Standing against the dry desert and too bright sky, Salvation Mountain draws you in with its vibrant colors. Salvation Mountain was created by Leonard Knight as a tribute to God. He created this artistic gem out of adobe clay and donated paint.
Salvation Mountain is a three hours drive from Los Angeles and about an hour from Palm Springs. On the drive towards Salvation Mountain, it felt as if we’ve stumbled upon a post-apocalyptic site as we passed by abandon buildings that have been burned or covered in graffiti.
Following the sign into a dirt parking lot, we noticed that there was already a crowd. It was 11am and I honestly did not expect to see so many people. My hope of having the mountain to ourselves or at least to just a few people diminished but the experience was worth it.
There are signs every where – signs about God, love, and especially signs about respecting the art. You are free to climb up the mountain but you must stay on the yellow brick road. Staying on the yellow brick road helps preserve the art. Some kids disobeyed the sign and were yelled at by a man who I assume to be the caretaker.
Once you get to the top, you realize that, maybe, you really are in the middle of nowhere. There’s nothing but stretches of dirt and dry vegetation.
What I like most about Salvation Mountain is the creativity and heart behind its creation,its uniqueness. It was as if I stepped into a Dr. Seuss haven in a post-apocalyptic world.
- If you’re coming from CA-86 South, you’ll hit a small town call Mecca. There’s a plaza with a gas station, Del Taco, Starbucks, and ampm before you continue your drive along the Salton Sea. I recommend making a stop at this plaza if you need gas, food, or the restroom. There’s really nothing after you pass the area. The spicy chicken burger at that ampm is surprisingly good.
- On the CA-111 South along the Salton Sea, you’ll come across a stretch of road that goes up and down. It’s like a kid’s roller coaster ride so if you dislike that feeling, prepare yourself.
- Wear sunscreen
- Bring water
- Stop by Bombay Beach and check out the once popular resort destination now in ruins.