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If you’re interested in taking a surreal day trip into the desert just outside of Las Vegas, then there is no better place to visit than the Seven Magic Mountains. What are the Seven Magic Mountains you ask?
The Seven Magic Mountains are seven towers of colorful stacked boulders rising 30-35 feet above the Mojave Desert near Las Vegas. The Seven Magic Mountains is a public art installation created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and the Nevada Museum of Art. It has become a popular Las Vegas attraction.
As you explore the meaning behind this mesmerizing artwork, your perception and understanding of art will inevitably be challenged. The Seven Magic Mountains has become more than just a visually captivating sight; it has evolved into a popular tourist destination for those visiting Las Vegas. So, as you visit this artistic phenomenon, prepare to be amazed and inspired by the excitement and wonder that these colorful totems bring to the vast Nevada desert landscape.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting the Seven Magic Mountains, including the meaning of the artwork, its address, directions, hours, cost, and more, in a complete FAQ.
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Seven Magic Mountains: An Overview
Location and Accessibility
Welcome to Seven Magic Mountains, a unique art installation just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Nestled in the desert along Interstate 15, this eye-catching attraction is easily accessible by car, making it a must-see destination on your next road trip.
Whether you’re heading to or from Los Angeles or exploring the surrounding Nevada landscape, don’t miss the chance to experience this captivating blend of natural and artificial beauty.
Artist and Inspiration
Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone is the mastermind behind Seven Magic Mountains. With a deep appreciation for both natural and man-made environments, Rondinone designed this public art piece to symbolize the contrast between the two.
By featuring colorful, dayglow totems made from locally-sourced boulders, he created a stunning juxtaposition of the vivid fluorescent rocks against the rugged desert backdrop.
Installation and Duration
Produced by the Nevada Museum of Art and the Art Production Fund, Seven Magic Mountains originally opened on May 11, 2016, with the intention of being on display for just two years. However, due to its overwhelming popularity and high visitor rate, the artist and producers sought permission from the Bureau of Land Management to extend the exhibit’s duration.
Now, as you plan your visit, keep in mind the importance of preserving this unique art installation. Please respect the desert environment and remember the crucial role water plays in maintaining the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
Enjoy your time at Seven Magic Mountains as you marvel at the creative genius of Ugo Rondinone and the awe-inspiring juxtaposition of nature and art.
Symbolism and Interpretation
Connection to Nature and Environment
The Seven Magic Mountains, a large-scale art installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, presents a unique interplay between nature and human intervention. As you explore the artwork, you can appreciate its location, which is physically and symbolically midway between the natural landscape of the desert and mountains, and the artificial environment created by human activity.
The display draws your attention to the duality, reminding you of human interaction with the environment and urging you to reflect on it.
Human Nature and Solidarities
In the context of human nature and solidarities, the Seven Magic Mountains can signify unity, diversity, and interconnectedness in a multi-cultural society. Each totem, made of colorful, locally-sourced boulders, demonstrates a coming together of different elements to create something new and dynamic.
By observing the striking display, you’re encouraged to ponder on the stories of humans from various backgrounds and appreciate the value of diversity and collaboration.
Continuities and Rifts
The artwork’s location near the Jean Dry Lake Bed holds historical importance, as it is the spot where artists like Michael Heizer and Jean Tinguely produced sculptures in the past. This connection to previous landscape art pieces speaks to the continuity within the world of art and its evolution. Additionally, the contrast between the vivid colors of the totems and the natural desert backdrop highlights the rift between the natural and artificial worlds.
In viewing the Seven Magic Mountains, you are urged to consider both the traditions and progressions within art, as well as the delicate balance between human innovation and the natural environment.
Facts About Seven Magic Mountains
What Are The Colored Rocks Outside Of Vegas? (Public Art)
The brightly colored rocks just outside of Las Vegas, off Interstate 15, are called the Seven Magic Mountains. The Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary public land art production consisting of seven stacks of large, colorfully painted boulders. The sculpture has become a popular tourist destination for locals and visitors to Las Vegas.
What is The Meaning of The Seven Magic Mountains?
The significance of the Seven Magic Mountains is to allow visitors to consider the vastness of the desert while pondering the stories of humans that have lived and traveled through its natural abundant space over time.
The 7 Magic Mountains are meant to symbolize the contrast between natural and artificial environments.
You’ll understand this the second you see it. The stacks of brightly colored fluorescent rocks surrounded by the vastness of the rugged desert certainly juxtapose the natural landscape with that of the artificial artwork.
Seven Magic Mountains elicits continuities and solidarities between human nature, artificial and natural, then and now.Ugo Rondinone (Artist)
Are The Seven Magic Mountains Still There and Will It Close?
The Seven Magic Mountains were originally designed to be a temporary art exhibit that was to close at the end of 2021. Opened in 2016, the sculpture was originally scheduled to remain up for only two years.
Due to its popularity, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permit for the artwork has continuously been extended and, as of now, will be there through May of 2027.
How Far Is The Seven Magic Mountains From The Las Vegas Strip?
The Seven Magic Mountains are found 21 miles (a 27-minute drive) from the center of the Las Vegas Strip, making it a perfect destination for a short day trip out of Vegas. (See our list of the best day trips from Vegas here.)
Seven Magic Mountains Address, Map, and GPS Directions
The Seven Magic Mountains are located in the Mohave Desert just off Interstate 15, heading south from Las Vegas. The Seven Magic Mountains address is: S Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89054, and turn-by-turn directions can be found on Google Maps here.
Best Ways to Travel to Seven Magic Mountains From Las Vegas (Car, Taxi, Uber)
The best way to get to Seven Magic Mountains from Las Vegas is to either drive your own car or get a rental car. You can also take a taxi or an Uber, but only if the driver is willing to wait and you are willing to pay the wait fees.
It’s easy to get an Uber or Taxi to drive you out to the Seven Magic Mountains for a visit, but unless they wait for you, there will be no way to get back to Las Vegas. Trying to get a taxi or Uber to come to pick you up at this remote location will be next to impossible.
Tours To Seven Magic Mountains
If you’d like to visit this colorful attraction while you’re in Las Vegas but don’t have a car and don’t want to rent one, you should consider taking a Seven Magic Mountains tour, which is available on Viator.
There are several tours to choose from:
- Seven Magic Mountains Adventure Tour: Self-Guided on a Can-Am Ryker!
- 3 Hour Hoover Dam Mini Tour and Seven Magic Mountains: Small Group Combo Tour
- Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, 7 Magic Mountains: Small Group VIP Tour
- Hoover Dam Walk-On-Top Tour with Seven Magic Mountains: One tour, two must-see attractions.
What Does It Cost to Visit the Seven Magic Mountains?
There is no cost to visit the Seven Magic Mountains. The sculpture is a public artwork which makes it free and available for all to enjoy.
Besides being a free Las Vegas attraction, the Seven Magic Mountains can be viewed 365 days a year.
Who Is Ugo Rondinone?
Ugo Rondinone (1964) is an accomplished artist born in Switzerland and now based in New York. He is known for his wide range of modern sculptures and paintings. However, he is perhaps most well-known for designing and building the temporary land-based art piece Seven Magic Mountains found near Las Vegas, Nevada.
When Were The Seven Magic Mountains Made?
The Seven Magic Mountains art exhibit opened in May of 2016 as a temporary art production with an initial viewing schedule of two years.
How Was The Seven Magic Mountains Built?
The Seven Magic Mountains was constructed using thirty-three locally sourced limestone boulders, each weighing between 10 – 25 tons. The entire project took five years from conception to completion and required a large group of engineers, fabricators, and heavy cranes to build.
How Much Did The Seven Magic Mountains Cost to Construct?
The Seven Magic Mountains art installation cost $3.5 million dollars to build. Since it is a public art project, it was paid for by public tax dollars along with a small donation of $100,000 by the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Seven Magic Mountain Hours
The Seven Magic Mountains is open for viewing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including all holidays. These hours cover both the artwork itself and the parking area.
What Are The Best Times to Visit Seven Magic Mountains
The best times to visit the Seven Magic Mountains are weekday mornings before noon in order to avoid the heat and the largest crowds. Weekend mornings are a good time as well, but keep in mind that long holiday weekends and afternoons can get quite crowded.
Also, keep in mind that during the summer months of June through mid-September, it can get incredibly hot out in the desert. This makes the months of late September through May the best time to visit Seven Magic Mountains.
Parking at The Seven Magic Mountains
There is a large gravel parking lot at the Seven Magic Mountains. Parking is free, and there is plenty of room for oversized vehicles.
Can You Park An RV at The Seven Magic Mountains?
Yes, you can park an RV, trailer, or motorhome in the Seven Magic Mountains parking lot. As long as it is not too crowded, there is plenty of room in the parking area for a large RV or other oversized vehicle. The earlier in the day you visit, the better for parking large vehicles.
Instagram and The Seven Magic Mountains
The Seven Magic Mountains are one of Las Vegas’s most instagramable spots. When visiting, expect to see many people working hard to get the best images for their social media accounts.
Is The Seven Magic Mountains on The Way to The Grand Canyon?
Unfortunately, the Seven Magic Mountains are not on the way to the Grand Canyon. The three rims of the Grand Canyon are east of Las Vegas, while the Seven Magic Mountains are located directly south.
If you want to see the Grand Canyon, here’s how to get there from Las Vegas.
How Much Walking is Involved to Visit The Seven Magic Mountains?
It is just under 1/8th of a mile (600ft.) from the gravel parking lot to the Seven Magic Mountains sculpture along a mostly flat, dirt walkway. You will also want to do some additional walking in and around the neon-colored stacks of boulders.
Are The Seven Magic Mountains Dog-Friendly?
Yes, the Seven Magic Mountains is a dog-friendly location. You must keep your pet on a leash, and please be prepared to clean up after them and carry out their waste as there are no trashcans at the site.
Are The Seven Magic Mountains Wheelchair Accessible?
The Seven Magic Mountains are wheelchair accessible. While the parking lot and trail (1/8th of a mile) leading to the art installation are fairly flat, they are all dirt and gravel. Having an electric wheelchair or a strong pusher is required.
Is The Seven Magic Mountains Worth It?
A visit to the Seven Magic Mountains is absolutely worth it, especially since this artwork may not be here forever. If you are looking for something to do in Las Vegas away from the Strip, take a couple of hours to enjoy these vibrant boulders located not far away in the Mohave Desert.
Can You Take Pictures of The Seven Magic Mountains?
Absolutely! You are free to take all the personal pictures and videos you would like at the Seven Magic Mountains. Commercial photo shoots, pictures, and videos, however, are not permitted without written permission from the artist (Ugo Rondinone) as the installation is a copyrighted work of art.
How Long Will We Want to Spend at Seven Magic Mountains?
You can expect to spend an hour at the Seven Magic Mountains. This will give you plenty of time to walk out to the sculpture, meander in between the tall, neon-colored towers, take pictures and walk back to the parking area.
Can You See The Seven Magic Mountains At Night?
Yes, you can visit the Seven Magic Mountains at night as the site is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, be aware that this is a remote area, and there is no artificial lighting. You will need to view the rock totems by flashlight or moonlight. It is recommended that you visit during daylight hours for the best view.
Are There Restrooms at The Seven Magic Mountains?
Officially, there are no bathrooms at the Seven Magic Mountains. On occasion, however, you may find a single porta-potty available for use, but there is no guarantee.
Are There Restaurants Near The Seven Magic Mountains?
Seven Magic Mountains is in a remote location even though it is just off the freeway, and as such, there is very little in the way of restaurants nearby. However, if you turn left (south) when leaving the parking lot, you can continue about five miles to the small town of Jean, where you can find a steakhouse and a truck stop.
Sometimes, but not always, there is a vendor that sets up shop in a trailer in the Seven Magic Mountains parking area. Here you can purchase snacks, drinks, and ice cream.
What Else Is Near The Seven Magic Mountains?
The towns of Primm (18 miles) and Jean (5 miles) are both located near the Seven Magic Mountains. You can also find the famous Pioneer Saloon about a 15-minute drive away. Finally, if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can check out the Jean/Roach Dry Lake.
Places of interest near the Seven Magic Mountains:
- Primm (Google maps) – Primm is small town that sits on the nearby Nevada California border. It’s home to three large casinos, including Whiskey Pete’s, Primm Valley Resort & Casino, and Buffalo Bill’s
- Jean (Google maps) – Jean is approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of the Nevada-California state line along Interstate 15. It is primarily known for being a popular spot to stop and gas up at a couple of service stations, as well as for its close proximity to Las Vegas, which is located about 30 miles (48 km) to the north.
- Pioneer Saloon (Google maps) – The Pioneer Saloon is a historic bar and restaurant located in Goodsprings, Nevada, United States. It was built in 1913 by local businessman George Fayle and is the oldest drinking establishment in Southern Nevada. The saloon has been featured in many blockbuster movies, TV shows, and international media productions.
- Jean/Roach Lake (Google maps) – Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed is a large dry lake bed located near the Seven Magic Mountains. It is a popular destination for off-road enthusiasts, as it provides hundreds of miles of trails for casual and experienced off-highway vehicle drivers.
Other Things To Know Before You Visit The Seven Magic Mountains
- There is a mobile phone self-tour available at the Seven Magic Mountains. The tour is available in both English and Spanish by calling (702) 381-5182 once you’ve reached the site.
- Most months of the year, be prepared for hot and dry conditions. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat. During late spring through early fall, expect temperatures in excess of 100°F.
- If rain appears imminent, be prepared for possible flash flooding in the area.
- Keep an eye out for snakes and the rare desert tortoise, and don’t disturb them if encountered.
- Do not climb or deface the stone sculpture.
- Please pick up after yourself and your pets.
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The Seven Magic Mountains is a fascinating and unique public art installation that has captured the hearts and imaginations of visitors from all over the world. Its meaning is open to interpretation, but many see it as a symbol of the intersection between nature and humanity, as well as a celebration of the beauty and diversity of the American Southwest.
Whether you’re an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, a visit to Seven Magic Mountains is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
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