You need not be a Christian, or even particularly religious, to enjoy the artistic masterpiece that is Salvation Mountain – made from adobe, straw, and gallons upon gallons of paint.
An oasis of color in the middle of the dusty Southern Californian desert, Salvation Mountain is the life’s work of “outsider artist” Leonard Knight, created as a tribute to his faith.
Born on November 1, 1931 in Vermont, Leonard became a dedicated Christian at the age of 35 and after several failed attempts he finally found the perfect way to share his faith and the message: God is love.
Every day from the mid-1980s right up to late 2000s, Leonard would gradually place small amounts of cement and paint onto the side of a forgotten riverbank.
Salvation Mountain was declared a National Folk Art Site in 2000 and a national treasure in the Congressional Record of the United States in 2002.
Due to his failing health, Leonard was placed into a care home in 2011 and since then the site has been managed by a group of dedicated volunteers. Leonard still visits on occasion.
- Plan your visit: Salvation Mountain, Niland, Imperial County, California, USA.
Main Image by Paul Talbot