Michael Heizer’s City, a vast land art sculpture in the desert of central Nevada, is now open to the public on a limited reservation basis. In development for more than 50 years (from 1970-2022), the expansive City is 1.5 miles long and a half-mile wide. The series of mounds and depressions are made of compacted dirt, rock, and concrete, and almost all the elements were collected with minimally invasive means to not disturb the native plants and wildlife.

Inspired by ancient monuments, minimalism, industrial technology, and other works he studied while visiting Chichen Itza, Michael Heizer’s City is nearly the same size as the National Mall and one of the largest sculptures ever made.

Michael Heizer’s Art Projects

Land art pioneer Michael Heizer has been inspired by the Nevada desert for decades, using the Great Basin’s high desert terrain as an ideal backdrop for his larger-than-life installations. Active in the land art movement since the late 1960s, Heizer created his first work in southeastern Nevada with Double Negative. This conceptual art piece refers to both the natural and manmade negative spaces Heizer created in the Mojave Desert landscape. After this work was completed, he took the opposite approach just a few years later with his monumental City

Building Michael Heizer’s Monumental City

Michael Heizer’s monumental work on City began in 1970 in Garden Valley, Nevada—which lies 60 miles north of the quiet community of Alamo. Nearby City by Michael Heizer, you’ll find Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area to the north and the Mt. Irish Wilderness to the south. This wide open expanse of the state also falls within the boundary of Basin and Range National Monument. Though surrounded by state and federally owned land, City is situated on private property owned by Heizer.

Despite having worked on this large-scale land art project for more than 50 years, his work here manages to continue to this day. Like his work at Double Negative, Michael Heizer’s City is designed on a massive scale with some parts of the sculpture standing as tall as 80 feet high. City was formed in five phases, each containing its own substructures within.

How to See City by Michael Heizer

Anyone wishing to experience Michael Heizer’s City will want to pay close attention to the Triple Aught Foundation website. This non-profit institution oversees each yearly “visitation season,” offering a limited window of time where reservation requests are accepted. On reservable days during certain times of the year, the short trip out to City is available for a maximum of six visitors ages 16 and up, and visiting without prearranged and confirmed reservations is strictly prohibited. Once visitors arrive in Alamo, NV, they’ll be picked up and allowed to explore City for a few hours, then driven back before dark.

Hours:

Michael Heizer’s City is on private property and reservations must be confirmed in advance to experience this vast sculpture.

Admission:

Admission is free to residents of Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties in Nevada, $100 for students, and $150 for all others. Reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis, and must be made through the Triple Aught Foundation‘s online form when it opens for each annual visitation season.

This Location:

Central, Nevada

City

Alamo

Region

Central