A few years back I saw some photos of the most amazingly colorful art installation in the desert and I just knew that we had to visit there one day. As luck would have it, that explosion of color in the desert happens to be right here in California, just over an hour's drive from Palm Springs, and a perfect destination for our recent Southern California road trip.
Salvation Mountain is a completely surreal place. I never really know how to describe it to people. The creation of outsider artist Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is a 50 foot high and 150 foot wide "mountain" made entirely of adobe clay, straw and donated paint. Leonard started working on the mountain in the 1980s to promote his message "God is love". The mountain features many biblical texts as well as recurring motifs of birds, flowers and waterfalls. Leonard continues his work to this very day and the mountain continues to evolve.
Now, I'm not at all religious, and usually steer clear of anything I consider preachy, but I just can't help but be drawn to Salvation Mountain. The colors. The vibrancy. The stark contrast to the surrounding desert. The message of love. It all comes together in such a perfect way.
As you can imagine, Salvation Mountain is a photographer's dream at any time of day, but sunset is something else. We arrived just as the sun was starting to set and it truly was magical. The setting sun gave the entire mountain a golden glow. I may have gone a little overboard with the photo taking, but seriously, how can you visit such a place and not take a gazillion photos?
Ok, enough talk, let's take a look at Salvation Mountain. Apologies for the inevitable finger cramp you're sure to get from scrolling through all of these. Trust me, it's worth it!