Zach Alan
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for information on Michael Heizer's "City", refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Heizer http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/magazine/06HEIZER.html http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/12/arts/art-architecture-a-sculptor-s-colossus-of-the-desert.html http://clui.org/ludb/site/complex-city http://doublenegative.tarasen.net/city.html

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Michael Heizer has spent 40+ years and close to 25 million building 'City', I'd recommend referring to "Art's Last, Lonely Cowboy" for an interesting read on the subject

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/magazine/06HEIZER.html?r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2005/02/06/magazine/20050206HEIZERAUDIOSS.html

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This photo is the nearest legal view of 'City', from the gate - 'City' is off behind the trees, below the setting sun. There are no hillocks or trees in the valley to stand on to try and see in, the entire property is fenced and posted against trespassers, the structures are mostly hidden behind earthen berms and oriented away from the gate, and the nearest potential hillside viewpoints would theoretically be five and ten miles away (that's Worthington Peak in the background, easily ten miles to the hillside). Until 'City' opens to the public it's a long rough drive for the scenery and hiking (which are great, but very remote), so for now I'd recommend going to see 'Double Negative' (and Valley of Fire State Park), which are much closer to civilization, instead

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I do not own the rights to the photos posted here (except for the ones which I shot at the gate), but have googled for and posted them here so that land art enthusiasts and others may enjoy a preview of 'City' until such time as Heizer chooses to open it to the public - if you own the rights to any of these photos and would like them removed, please say so under the photo

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Heizer is notoriously private and is not fond of unwelcome visitors (if you drive out to see 'City' without an invitation you will NOT get in or even be able to peek in from the fence, and I would strongly not recommend sneaking around outside for a view in - for starters it's really not possible to see in given how it's situated and beyond that it's a seriously bad idea to trespass around ranches anywhere for obvious reasons, so if you are considering driving out on a whim just to see what's there as I did, I would recommend allowing Heizer his much valued privacy and go to see Heizer's 1968 work 'Double Negative' instead, until such time as Heizer sees fit to open 'City' to the public

Seriously, just trust me on this - I've done it, it's a long drive, and you can't see a damn thing from the gate or anywhere else nearby. If you go, go to see the newly dedicated Basin and Range Monument, not to see City - not yet

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Directions to 'Double Negative' are here

http://doublenegative.tarasen.net/doublenegative.html

http://www.moca.org/visit/double-negative

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To paraphrase the directions: From Vegas (as early in the morning as possible, 'Double Negative' is best in the morning) take 15 north, to 169 south into Overton, NV, or better yet stay the night before at The North Shore Inn in Overton. Take a hard left from the 169 at the Maverik gas station (this is a good place to get gas and provisions) onto Cooper Avenue, which turns into Mormon Mesa Road (between the airstrip and the cemetery), which runs up onto Mormon Mesa - watch for people running their dogs off leash past the airstrip. The hill onto the mesa is the only part you will need some power for (about a 20 degree grade), the mesa is flattish. Cross Mormon Mesa to the cattle grate on the far side, back up about fifty feet, and choose the most likely looking of the rough dirt roads to your left (to your left when facing Virgin Peak across the valley) - this next stretch is the area where you will need a vehicle with ground clearance, as the roads are rutted and very rough. Drive slowly and carefully towards 'Double Negative', as the rocks in the road are sharp and could easily puncture tires. 'Double Negative' comes up very quickly as it is situated over the edge of the mesa, the most likely road goes right to it and there is no fence or marker, so don't get going too fast or you could conceivably drive right in - but don't worry too much about choosing the correct dirt road to it, there are several but they all converge towards Double Negative

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Four wheel drive is not really necessary to get to 'Double Negative' (in dry weather), but a vehicle with ground clearance which can ascend a 20 degree hill is absolutely required. Be sure to take WATER, a SPARE TIRE, a CAR JACK (and don't ever just assume a rental car has a jack when going somewhere remote, check first - don't end up, say, on the far side of Pyramid Lake as a pal of mine once did in a rental with a flat and no jack, there are no logs to use on the mesa to lever your rental). Take printed maps or print this out as GPS is notoriously lousy in the desert (please, please, please do not ever rely solely on GPS in the desert, as that is exactly how people repeatedly get themselves killed in Death Valley. Take a paper map.), take food, and tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back if possible, as you would for any desert trip

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'Double Negative' is at 36.613286, -114.344537 , but again, DO NOT rely on GPS to get there

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'Double Negative', in spring

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/118208741

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After visiting 'Double Negative' in the morning, I would recommend going to see the petroglyphs at Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock, and the views from Fire Canyon and White Domes at Valley of Fire State Park on the way back to Vegas. To get to Valley of Fire take 169 south from Overton, and enter by the northeast entrance. Ask for directions to Mouse's Tank, Fire Canyon, White Domes, and Atlatl Rock at the ranger station, located at 36.429889, -114.513940 . Hell, stay over two nights in Overton - it's worth it to spend two days in Valley of Fire

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photos of Valley of Fire

http://www.panoramio.com/user/6931861/tags/Valley%20of%20Fire%20State%20Park

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on the way there, you may wish to stop at the Lost City Museum at 36.531553, -114.440885 , which was established as a place to house and show the artifacts from Pueblo Grande de Nevada which was partially covered by the waters of Lake Mead as a result of building Hoover Dam

http://museums.nevadaculture.org/index36cc.html

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/lost-city-museum

  • also, several towns which were flooded when Hoover Dam was completed appear to be above lake level again due to drought, which could be interesting if you're into that sort of thing (I haven't been yet) - roadsidethoughts.com is also EXCELLENT if you're interested in geneology, derelict pioneer cemeteries and the like - consult the geneology section for whatever town you're looking at, and using their coordinates it's easy to knock out maps of defunct historical towns and cemeteries like so

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=z0JaPCgV3MZc.k4PqScusV58

some recently surfaced towns near Overton

http://roadsidethoughts.com/plcmap.htm?plc=Saint%20Thomas&st=State%20of%20Nevada&knt=Clark%20County&lat=36.467059&lon=-114.371143

http://roadsidethoughts.com/plcmap.htm?plc=Lost%20City&st=State%20of%20Nevada&knt=Clark%20County&lat=36.488032&lon=-114.379421

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Free camping is available on BLM land, along the 169 south of Overton NV, on a scenic (but extremely windy) overlook frequented by snowbirds at 36.481126, -114.454212 . This would be for truck or RV camping NOT tent camping, as you'd have to be a bit nuts to tent camp on that windy mesa - the snowbirds are in big RV's. There's also camping in Valley of Fire

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Should you be interested in further researching Land Art, I would recommend starting at

http://clui.org/category/ludb-keywords/land-art

for an extensive list of Land Art in North America. I've been to or as close as currently possible to Spiral Jetty, Sun Tunnels, City, Double Negative, Lightning Field and Roden Crater so far, all of which (or the drive to which in the case of City and Roden Crater) are lovely in their own way. For specifics, please see also

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Spiral Jetty - open to the public

http://www.diaart.org/sites/page/59/2156

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Sun Tunnels - open to the public (go at a solstice for the intended effect)

http://umfa.utah.edu/suntunnelsselfguide

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Double Negative - open to the public

http://doublenegative.tarasen.net/doublenegative.html

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City - not yet open to the public

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/magazine/06HEIZER.html?r=0

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Lightning Field - requires reservation via DIA foundation, with overnight stay in the cabin

http://www.diaart.org/sites/page/56/1301

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Roden Crater - not yet open to the public

http://rodencrater.com/about

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a map of the 'Big Six' pieces of Land Art in North America

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zTIATgV8h4Iw.kWaA1zeOXHWw

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and for information on the Basin and Range National Monument, see also

http://unframed.lacma.org/2015/03/18/protect-michael-heizers-city

http://www.thecleanestline.com/2015/03/deep-time-in-nevada-a-proposal-for-a-basin-and-range-national-monument.html

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