283 votes

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain 603 E Beal Rd, Niland, California 92254 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Sun 6a-7p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • No Public
  • No Wifi
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Road Trip Classic

Our Take

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.

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“God is Love! Love is Everywhere!”

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".

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Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
August 07, 2013

YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS PLACE IN PERSON! It is totally worth the drive.

8 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 9 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
July 25, 2014
Rated 5.0

After you see this place, drive a mile more into the property to see the post-apocolyptic sculpture garden--so amazing!

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 3 Helpful
July 21, 2014
Rated 5.0

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!

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
November 30, 2015
Rated 5.0

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.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
September 27, 2015
Rated 5.0

It was beautiful & the lady that worked there was very informative. Im definitely glad we put this on the lost to see. Worth it!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 20 Reviews
  • 15 Helpful
July 09, 2015
Rated 5.0

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

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Toykan Sean Dogan

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
May 29, 2015
Rated 5.0

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!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
September 04, 2014
Rated 4.0

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

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 888 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 3.0

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.”

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
April 25, 2014

This place is SO cool, even for non-Christians.

2 people found this review helpful

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Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain 603 E Beal Rd
Niland, California
92254 USA


Open now until 7:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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