This is the final post covering my recent mini-Southwest road trip, which I’ve been blogging about in no particular order. It’s come full circle — so to speak — as I’m finishing up where it began: Las Vegas. But this post is about what happens outside Vegas! For me, that meant a trip to Seven Magic Mountains & Red Rock Canyon.
But before we head off into the Nevada desert, time for a brief tangent —
Feel free to skip this tangent and scroll straight down to Seven Magic Mountains! I won't be offended at all! Well, maybe just a little. 😉
Southwest Road-Trip Recap!
In the past weeks I’ve written about my experiences appreciating zany art at SoCal’s Salvation Mountain and East Jesus. I’ve also shared a photo journal of my playful jaunt to Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs (spoiler alert: it included a lot of selfies).
What I haven’t touched on is the Arizona part of my trip. That segment started in the suburbs of Phoenix, where I caught up with dear friends. (I spent two years of high school in Mesa, Arizona, so I’ve got some roots in the area!)
After Phoenix I spent a week down in Rio Rico (near the Arizona-Mexico border) with visits to nearby Tucson. That part of the trip was solely about spending time with family. And frolicking with hay bales.
What Happens Outside Vegas
But let’s get back to the beginning: leaving Las Vegas. When I say leaving Las Vegas, I mean barely. I picked up my little red Toyota Yaris rental car and drove twenty-two miles south of Vegas, to Seven Magic Mountains!
Have you ever heard of it? I only saw my first pictures of Seven Magic Mountains through a fellow blogger — guess where? — on Instagram! (Yes, I know. It’s an ongoing theme.)
Seven Magic Mountains: Stonehenge Meets Pop Culture
So, what is this magical place? Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains is an art installation just outside Las Vegas.
I found this description in the “About” section of its official website:
"Visible across the desert landscape along Interstate 15, Seven Magic Mountains offers a creative critique of the simulacra of destinations like Las Vegas. According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas."
Personally, I like to think of Seven Magic Mountains as Stonehenge meets pop culture!
Basically, the art installation is made up of seven stacks of giant painted rocks, thirty- to thirty-five feet in hight, in the middle of the Mojave Desert!
It doesn’t take much time to visit, so the trip is short and sweet and fun for photographers! Although it might take some time to get a good shot, as other visitors are walking around with their selfie sticks trying to do the same!
Seven Magic Mountains is so conveniently close to Las Vegas that it’s definitely worth a short visit!
Red Rock Canyon
After checking out Seven Magic Mountains, my rental car and I moseyed on over to Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon is about 25-miles and 25-minutes west of Las Vegas. And it takes about 45 minutes by car to get from Seven Magic Mountains to Red Rock Canyon.
There are so many trails and different stopping points at Red Rock Canyon. You could spend days exploring the area.
Once you enter, you’re committing to a 13-mile one-way loop around the national park. (So make sure you’ve got enough gas!)
There are designated stopping points where you can hike or simply enjoy the scenery. And the scenic-loop drive was breathtaking!
I only really got to explore a fraction of what Red Rock Canyon has to offer, but it was gorgeous.
I’d definitely go back to do more hiking if I’m in the area again. And I recommend you do the same! 🙂
Thanks for joining me on this trek into the dusty, but beautiful, Nevada desert! 🙂
Have you been out in this neck of the woods before? How did you like it? If not, do these places appeal to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!