Salvation Mountain, one man’s tribute to God featuring so much damn paint, can be found just east of the Salton Sea. It’s free, it was in that movie that one time, and I was bored one weekend, so I ventured out to it.
The wife and I headed east on Highway 111 past North Shore, Bombay Beach, and the other metropolises on the shore of the Salton Sea to Niland, where we were met with a road that was part dirt, part asphalt, and, well, I am just glad we didn’t have to buy new tires afterward.
When you arrive at Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain, you find a parking area and, depending on the day you go, a few to several dozen visitors.
I have no idea how much paint has gone into Salvation Mountain but, as you walk through the area on a surface that was once dirt and is now 5 inches of paint, you might wish that you had bought stock in Behr or Valspar in the 1980s.
Note: Imperial County claimed the site had high levels of lead toxicity in 1994, but Knight and supporters were able to get a second test conducted which came back negative.
As you walk around the site, you see plenty of messages about God, love, and hey look! An old trophy.
Plus this car door that I assume once belonged to Jesus himself…
The place is a trip to walk through, but I do recommend not thinking too much about what is holding the “mountain” up and keeping the tunnels from caving in…
It doesn’t cost anything and it is pretty unique, so if you have a half-day and some gas in the tank, head on out.
If you go, Salvation Mountain is located on Beal Road in Niland at the entrance to Slab City. The place is normally open from sunrise to sunset. You might also want to pack a lunch as your choices for dining are extremely limited. You should also set aside a few minutes for the magic that is the International Banana Museum.
You can get more info on Salvation Mountain here.