We get this question a lot. After years of holding the event in the same spot in the Mojave Desert, at the same time of year, we still can’t tell you for sure what the weather will be more than about 7 days out. Desert weather is too unpredictable to be accurate farther ahead than that. Even then, it CAN change, sometimes daily.
This forecast is as of Wednesday, Sept. 20th, the forecast from Wunderground.
It may or may not change daily leading up to the event.
If we took a general average over the last 13 years, we would say mid-80s during the day, and low 60s at night. But don’t plan on that. Don’t plan on anything until we’re closer to a week out. And even then, COME PREPARED.
We’ve had events where it got as cold as the high-30s at night (though that’s rare), and a little over 100 during the day (also rare, though not as rare as we would like). And WIND. We always seem to get at least one day of high winds.
We almost never get any rain during the event, but it’s not impossible.
Speaking of which…
Given the heavy rain and resulting mud Burning Man experienced this year in Nevada, many people have reached out to ask us if that is a concern for our event.
The short answer is: no.
The longer answer?
We are a very different event in many ways and in a very different location.
1. Burning Man (BM) takes place on the Black Rock Playa in the Black Rock Desert of Northwestern Nevada, one of the largest alkali flats in the world. It’s a beautiful, flat, lightly-colored dusty plain, but heavy rains there can cause very sticky clay-like mud very quickly, and 2023 was a freak storm with a record high rainfall in a very short amount of time.
Wasteland Weekend (WW) on the other hand, takes place in a regular desert. The California Mojave Desert, to be specific. Our event property has spots that are rocky but yes, also flat, sandy, and dusty. But the mud there (when it happens) is just regular mud. WW has gravel roads that crisscross our entire location, which BM does not.
2. BM has a population of over 73,000 people. That’s a LOT of vehicles to try and exit a space, even when there are no adverse weather conditions. The normal Exodus (everyone leaving the site) from BM can take on average 4-6 hours, sometimes longer. It’s really about that high number of people all trying to leave at once with limited roads.
WW is just a few thousand people, which is really the biggest difference. Sure, attendees can experience a sometimes hours-long wait in a line of cars before checking in on the first morning, but that’s about it for us. And leaving WW is pretty fast and easy. Just make sure you follow any/all road signs and staff instructions on your way in and out of our site.
3. BM is in a remote location.
WW is only a couple of miles to the nearest paved road, and only about a 25 minute drive to a hotel, gas station, Starbucks, etc..
Bottom line is freak weather can happen at any outdoor event, but given the above, getting stuck in the mud during Wasteland Weekend is not a serious concern.
And we should mention: It has never actually rained during Wasteland Weekend.
Now that we just wrote that, of course it probably will rain this year, just to be ironic, right? But even in the worst-case-scenario, we would know in advance if there was a big storm coming. It wouldn’t be hard to warn some of the less capable vehicles to take the gravel road to the short dirt road and on to pavement to wait out the storm. So there’s your worst-case-scenario, and it’s not that bad.
So, to recap, start checking the weather 10 days before the event starts. Plan for desert highs and lows, and anything in between. There will be wind, sun, dirt and dust. And fun! Lots and lots of post-apocalyptic fun.