Riding down Thomas Edison Drive in Nevada outside the town of Laughlin, the surroundings may appear unassuming. Travelers would be surprised to learn that tucked away in the desert are a series of labyrinths meant to inspire serenity.
Created by Wes Dufek, the Laughlin Labyrinths was designed to help lost souls find their peaceful center. There are nine labyrinths, each within a quarter mile radius of each other and ranging from 25 to 55 feet. Recently, a 36-foot and 7-circuit square labyrinth has been added to the site.
The Laughlin Labyrinths and surrounding desert scenery create a calming experience for those who take the time to walk the mazes. “They have done a multitude of studies on the effects of labyrinths on the human body and the brain,” said Dufek in an interview with the Laughlin tourism board. “Every time you take a left and a right turn, it will shift your brain. It will calm you, and it just helps you center.”
Labyrinths appear in cultures across the world, with documented benefits connected to reduced blood pressure, chronic pain alleviation, and insomnia relief.
Dufek built these labyrinths painstakingly, rock by rock. “For the very first one, I took a milk crate, filled it with rock, carried it to the site, and dumped it,” he recalls. “And that is literally how I built the first one. Just buckets of rock, and then when we had all the rock, we started arranging them.” It took Dufek three and a half months to construct the first labyrinth.
Each of the labyrinths at Laughlin are different shapes and patterns, inspired by separate concepts. All of the labyrinths are meant to encourage tranquility and inner dialogue. In their twists and turns, they encourage visitors to accept the unpredictability of daily life with ease.
Know Before You Go
The labyrinths are located on the east side of Thomas Edison Drive, between Bruce Woodbury and Casino Drive. They are free to visit and open at all times. Drivers should exercise caution when parking off of Thomas Edison Drive.
Presented in partnership with Lincoln. Explore more in our series, In Search of Sanctuary, an exploration of unique and wondrous places to experience the power of sanctuary.