Seven Magic Mountains
Twelve miles east of the California/Nevada border is Jean, a roadside oasis with a gas station, a restaurant and one hotel which has been closed by Covid-19. Traveling north or south, you will see signs along Interstate 15 pointing out the route through Jean to the Seven Magic Mountains. The seven-mile route follows the original road from LA to Las Vegas. Visible from the freeway are seven tall stacks of very large boulders, 35-40 feet high, painted in day-glo shades of primary colors. Close-up photos of the stone columns don’t mean much without including the surrounding expanse of desert. I wanted to move way back with my camera to show how small and isolated these seven stone stacks really are. I found a spot for my tripod and waited for groups of tourists to get their shots. It took over an hour for all of them to leave. I didn’t want anyone in my photos. If the parking lot is filled with tour buses on a sunny day, you’ll never get a magic photo without lots of tourists with phones. Arrive here very early or very late in the day. The Seven Magic Mountain project cost $3.5 million in private funds. No tax money was involved. This anomaly is something different, abnormal, not easily classified and not on my list of locations I plan to photograph in the desert around Las Vegas. These stone towers will probably be gone by the time I return to Las Vegas - I had to photograph them. Leaving the Seven Magic Mountains, stay off the freeway and continue driving northeast on the frontage road, right into Las Vegas.
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Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.