mormon mesa

Double Negative is Michael Heizer’s first prominent earthwork. It consists of two trenches cut into the eastern edge of the Mormon Mesa, northwest of Overton, Nevada in 1969-70.

The trenches (seen as dark lines or shadows below in the Google Maps satellite imagery) line up across a large gap formed by the natural shape of the mesa edge. Including this open area across the gap, the trenches together measure 1,500 feet long, 50 feet deep, and 30 feet wide (457 meters long, 15.2 meters deep, 9.1 meters wide). A reported 240,000 tons (218,000 tonnes) of rock, mostly rhyolite and sandstone, was displaced in the construction of the trenches.

Carrie, one of our natural resource specialists down in Las Vegas took this in Mormon Mesa, a desert tortoise critical habitat. She writes: Recent summer monsoons that flooded urban areas of the desert southwest have brought relief to the drought stressed Mojave Desert. Wildflower blooms and native grasses have turned the desert green and yellow.

-Kaitlin Godbey