Your Guide to Salvation Mountain, CA

If you’re looking for a quirky, off-the-beaten-path destination in California, look no further than Salvation Mountain. This colorful and eclectic art installation is located just outside of the small town of Niland, and is a must-see for anyone passing through the area.

Salvation Mountain is a towering mountain made entirely of adobe clay and thousands of gallons of brightly colored latex paint. The mountain is decorated with religious messages and Bible verses, featuring intricate patterns and designs that are truly unique. The artist behind Salvation Mountain, Leonard Knight, spent almost three decades constructing the mountain by hand. His passion and dedication shine through every inch of the structure.

Here are some need-to-know tips for planning your visit:

  1. Currently, (as of April 2023) the yellow steps up the mountain are closed. You can’t walk up the mountain like you used to. There’s also another section completely closed off for repair.
  2. Salvation Mountain is located in the desert, which means it can get extremely hot during the summer months. If possible, plan your visit for the cooler months of the year, or early morning.
  3. Bring plenty of water. As mentioned, the desert can get extremely hot, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
  4. Wear sunscreen and maybe bring a hat, again it’s the desert.
  5. I’d suggest wearing closed toed shoes since it is the desert and you don’t now what critters will be around. Also because it’s dusty and sandy.
  6. Respect the art. Salvation Mountain is a work of art, and it’s important to treat it as such. Don’t climb on any of the structures or deface the artwork in any way.
  7. You won’t need longer than an hour to visit. Most people were in and out in under 30 minutes. I was there for an hour shooting content, until I couldn’t handle the heat anymore.
  8. There are porta potties and a portable sink available if needed. 
  9. The Salton Sea is located nearby if you’re curious about the “Accidental Sea.” Although, I’ve heard that it is now turning toxic since it is drying up. I did pop in just out of curiosity. It was $7 to enter and honestly not really worth it.

Overall, visiting Salvation Mountain is a unique and memorable experience that is worth the trip. Even though part of it is currently closed off to visitors you can still walk through most of it. So grab some sunscreen and water, and head out to the desert to discover this one-of-a-kind art installation.

Check their website for more info and updates on the repairs!

Follow me on Instagram and TikTok for video experiences!

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