Wheel of Misfortune
2023 UPDATE: Taggers have painted over the Wheel of Misfortune with new paint so you will not see the image below if you visit.
If you are flying into Las Vegas, Nevada, depending on your seat on the plane and the flight pattern, you may be able to see the Wheel of Misfortune in Henderson, Nevada as you fly into our amazing city.
What is the Wheel of Misfortune
The Wheel of Misfortune is “artwork” of a graffiti artist known as Aware. I have looked online to find other artwork of this artist and only found the art in Oakland, CA, and not feeling they are the same graffiti artist.
The artist created his artwork in 2012 with his / her crew on a 250′ wide open pit that was used as a thickener pit, which is part of the old abandoned manganese mine known at Three Kids Mine.
Supposedly the Aware team evaded security over a period of three days to create this huge art feat. (There is a video at the bottom of the article showing the painting of the Wheel of Misfortune.)
Seriously think about this… a 250′ circle to get the slots even, lines straight, and paint the letters/numbers so they can be read… not easy.
Folks often joke that the TV show Wheel of Fortune should be named the Wheel of Misfortune for those who do not win. Well, Mr. Aware took it a step further and actually made the wheel options very unfortunate with slots saying:
- Bank Owned
- Lose a Home
- Lose a Job
- Lose All Hope
- and… slots with 000
There is an AWARE slot and a few slots that we cannot figure out what they read, the black ones with white text… any thoughts?
Supposedly, the owners of this private property where the Wheel of Misfortune is located want to develop the land for residential or commercial use. I can see why for residential, as the views from the area are SPECTACULAR as seen in the photos below.
Once you are done avoiding mud, nails in the ground, and rebar sticking out from the concrete, if you enjoy beer then treat yourself to a few flights of beer at the Boulder Dam Brewery.
Where is the Wheel of Misfortune
The Wheel of Fortune is located on private property on the Southside of the Lake Mead Parkway behind Laker Plaza. River Mountains Bike Shop, and Lake Mead Boat Storage.
If you want to use a mapping app to get there then type in Three Kids Mine as most mapping apps don’t recognize Wheel of Misfortune as a location.
Parking at The Wheel of Misfortune
If you want to venture out to Henderson to check out this unusual “attraction” you can pay $5 to the Lake Mead Boat Storage shop to park your car on their property and trek on over to the Wheel of Misfortune area.
Once you park, you walk up the fence line (as seen on the map above) and you will soon find the thickener pits that are heavy with graffiti art. While we were there we ran into several folks tagging the pits and the wheel. (You can see one of them in the photo below tagging the “wheel.”
Distance From Parking Lot
According to Google mapping, the “wheels” are approximately 500′ from the parking lot.
Personally, I feel it’s a smidge more than that and we will run a track for the correct distance the next time we visit the Wheel of Misfortune.
What to Take to the Wheel of Misfortune
Personally, I would wear a sturdy boot or some other form of a closed-toe shoe as sandals may not protect you from broken glass and rusty items on the ground.
If the weather is warmer, take enough water for your group.
I wouldn’t call this an amazing place to have a picnic but in the right spot the views are pretty awesome so if you want lunch, find a great vantage point and enjoy.
Personally, I would not take small children or my dog with me as the land is incredibly littered with rebar, broken glass, rusted cans, and more.
It’s sad to see what people have left behind and unfortunately, it makes the area a tetanus shot and stitches waiting to happen.
Also, I do not recommend that you venture to the mine or the quarry to poke around for further adventure – keep it safe.
Restrooms at the Wheel of Misfortune
There are no restrooms available at “the trailhead” aka the parking lot.
At this time, we do not know if Lake Mead Boat Storage will allow the use of their facilities if you pay to park.
Best Time of Year to Visit
Non-summer months are recommended since this area is HOT during the summer and there are no shade options.
Click here to read our article on Hiking in the Heat – Tips to Stay Cool.
Best time of Day to Visit
In our opinion, early morning or late afternoon if you are visiting during the warmer months. Bonus, if you go at the right time, you may see an amazing sunrise or sunset.
Cell Phone Service at the Wheel of Misfortune
We had service while in the area with AT&T. We do not know about other services at this time. If you would, comment below with your cell service and if it was available for you.
Drones at Wheel of Misfortune
We took our drone to the Wheel of Misfortune and our flying software didn’t show any restrictions for the area.
Links of Interest
Video of the creation of the Wheel of Misfortune.