Monday, May 21, 2012

Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain In Niland, California

One of the more amazing places we have been over the years is Salvation Mountain
built by Leonard Knight not far from the south eastern shore of the Salton Sea
just outside the town of Niland, California.

Allison had been wanting to go there for quite a while 
and this winter we had the opportunity to see this part of the world,
and she provided the photos for this post.

Leonard is truly a visionary,
and Salvation Mountain is the embodiment of his vision
as it conveys his message to the world.

Note the yellow painted steps starting on the far right of the above photo... they are the beginning of the yellow brick road 
that you can see winding up the mountain.

And once on the top you can gaze back at the yellow path you have taken to the top.

I am certainly not religious, 
but using the metaphor of the yellow brick road 
as a way to achieve a Christian enlightenment is profound.

Also from the top as one gazes out on the Mojave Desert,
it is possible to see the immensity of the journey.

The message is everywhere.

To the right of the mountain is an enclosed area of clay, straw, and wood.

The bright colors and fantastic shapes beckon one to enter...

...and looking up one sees a maze of painted tree trunks and branches.

Are these the loving arms of god holding up the world?

Once inside the message resumes...

...everywhere you look.

The paint is all donated...

...and as the photo above shows in an area worn by the elements, 
  straw and clay comprise most of which is covered by the paint.

Sadly, Leonard is no longer there to greet the visitors or to add to his mountain.

Advancing age dictated his being placed in a nursing home not long ago,
making his mountain lonely even as his message radiates out.

To see another blog post on Salvation Mountain with more photos go to:
Up On Haliburton Hill - A visit to Salvation Mountain.


  1. Sad news about Leonard. It was always a treat to see him there and get the tour. Early on, at one point, the whole mountain washed away after a storm. Leonard started rebuilding it the next day. I hope someone is looking after it.

    1. The day we were there in early February there was no one around but it seems that there were people who were feeding the cats and generally watching over things. Whether anyone will take on upkeep and adding more, I don't know. I hope with Leonard's renown that someone will step in.

      Apparently Leonard has dementia, among other things and has been placed in a nursing home by either his family or state social services. It was lonely there without him even those his presence was everywhere.

      It was an amazing experience to be there, I feel honored.

  2. Leonard is doing well and visits the mountain. Kevin placed Leonard in the home after Leonard asked for help. Then Kevin passed away. There is a Board in place to help maintain and preserve the mountain

    1. Thanks for that update and link.