Day trip: While the colors have faded, the story lives on at Salvation Mountain

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

I’ve seen Salvation Mountain on a few different travel blogs and TV shows so after finding out that I’d be spending a few days in Palm Desert, our group of girlfriends knew we had to make the trek to the painted mountain. While I’m not the most religious person in the world, I can still appreciate the passion and love behind Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain.

Located just east of the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain is Knight’s tribute to God. Knight created this semi-manmade mountain as his gift to the world and it has since attracted folk art lovers from around the world. Constructed of bales of hay, adobe and thousands of gallons of paint, this mountain is definitely something you need to see to believe. Even if you’re not the religious type, you’ll appreciate the hand-painted flowers, waterfalls, birds, trees and more. At 50 feet tall, I recommend you “follow the yellow brick road” to the top for beautiful views of the lower desert and Slab City.

Inside the museum at Salvation Mountain

Knight carved out portions of the mountain and formed objects with adobe and donated paint. There’s a museum full of artifacts from Knight and his visitors, along with a number of nooks and crannies all along the mountain. He dedicated his life to the mountain and lived in a trailer on the grounds before passing away in February 2014.

For more information, visit www.salvationmountain.org.

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