Seven Magic Mountains is a unique piece of art work installed in the middle of the desert, just a few minutes away from the Las Vegas strip. Because it would be on our way during our Southwest road trip to Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, we intentionally put it on our bucket list of road-side places to stop.
If you’re one to spend much time on Instagram, perhaps you have noticed these beautiful sculptures. Many people choose to stop here on their way to Vegas because of the cool art work and the great photo ops. Of course we had to stop too.
This piece of art is by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. His seven colossal sculptures are meant to represent a similarity of the beautiful hoodoos that are found throughout Utah. What makes this piece special, is the florescent colors of the rocks stacked upon one another in the middle of the vast brown desert. They kind of look like glowing totems bursting with color. You can learn more about Seven Magic Mountains here.
Seven Magic Mountains took nearly five years to make. The artwork consists of limestone boulders that are stacked vertically and stand between thirty to thirty five feet high.
According to Rondinone, the location of the Seven Magic Mountains art piece is a physical and symbolic representation of the natural and the artificial. The natural part, is the desert and mountain ranges. The artificial, is the highway and traffic flowing nearby.
What to know about Seven Magic Mountains:
This two year installation opened in May of 2016 and will close in May 2018. It’s located just off the Interstate 15 and 10 mile south of Las Vegas. It’s hard to miss this pop of color in the Ivanpah Valley.
You’ll also see brown signs along the highway announcing Seven Magic Mountains. There is a parking area for visitors and very short unpaved trail leading to the sculptures. Since you are in the desert, be aware of rattlesnakes and stay on the trail.
There are no restroom facilities or amenities on the site. If you’ll be spending plenty of time on site, make sure you have water as heat conditions can get hot and dry. Day time temperatures during the summer are well over 100°F/37°C.
When visiting, do not leave trash behind nor attempt to climb on the sculptures. They are meant for visual enjoyment. However, there are many people who don’t realize this.
When we visited, we stayed for quite some time and people came and went. Some moments there were many people, and then we’d have a few minutes with almost no one roaming around. It’s possible to take pictures without people in the background if you wait around a bit.
Lastly, the installation has interpretive signs as well as Guide-By-Cell in English and Spanish. Through cell phone guidance, you receive information about the art work and land art in Nevada. You also get to learn about the artist.
About the Artist:
Ugo Rondinone, born in Switzerland in 1964, lives and works in New York. Overall, his work is recognized for its emotional range that creates both physiological expression and insight to human condition and the relationship between human and nature. Rondinone’s artwork has been found in Rotterdam, Pairs, Shanghai, Mexico, Chicago, and more.
Over to you. Have you been to Seven Magic Mountains? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments. And if you haven’t, you need to add this stop to your Las Vegas visit.