What the heck is that thing in southwest Las Vegas? If you travel south on Fort Apache Road or west on Cactus Avenue until you can’t drive anymore, you’ll be in Mountain’s Edge and footsteps away from a mysterious bit of art that’s been discovered. Let us introduce you to… Desert Monkey King!

On a short but steep walk 230 feet above Fort Apache, you’ll find Las Vegas’ mysterious and recently discovered piece of art. The piece measures 90 feet by 80 feet and features a large “Monkey King” alongside a large “yin-yang” as two points of a triangle.

Desert Monkey King

Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal did an article talking about the art of unknown origin… and it turns out the Bureau Of Land Management, whose land it lays on, had no idea about it. Now, BLM is looking into the artwork and wants to know who is responsible for creating the artwork without permission… or a permit. Turns out in order to do cool things in their dirt, you need to get the thumbs up.

Believe it or not, it looks like the artwork has been there for a while, getting started as early as 2017. That’s news to the population of Mountain’s Edge who live right next door.

What does Desert Monkey King mean?!

Now that you’ve seen it, you’re wondering what it all means. The name “Monkey King” has relevance in Chinese culture as Sun Wukong, a character in the novel Journey To The West. According to Wikipedia, monkey king “has amazing strength and is able to support the weight of two heaven mountains on his shoulders while running ‘with the speed of a meteor'”. That’s one jacked monkey. Meanwhile the yin-yang is more known in western culture, standing for “opposite but interconnected forces”.

Not the only mysterious artwork in Southern Nevada

There are other pretty interesting finds that are easier to spot on Google Maps than they are on foot. Near the entrance of Lake Las Vegas, you’ll find the “Wheel Of Misfortune”. Featuring $000 spots, and other downer wedges like “Lose A Job” and “Bank Owned”.


Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

Whatever the case, BLM would prefer you don’t play with their rocks and are debating whether or not they’ll “reclaim” the land (in other words, clean it up). So if you had any intentions of meeting this mountain-top royalty, we’d hurry.