Salvation Mountain, Niland

4.5
#5 of 11 in Historic Sites in California Desert
Salvation Mountain is a visionary environment covering a hill in the Colorado Desert, north of Calipatria near Slab City, and 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".In December 2011, the 80-year-old Knight was placed in a long-term care facility in El Cajon for dementia. Leonard Knight died February 10, 2014, in El Cajon.Concern has been raised for the future of the site, which requires constant maintenance due to the harsh surrounding environment. Many visitors bring paint to donate to the project, and a group of volunteers has been working to protect and maintain the site. In 2012, a public charity, Salvation Mountain, Inc., was established to support the project.
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Salvation Mountain Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
289 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Salvation Mountain is everything you read. The online photos are good but until you are there, you don’t really understand. This labour of love by Leonard Knight is being maintained by people who want...  more »
  • I’m not overly religious, but I was overwhelmed by the level of faith this man must’ve had to create this. While he has since passed, volunteers maintain the current site. It’s a must-see, if you’re i...  more »
  • Pretty busy on a weekend to say the least. Respect what he done and stay on the path...don't be the disrespectful moron. No bathrooms,water or WiFi. Ninland has that for ya. (6min away) Free to visit....  more »
Google
  • This was a very interesting experience and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had the pleasure of talking to one of the caretakers for about a half hour or so and it was nice to see the pride that goes into maintaining the place. Really when it comes down to it because of the sun the place needs to be repainted constantly and none of the original paint is still there. However to see the Mountain and the Salton Sea was a good trip :)
  • Great spot to enjoy spontaneous art, nature and interesting people! Must see at least once. For wheel chairs and walkers the area is dirt lot and the mountain is painted so some parts are well accessible, some are not. Don't forget to wander around Slab City for hand crafted items and great people!
  • Worth the drive out from the city. I’ve never seen a place like this and probably never will again. That said, you can see it all in under an hour so best combine with some other sites. Also not much in the way of food around here so bring snacks.
  • Free to all. I picked up post cards from a table and left a donation in a box. Stay on the Yellow walkway or someone will remind you. Bring a camera and maybe record some. This place has awesome photo ops. It may only take 20-30 min. to visit. The parking is on a dirt lot and walking on the painted surface could be slippery, BRING SHOES WITH GRIP!!! Kids could easily be carried around or helped up the mountain, just keep holding their hands. There are no rails. This place is awesome!!
  • At first I wasn't sure if I would appreciate Leonard's creations because I don't share his feelings and thoughts and considered he might just be creating a new way to make money. But even if all that is true I am grateful he is able to express himself and create something very unique and potentially useful to many if, for no other reason, simply to enjoy.

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