Thinking about visiting Palm Springs this year? If so, I recommend stopping by Doug Aitken’s Mirage House located at 111 W Racquet Club Rd. Doug Aitkens, an American artist/filmmaker created the site to serve as a free contemporary art exhibition in the middle of the Southern California desert. He designed the California ranch-style suburban house (inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright) with reflective mirrored surfaces to make it a minimal structure that responds to the land around it. Doug Aitkens converted a recognizable home into a home focused on lines and surfaces to disappear into the land. If you’re thinking about going, below are some tips I have for you.
Tips for Visiting Doug Aitken’s Mirage House
- Check the hours online here before you go. The hours change and can close at any time. The first time I went in April, the house randomly closed due to maintenance but fortunately, it was opened the second time we visited in June.
- You cannot take pictures of people with a professional camera including all SLR and DSLR cameras. To protect and preserve the site, they have a strict rule that if you’re taking a picture of someone, you can only take the picture with a phone. If you’re taking a picture of JUST the house though, you can shoot it with your professional camera. I found it annoying but understandable as the intent is to prevent the art exhibit from becoming a photoshoot destination.
- There is free parking along the road, but a limited amount. We took an Uber that dropped us off at the closest point before the cones blocked us off and walked 5-minutes up the hill to get to the Mirage house.
- Go at sunrise or sunset. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with our schedule but if Josh and I had the choice we definitely would have come during the sunrise or sunset to capture the true beauty of the Mirage house.
- The majority of people come here to take photos so don’t be rude and be patient with the crowd. Wait for others to take their photo before walking in their shot and vice-versa. You wouldn’t like it if someone ruined your shot would you? Also, the house is huge and you can walk everywhere inside and outside it, meaning there are multiple photo opportunities.
- Most importantly have fun! If you end up visiting, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the house too and if my tips helped. 🙂