Located just a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, Basin and Range National Monument is a rare example of unspoiled Basin and Range Country. Comprised of the spectacular and largely pristine Garden and Coal Valleys, the Monument protects connectivity between eight distinct mountain ranges. In the middle lies Michael Heizer’s monumental sculpture, “City,” (on private land he owns), a mile-and-a-half-long collection of mounds and abstract forms created from earth, rock and concrete.
While Heizer’s land art evokes both ancient ruins and modern, urban forms, the archeological and historical riches that surround it preserve slices of life spanning from the Clovis culture 13,000 years ago to our more recent pioneer history. In other parts of the West the archaeological record has been impacted greatly by development and mining, but Basin and Range National Monument provides a window to our past that can now be preserved for future exploration. Two already well-known areas are the Mount Irish and the White River Narrows Archaeological Districts, but many more have not even been surveyed yet.
Basin and Range National Monument is full of recreational opportunities, from hiking, camping and mountain biking to horseback riding, hunting, spelunking and sightseeing. With a unique variety of Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin vegetation communities, the area also provides habitat for at least two dozen threatened or sensitive wildlife species including the greater sage-grouse and pygmy rabbit, and the valleys provide winter range for deer and elk. The Monument is home to unique plants, including 2,000-year-old Bristlecone Pines in the Worthington Mountains, and the White River catseye, and endangered plant found only in Nevada.