You may have seen Salvation Mountain before on social media or in movies like “Into the Wild”, but you need to experience it in person to really appreciate it. Salvation Mountain is located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about 90 minutes from Palm Springs.
The man-made mountain was created by Leonard Knight, a fifty-something free spirit and lover of Jesus, who arrived in 1984, looking for a place to launch his “God is Love” hot air balloon. When it failed to float, he decided to stick around for a few days to cement a religious message onto the side of an eroded mesa.
Days turned into weeks, then months, then years. Leonard christened the hill Salvation Mountain as it grew in scale and became part of the landscape. Convinced that he’d finally found his purpose in life, he rarely strayed far from the five-acre property for the next 30 years (Leonard Knight passed away in 2014 at the age of 82).
603 Beal Rd
Niland, CA 92257
Open from dawn until dusk, 365 days a year.
Entrance is free. Donations are accepted.
Parking around the Mountain is allowed. Please stay in marked areas and respect any painted or display areas by at least 10 feet. You can park outside the site anywhere you feel it is safe for you to do so.
Best Time to Visit
October – May. Temperatures in the summer months are typically 100 – 120 degrees so if you do plan to visit during this time, it’s best to arrive in the early morning and be sure to bring plenty of water.
Covid-19 Update: Salvation Mountain is currently open (as of 7/13/20), however certain sections are closed. Masks are required.
If you find yourself in the lower So Cal desert, it’s definitely worth a visit to Salvation Mountain!