Salvation Mountain and nearby Slab City are, in a lot of ways, the last refuges for desert weirdos. If you don’t know what that means, you’ll get it after visiting. It’s an oasis in a very hot and barren stretch of desert. And even though the low, brightly-colored, man-made “mountain” has a heavy religious slant, you don’t have to believe in a higher power to appreciate the love put into the place. It’s fun to explore the nooks and crannies tucked away in the installation. Expect to see some interesting characters on your visit.
“A technicolor oasis of love”
Salvation Mountain is a visionary environment covering a hill in the Colorado Desert, north of Calipatria, northeast of Niland near Slab City, several miles from the Salton Sea. It is in Imperial County, California.
The artwork is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of lead-free paint. Salvation Mountain was created by local resident Leonard Knight (1931–2014). It encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses, though its philosophy was built around the Sinner's Prayer.
The Folk Art Society of America declared it "a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection" in the year 2000. In an address to the United States Congress on May 15, 2002, California Senator Barbara Boxer described it as "a unique and visionary sculpture... a national treasure... profoundly strange and beautifully accessible, and worthy of the international acclaim it receives".
YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS PLACE IN PERSON! It is totally worth the drive.
After you see this place, drive a mile more into the property to see the post-apocolyptic sculpture garden--so amazing!
It's even bigger than you can see in the photos, since there's a whole catacomb-like section that you go into. Amazing, incredible, etc. Crazy to think that one person built the whole thing--plus, if you walk all the way up it, you can walk right over to the trippy water towers right by it. It's only a few yards away!
Living in a time where everything is so fast paced and one rarely takes a look out the window on a daily commute to work, it was a nice pleasure to visit a place where time simply stood still. Salvation Mountain.
A sanctuary for(and not limited to) artists, travelers, architects, life-lovers and the religious alike. Filled with a fascinating history and surrounded by interesting characters, the small dirt drive to get there was well worth the privilege.
We were fortunate enough to visit while it was a sunny/warm day and almost instantly we knew we had just ventured onto something unexplainable. The mountain itself was more than just gallons of paint and clay over dirt hills in the desert, it was a story of a tenacious man following a vision he saw to the end. My respect and hat off to the belated Leonard Knight.
It was beautiful & the lady that worked there was very informative. Im definitely glad we put this on the lost to see. Worth it!!
One of the best things I've seen ever. Highly recommend to anyone driving across the states or in Palm Springs. Worth the drive.
Make sure to bring water and not take your car off road. Make that mistake once... lol
Simply amazing. I've always wanted to meet the creator of this amazing landscape, Leonard Knight, however unfortunately he passed away on February 2014. Rest in peace under them big old sky, Leo!
It's good to plan a day exploring the area. Bombay Beach and the old hotel are gone but there are still some lasting remnants of the outer world Salton Sea. Most will be gone within the decade once the area starts to develop again
Salvation Mountain served as the inspiration for GTA 5′s Hippie Town in the Desert. It’s basically an art installation that serves as a “tribute to God and his gift to the world.”
This place is SO cool, even for non-Christians.
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