures behind him.
An attendee walks on stilts across the desert, leaving tall art structures behind him.

These Photos Prove How Wild Burning Man Really Is

National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey went to Burning Man and all he brought back were these awesome photos.

Burning Man, an annual event in the desert of Nevada, describes itself as a "temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance." What started in 1986 as two friends burning an eight-foot statue on a San Francisco beach has grown, quite literally, into a statue as tall as 105 feet that is burned down at the end of each event around the summer solstice. Live through some amazing moments at Burning Man 2016 and get inspired to attend this year's event.

Buying Tickets

Options for purchasing tickets are detailed on the Burning Man website. Ticket prices vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you’re parking a vehicle, you’ll also need a vehicle pass.

Survival Essentials

Water! (Veterans say 1.5 gallons per person per day; we used about a gallon per person.) Enough easy-to-prepare-and-eat food for your entire stay. Sunscreen. Sanitary wipes. Hat. Headlamp. Dust mask. Goggles. More than one pair of sunglasses. LED lights. Festive attire. Gifts. Trash bags (leave no trace).

Dressed for maximum style and protection against the elements, returning Burners often adopt "Playa names" for the week. Helen of Joy (left) and William the Wizard (right), both hail from Los Angeles.
Dressed for maximum style and protection against the elements, returning Burners often adopt "Playa names" for the week. Helen of Joy (left) and William the Wizard (right), both hail from Los Angeles.
Photograph by Aaron Huey

Getting There

Most Burners drive, but you can also arrive by bus, taxi, or plane (a temporary airport operates at Black Rock City during the event)—and every year at least a few people parachute in. The website has detailed information and directions. Traffic tip: Expect to wait in line many hours while entering and leaving the event. For a shorter queue, arrive a day or two after the opening or stay an extra day.

Camping Options

From pitching a tent to parking a luxury RV, attendees have a spectrum of options. We rented a camper van from JUCY and found it extremely comfortable and convenient, and comparatively affordable. (Note: The camper doesn’t have a toilet or shower.)

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Burning Man Around the World

Events based on the Burning Man ethos and experience are now held throughout the U.S. and around the world, including Australia, Austria, France, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ukraine.

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