Seven Magic Mountains: Land Art

Lynn and I took a short trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for our 15th Wedding Anniversary.  We are not gamblers, but there are many different things to do and see in the area. We may do a few posts on the area, and things we did.

While driving from Las Vegas to Primm, Nevada to go to outlet malls, we saw some brightly colored things in the distance.  They are easily seen from at least 2 miles away as you crest over a hill on the Interstate 15 South.  To me they looked like they giant blow up dancers that car dealerships sometimes use.  Lynn did a quick search on her phone to see what they are and found out that they are land art and made of giant stones.

I am always intrigued by odd things while on road trips, so on the way back to Las Vegas, I made sure to stop and see this exhibit.  There are two exits from the Interstate, both of which have road signs.  Both exits are a couple of miles from the actual exhibit, but it is an easy drive.  There is also parking on the road side, and trails to the rocks.  It is a short walk, so just about anyone can do it.

Seven Magic Mountains is a large-scale site-specific public art installation created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The “mountains” are large local limestone boulders stacked on top of each other.  They are either 3 or 6 boulders high, and are painted with day glow paints.  They color of the paint is amazingly bright against the drab brown of the deserts.


This is short time exhibit.  It opened on May 11th, 2016 and will only be in place for 2 years.  If you happen to be in the area, this is a fun thing to check out.




Borrego Springs, California – Galleta Meadows Estate

We were supposed to be in Borrego Springs to look for wildflowers. After our hike through Little Surprise Canyon, we were driving to Henderson Canyon Road to find more wildflowers when we were distracted by these metal sculptures in the distance. We had happened upon part of Galleta Meadows Estate and the Sky Art installation, owned by philanthropist Dennis Avery, who passed away in 2012, and created by artist Ricardo Breceda. Admission is free! I think it is wonderful that Dennis Avery was willing to share these sculptures with those of us visiting Borrego Springs. We spent so much time roaming around looking for more sculptures (we should have picked up a map of the sculptures at the visitor center!) that our little scavenger hunt kept us from continuing our wildflower hunt.

A herd of elephants in a dust storm! The effect was a little bit eerie!
It was very windy while we were out in the desert, which is why we ended up not hiking as much as we wanted. The wind kicked up a lot of mini-sandstorms while we were looking at the sculptures.


The scorpion is what caught our eye while we were driving by. I am so glad we stopped in spite of all the sand flying around! I was even able to get in a little bit of a science lesson. While we were out looking at these sculptures, we kept getting caught in sand clouds that generated static electricity. So when we touched each other or the car, we got a little bit of a shock!


My oldest son was fascinated by the dust devils. Here is one that we saw just past this row of dead trees.


This one was my favorite of all the sculptures. It was huge! We stayed at this one a while. My kids had fun playing around it, except for Gwen. She stood by me the whole time, trying to keep her hair from flying around her face.


These historical markers are scattered all around the property. I think it is about 3 square miles of land.


I thought these were giant sloths, but maybe they are a relative. I wasn’t too fond of all the sand and wind myself so I tended to stay in the car after we visited the serpent.


These sculptures are incredibly detailed! There are over 100 of them on the property. We didn’t see nearly enough of them.


This looks like a kind of raptor to me. My boys loved these. They got out of the car to see them.

We are hoping to make a trip to see the desert wildflowers every year, so hopefully next time we are in town, we can find the rest of the sculptures.


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