Salvation Mountain, Niland

4.5
#5 of 19 in Historic Sites in California Desert
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".In December 2011, the 80-year-old Knight was placed in a long-term care facility in El Cajon for dementia. Leonard Knight died on February 10, 2014, in El Cajon.
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Salvation Mountain Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
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
  • Iconic landmark of the region. A must stop on your way to Arizona or if you are visiting San Diego for a week. Don't miss East Jesus also around. I would recommend to go during a week day as it can get 'relatively' busy during the weekends. It's a place dedicated to Jesus and everybody is welcome there. This place is made out of scratch and completely hand crafted and I think that's what makes its charm.
  • A rare gem! A must see! Truly humbled by this experience! The history of how this art came about is very interesting. If you have time to look up a documentary of the artist (Leonard Knight) and Salvation Mountain, please do so. I think you’ll have a better appreciation of this unique place 😊🙏🏻❤️
  • This is an amazing one of a kind place. A personal vision turned into art. The complex is a lot more extensive and impressive than it appears from afar. It's a quiet place, but well worth the visit even though it is quite of the beaten track.
  • Funky, creative, and inspiring! Be sure to stick to the yellow brick road - don't walk inn the waterfalls. Free, but please donate to the caretaker. They paint it regularly to keep it fresh for tourists. Go whether you're spiritual or not - it is an impressive work of art by 1 person over 28 years!
  • You'll never meet friendly folk that have better stories to tell than those at Salvation Mountain. Incredible place that has such history! Charity boxes are available to make donations towards the upkeep of the mountain, at various places on the site - Definitely a worthwhile cause. You can walk up to the top of the mountain and it also has little 'secret' pathways in and around it. A super colourful and wonderfully heart warming place that offers a glimmer of hope to humanity. My understanding is that most locals do not mind you camping nearby providing you respect their environment and leave it as you found it! Don't forget to take a tonne of Eddie Vedder tracks with you 😉✌️🙏
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