Salvation Mountain is Leonard Knight’s gift to God, coming with an important message- “God is Love.” This unique destination located in California is 50 feet high, 150 feet wide and made of local adobe clay as well as donated paint. The recurring theme of “love” is found everywhere at the mountain. Knight has been painting and repainting his messages on the mountain since 1985. He sleeps in his decorated vehicle with a house in the back without any electricity or running water.
Knight has estimated the usage of 250,000 gallons of paint on this huge, rainbow colored mountain. All colors used are primary ones and there are no subtle shades on the mountain. That’s usually the first thing that visitors notice about the site.
Knight had only planned on staying for a week but its been 25 years since the charming man has been working on this project. It is interesting to note that there was never any master plan for the mountain and Knight keeps adding on to it as he sees appropriate.
Knight receives thousands of visitors annually and he’s gracious enough to try and give everyone a personal tour of his beloved project. “I just hope I last another thirty years because I got things to do,” he says.
- Leonard Knight prefers donations in the form of acrylic paint.
- Salvation Mountain had been declared to be a “toxic nightmare” a few years back by environmental activists. The Imperial County almost hauled it away burying it in Nevada. However, it continues to thrive and the project has now been designated as a site worthy of preservation and protection.
- Knight’s first project was a huge balloon covered with slogans related to God. It was impressive but never got off the ground. Even though it didn’t work out, his first project inspired him to do something big.
- Apart from Mount Rushmore, this is the only mountain to be read into the Congressional Record as a national treasure.
Salvation Mountain is located an hour and a half away from Palm Springs in California. It’s located east of the Salton Sea in the Imperial County.
Summer season is the best time of the year to visit California. The state enjoys beautiful weather throughout the year but summer in particular is absolutely gorgeous in the region. Spring is a good time to visit as well. Although, it could get a bit cold at higher elevations, it is never uncomfortable.