Salvation Mountain Colors Desert Palette Near Salton Sea



This three story tall spiritual monument was created by Leonard Knight, who passed away in February.

Photos and Video by Michele McManmon

 

“God is Love” is one powerful statement visible from high atop the colorful palette called Salvation Mountain.

This three story tall spiritual monument, created by Leonard Knight, disrupts the rugged hilly terrain that lies just southeast of the Salton Sea.

Located in a squatter’s village called “Slab City”, inside the town of Niland, the area is still alive with tourists, artists, and souls looking for a higher purpose.

Knight’s recent death at 82 years old this past February signified a passing of his torch to those devotees that still remain. Signs asking visitors if they “got paint” are placed at the entrance. Campers, trucks, and a make shift empty “Welcome” center are strewn across the government-owned property.

Immortalized in the 2007 Sean Penn film, Into The Wild, Knight played himself in a small cameo piece. Documentaries have been made and a photo of Salvation Mountain graces the cover of the book. Self Made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environments.

Originally from New England, Knight’s truck was dismantled and put on display at a museum in Baltimore.

Spending more than three decades of his life creating Salvation Mountain, thousands of donated gallons of paint rest upon adobe and straw.

“Love Jesus and keep it simple” was Knight’s philosophy, which is apparent in the biblical verses that repeat everywhere on the site of his life’s visionary art installation piece. Knight may be gone, but his legacy lives on for all to continue to experience.

Directions to Salvation Mountain: Take Interstate 10 east to Route 86 south toward the Salton Sea. Turn left on Route 195, then right onto 111 South (Grapefruit Boulevard). Take Grapefruit Boulevard down to Niland and take a left onto Main Street leading straight to the destination. From Palm Springs, it’s about a 90-minute drive.

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

 

VIDEO: Take a visual tour of Salvation Mountain.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Lasers Light Up Fantasy Springs Bowling Center

Turn off the lights at Fantasy Springs Bowling Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, and one of America’s oldest recreational sports literally illuminates a whole new persona - laser bowling.

The Purple Room Audience May Recognize Shelagh Ratner's Voice First

Once she appears Sept. 20 at The Purple Room Restaurant & Stage in Palm Springs, it’s likely audience members will have an “aha!” moment upon hearing Shelagh Ratner’s voice.

Charles Busch Brings His Own Show to Copa Palm Springs

Charles Busch, who has portrayed female characters for most of his theater career, will personify Old Hollywood in his solo desert show debut.

Max Adler Delves into Gay Character Again With 'Saugatuck Cures'

Max Adler, known for his breakout role on 'Glee', has a busy fall in store between three films and two TV shows, but locally he can be seen in 'Saugatuck Cures' during Cinema Diverse Palm Springs.

Europa Restaurant Welcomes World-Traveled Chef Kitt Fraser

Executive Chef Kitt Fraser is excited about creating a new Mediterranean-influenced menu for Europa at Villa Royale in Palm Springs.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.