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A Guide to Visiting Salvation Mountain

Visiting Salvation Mountain, California

Visiting Salvation Mountain has been high on my “to see” list since living in San Diego. While casually browsing through Instagram, I saw a photo of Salvation Mountain and thought it looked super unique and intriguing! Having never heard of it before, I immediately started googling and got excited when I found out it was only a few hour’s drive from San Diego, California. I quickly checked my calendar for an open weekend and (dragging along my bestie) decided to road trip out into the California desert to see this most unique landmark. 


After my visit I decided to put together a guide on what to expect when visiting Salvation Mountain, enjoy! 🙂


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California

A Guide to Visiting Salvation Mountain



Google Maps

603 Beal Rd
Niland, CA 92257

Hours: 6:30am – 7pm (dawn until dusk)


Salvation Mountain is located in Southeastern California, south of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park and east of the Salton Sea. 

  • From Los Angeles, CA: Roughly 3-hour drive
  • From San Diego, CA: Roughly 2.5 hour drive
  • From Las Vegas, NV: Roughly 5-hour drive
  • From Phoenix, AZ: Roughly 4-hour drive


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


About Salvation Mountain

The amazing thing about Salvation Mountain is it’s entirely man-made! It was designed and created solely by one man’s determination and vision, Leonard Knight. Leonard was a local resident, and the creator and heartbeat behind this 28 year-long  passion project. He was passionate about spreading the message of God’s love, and actually tried twice to create Salvation Mountain. His first Mountain was at least 50 feet or higher, but unfortunately it collapsed into a pile of rubble due to a poor foundation. Undeterred, Leonard decided to create the Mountain again, this time ensuring it was done properly and would be safe to walk on.


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Leonard decided his second attempt of Salvation Mountain would be made out of adobe clay mixed with straw, and then would be coated with lead-free paint. This kept the mountain from being blown away or eroding over time. The more coats of paint that was added, the stronger the mountain became. People came from all over to donate paint, and Leonard estimates that at least 10,000 gallons of paint went into the making of Salvation Mountain.


Donation - Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


After years of hard work and determination, Salvation Mountain began to gain notoriety. The Folk Art Society of America declared it “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection”. Sadly Leonard Knight passed away in 2014, but his message and life’s work lives on.


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Visiting Salvation Mountain

The focal point of Salvation Mountain is the giant letters reading “God is Love”, with the Sinner’s Prayer written inside of a red heart directly below it.


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


I love that there is a yellow walkway (yellow brick road) where you can walk right up to the top of the Mountain and get a nice view of the surrounding area. 


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Salvation Mountain is made up of multiple murals, bible verses, and prayers painted onto the Mountain. Some major prayers represented is the Lord’s Prayer and the Sinner’s Prayer. Guided tours can be arranged with advance notice by emailing 


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


The Hogan

In 1998, Leonard decided he wanted to start experimenting with creating a hogan. A hogan is a domed-shaped home of adobe and sticks used by the native Navajo. He made it out of bales of straw and adobe clay to create a 10-foot domed room. He coated the entire hogan with paint to match the style of the rest of the Mountain. The hogan was designed to be a living space to protect him from the 115+ desert heat, but he never actually moved in. 


The Hogan - Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Salvation Mountain is a wonderful roadside attraction representing the simple, yet powerful, message of God’s love. ❤️


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


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Visiting Salvation Mountain, California


Are you planning on visiting Salvation Mountain? Love to know in the comments below!


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Welcome to Lavender Vines

I’m Tiffany, a travel lover, small business owner, and expert-level cat cuddler. Sharing the love of Jesus is one of my favorite things ever, hence why I started this blog! You’re gonna find loads of goodies on this site, but one of my fav’s is my brand spankin’ new free ebook on your identity in Christ. Cut to the chase – Jesus thinks you’re pretty cool – but my ebook explains just how cool you really are. It’s kinda amazing.

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  1. Estella Catron

    I love that this place exists!! What a beautiful creative tribute to our loving Father!

    • Tiffany Nicole

      It is so cool!


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