The Lightning Field (1977), by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles -- two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height -- are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time. A full experience of The Lightning Field does not depend upon the occurrence of lightning, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in the field, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.
Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery.
Dia Art Foundation also maintains three other Walter De Maria projects: The Broken Kilometer (1979) and The New York Earth Room (1977), both in New York City, as well as The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany.
The Lightning Field is closed for the entire 2020 visiting season due to COVID-19.
A cabin adjacent to The Lightning Field provides shelter and simple meals during your stay. It has three bedrooms (one with a double bed and two with twin beds), two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a common room. Linens are provided. We do not reserve specific bedrooms.
Please note that you may be sharing the cabin with other visitors. We therefore ask that you let us know if you are planning to bring young children and refrain from bringing electronic devices or anything that may disturb other visitors. No more than six visitors per night can be accommodated. Camping is not permitted. Pets are not allowed.
A simple supper is prepared and left for you in the refrigerator and a selection of breakfast items are provided for you to prepare the next morning. If you have any special dietary requirements please plan to bring supplemental food or beverages of your own.
Dia provides transportation to The Lightning Field from Quemado, New Mexico, which is about a 2.5–3 hour drive from Albuquerque. Please arrange to arrive in Quemado no later than 2 pm on the day of your visit and check in at Dia's office in the white two-story building on the north side of the town's main street. It is a 45-minute drive in our vehicle from Quemado to The Lightning Field; you may not take your own vehicle. You will be returned to Quemado at approximately noon the following day.
It is important to arrange your travel plans to meet this schedule since other visitors may have reservations the same day and unscheduled trips cannot be accommodated. If you will be arriving from Arizona, please note that New Mexico time is one hour later than Arizona during the summer months.
To reach Quemado from the Albuquerque airport, take I-25 North to I-40 West and drive approximately 70 miles to Exit 89. Take Rte. 117 South and follow the signs to Quemado (approximately 78 miles). There is no public transportation available between Albuquerque and Quemado.
Located in the high desert at an elevation of 7200 feet, The Lightning Field is situated on a flat plain. Mornings and evenings can be cold; days are usually not warmer than 85 degrees. Rainstorms can cause the ground to be very muddy but in general, the terrain is flat and good for walking. Bring at least one pair of sturdy walking shoes or boots, sunglasses, a sun hat, warm clothing, insect repellant, and a raincoat or windbreaker.
Although lightning storms typically occur in this area from mid-July through August, and may also occur at other times during the visiting season, the probability of lightning during your visit cannot be predicted.
The 2020 visiting season is fully booked.
Reservation requests for the 2021 visiting season will be received and reviewed as of February 1, 2021, at 12 am Mountain Standard Time (MST) at email@example.com. Requests received earlier than 12 am MST will be automatically rejected. Phone requests are not accepted.
Requests should include the number in the party, a preferred date, and several alternate dates or a date range, as it is possible that a preferred date will already be taken depending on where the initial request falls within the reservation queue. We do not have any way to determine which e-mail of the hundreds sent at 12 am will end up at the top of the queue or further down.
Our visiting season runs from May 1 to October 31, seven days a week. The cabin accommodates up to six guests (three bedrooms and two baths). Visitors may request one to six spots for their reservation. Reservations are limited to one night per party. Day visits are not permitted.
Once a date has been secured through our correspondence, we will send a reservation/payment link, which must be completed within five days in order to confirm the hold. Reservations are nonrefundable, unless we are able to rebook the reserved spots.
May and June: $150 per person
July and August: $250 per person
September and October: $150 per person
Student/child (all months): $100 per person (please enclose a copy of student ID)
The actual cost of maintaining The Lightning Field and accommodating visits greatly exceeds visitor fees. Contributions toward the operating expenses of The Lightning Field are appreciated, and donations beyond the listed rates are tax-deductible.
Once you have secured a date, you will receive an email with instructions for two options to proceed.
Your reservation is confirmed only upon our receipt of your reservation form and payment in full within 5 days of receiving your hold email. We cannot accept payment upon your arrival in Quemado. Please note that since we must rely on advance scheduling, once your reservation is confirmed your payment is not refundable.
In keeping with the artist's wishes, photography of The Lightning Field and the cabin is prohibited. The Lightning Field is protected by copyright.
Images for educational use, may be requested by contacting rights and reproductions department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Images of The Lightning Field may be published with written consent from Dia Art Foundation.
Reservation requests for the 2020 visiting season will be received and reviewed as of February 1, 2020, at 12 am Mountain Standard Time (MST) at email@example.com. Requests received earlier than 12 am MST will be automatically rejected. Phone requests are not accepted.
For inquiries about existing reservations, please contact The Lightning Field office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct all other inquiries regarding The Lightning Field to the following:
Telephone: 505 898 3335
Post: P.O. Box 7416, Albuquerque, NM 87194
Walter De Maria
Walter De Maria was born in Albany, California, in 1935. He died in Los Angeles in 2013.
The Lightning Field (1977), by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery.
The cost of maintaining The Lightning Field and accommodating visits greatly exceeds visitor fees. Contributions toward the operating expenses of The Lightning Field are appreciated, and are fully tax-deductible.
Walter De Maria: The Lightning Field
Edited by Stephen Hoban, Alexis Lowry, and Jessica Morgan. Contributions by John Cliett, Walter De Maria, Robert Fosdick, and Jessica Morgan
The Lightning Field Postcard Set