Salvation Mountain

A Message You Can't Miss!

Salvation Mountain is located near Slab City in Niland, California. One day my son and I went to check it out. We drove east, past Palm Springs, past the dying Salton Sea, and towards Mexico, to find Salvation. We arrived in the middle of the hot, windy desert, parked, and exited the vehicle.

The first thing that happened was a Slab City resident honked at us and threw us a peace sign. I'm polite, so I threw one back, and we turned towards the sign that greeted us with the admonishment that God Never Fails Us.

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain is a 50 foot tall, 150 ft structure made entirely of adobe clay, donated paint, hay, and other donated and recycled materials. You must see it to believe it. Climb it, walk around it, walk though it. You will feel like you have been shrunk down to the size of a thumb and are walking on a humungous psychedelic Birthday cake.

I don't know if you are religious, spiritual, atheist, or what have you. If you can walk through there and not be inspired in some way, at least by the creator, Leonard Knight, then I don't know what to tell you. We would would all be lucky to feel anything as passionately and as completely as he has his commitment to expressing the love of Jesus.

salvation mountain

I felt like giving him a hug.

Leonard wasn't there on the day we went. I don't even know him, and I felt like giving him a big hug. I would have settled for a handshake, though. I was disappointed that he wasn't there, but there was some other polite, quiet, bearded guy there.

He was hanging out on an ancient, paint covered vehicle and told us to just come on in. There is no cost to attend, although there is a place to leave donations in one of the structures. My son wanted to climb up nearly all fifty feet to the top, so I did. Determined to please him, I could really feel the detriments of my sedentary jobs and became extremely winded, but I aim to please, so I made it, all wheezing aside, to the top.

You may have seen the movie, Into the Wild. The nearby Slab City free RV park is in the movie, as well as the mountain itself, and a cameo by Leonard...just a little trivia for you. Slab City consists of an eclectic group of people ranging from snow birds in RVs to “squatters.”

There is about 150 full time residents, and thousands of others come and go. Slab City is a real “town” with it's own website and community organizations, all hanging around within view of Salvation Mountain.

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