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Salvation Mountain, Calipatria

4.5
#67 of 457 in Historic Sites in California
Must see · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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Salvation Mountain is a hillside visionary environment created by local resident Leonard Knight (1931–2014) in the California Desert area of Imperial County, north of Calipatria, northeast of Niland, near the Slab City squatter/art commune, and several miles from the Salton Sea.

The artwork is made of adobe bricks, discarded tires and windows, automobile parts and thousands of gallons of paint. 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. He was able to visit Salvation Mountain for the last time in May 2013; the visit was recorded by KPBS (TV).
Concern was raised in 2012 for the future of the site, which requires constant upkeep due to the harsh desert environment. Many visitors were donating paint to the project, and a group of volunteers worked to protect and maintain the site. In February 2011, a public charity, Salvation Mountain, Inc., was established to support the project. In 2013, the Annenberg Foundation donated $32,000 to Salvation Mountain Inc. for materials and equipment to "improve security and strengthen operations". A 2014 article stated that Salvation Mountain Inc. was operated by the nine volunteer members of its board.
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Salvation Mountain reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
390 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • You either like it or hate it. For some it is work of art and for others it might represent work of faith. Although his original creator Leonard Knight died in 2014, the place is still maintained and....  more
    You either like it or hate it. For some it is work of art and for others it might represent work of faith. Although his original creator Leonard Knight died in 2014, the place is still maintained and....  more »
  • Salvation Mountain is located near the South Eastern end of he Salton Sea a few miles down a rough (but bitumen) road near Niland, California. It’s a man made mountain of artwork dedicated to one... 
    Salvation Mountain is located near the South Eastern end of he Salton Sea a few miles down a rough (but bitumen) road near Niland, California. It’s a man made mountain of artwork dedicated to one...  more »
Google
  • At first I was a little nervous arriving because as you know there is no law in that City but once I reach Salvation Mountain I felt the most accepting vibe that I've felt pretty much anywhere now as for the locals who actually live there don't tread on their lands because it is disrespectful and frowned upon. Stay near the tourist attraction Salvation Mountain unless you know someone or are invited to explore and take part. all in all it is a must-see.
  • Great place to go and explore the artistic view. Many people show up and even make movies. They have a donation box and it is a great way to help continue this artistic creation. They are solely run by donations.So you visit this place, give a donation. Movies are made and many do not make any donation. Let's keep this mountain going, and keep the place active. I also enjoyed the Jesus Lane artistic Drive thru view of many man made unique sculptures. A must check out the visitation Booth.

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