Leonard Knight created by Salvation Mountain colorful
Salvation Mountain is a colorful art installation covering much of a small hill north of Calipatria, California, near Slab City. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message that "God Loves Everyone". Mr. Knight refused substantial donations of money and labor from supporters who wished to modify his message of universal love to favor or disfavor particular groups. Salvation Mountain is the second most visited tourist attraction in Imperial County.
Steps cut into the side of the hill lead to the summit which is topped by a cross. Salvation Mountain also features many large straw bale and adobe walls supported my a matrix of logs enclosing several cave-like spaces. Knight lives full-time at the site in a small cabin mounted on the rear of a 1930s-vintage Chevrolet two-ton truck. Like Salvation Mountain, Knight's Salvation Truck and a collection of other vehicles and machinery are entirely covered with paint and Biblical quotes. He estimates that more than 100,000 gallons of paint have gone into the creation of the mountain and that every California-based paint manufacturer has donated paint to the project.
Friendly and accessible, Knight welcomes visitors to Slab City and Salvation Mountain and gladly accepts donations of both labor and acrylic paint. Once labeled an environmental hazard, the hill was threatened with removal by Imperial County. In recent years, the furor seems to have died down and the project has been likened to an epic work of folk art comparable to the Watts Towers. Although the project is an unauthorized one on state land, Salvation Mountain was placed under protection in 2002 when Senator Barbara Boxer entered it into the Congressional Record as a national treasure.
Salvation Mountain was featured in the 2007 film Into the Wild, as well as several documentaries including Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, Desertopia, and Mountain.
It can also be seen on the back cover photographs of the Kyuss albums...And The Circus Leaves Town and Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss.
Update: View Leonard Knight created by Salvation Mountain Video