Collection by Aaron Britt

Salvation Mountain and Slab City


One of the highlights of my trip down to Borrego Springs and the Anza Borrego desert, was a detour to Salvation Mountain. A kind of folk art monument to god, Salvation Mountain is just outside Niland, California, at the edge of Slab City. It's a massive earthwork project begun 25 years ago by Leonard Knight, a man intent on sharing his message with the world: God is Love. Now, Knight has built up a truly stunning mountain of adobe, discarded tires, and some 10,000 gallons of paint that spreads his profound faith. It was a solid drive through the desert and around the Salton Sea, but this will go down as one of the most astounding things I've seen in my time at Dwell. Check out the slideshow to be astounded.

You just follow Beal Road out of Niland and eventually get to Salvation Mountain.
Here it is in all its glory.
This is taken from another angle and really shows the degree of detail in the paint job.
People are welcome to climb the mountain—those are my two travel companions—so long as they stay on the yellow brick...
The large lot surrounding the mountain is littered with old cars and trucks and the stuff needed to make and maintain...
This tractor painted with the various books of the Bible was one of my favorite bits of the whole place.
I suppose you can send Leonard a letter if you want to. Though according to the Salvation Mountain website you're...
Here's a look at another portion of Salvation Mountain next to the main mountain.
Here's one of the rooms inside the "Museum." It's really colorful and covered in the same kind of Christian messages as...
Here's a closeup of the same room where you can see how the hay comes through the paint.
The amount of paint needed to make this place is staggering.
Adjacent to the main structure of the mountain is this warren of branches that form some kind of technicolor aerie.
Here's a look from the top of the mountain down onto the treehouse space that Leonard calls the "Museum." It is...
Since Leonard was asleep, I talked for a while with this guy, Mike.
Here's a good look at the pillars of adobe-filled tires that make up much of the vertical structure of the place.
This pastel room made of "trees" cobbled together from tires, beams, branches, and the like is still under construction.
This little plaque is embedded in one of the mountain's supports.
At moments it feels as though Salvation Mountain was literally just painted onto the ground.
I took this photo from the top of Salvation Mountain looking out over Slab City.
I came across this welcome sign to Slab City.

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