This giant walkable art piece in California seriously looks like a real-life Dr. Seuss story. What’s Salvation Mountain? Think a fifty-foot tall human-made mountain covered in hundreds of thousands of gallons of latex paint. If you’re in the mood for a road trip, this quirky pit stop is definitely worth the detour. 

After all, there’s so much more to do near Palm Springs than just tan by the pool and hit up the city’s latest rooftop bar. So, grab your camera and head out for a new kind of adventure.

As you walk the art piece that was featured in the movie Into the Wild, you’ll see beautiful hand-painted waterfalls and vibrant flower gardens. There is also a colorful cave with twisting chambers and passageways and a ledge where visitors can leave messages for the artists. This place is something out of a dream. Seriously, where’s the Lorax?

Even though summer’s coming to a close, this place has the California sunshine almost all year-round. As the story goes, Salvation Mountain was made by the late artist Leonard Knight.

He crafted the 150-foot wide mountain out of adobe, hay bales, and straw, and painted it in colorful Christian messages. Even those who aren’t religious travel from all over the world to walk along the bright yellow pathway, explore the man-made cave covered in art, and take memorable photos. It’s open to the public weekly from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

When you visit Salvation Mountain, don’t be shy to chat up the locals and ask them questions. They’re friendly and might be able to answer your questions. Guests are free to climb on the mountain and go inside; make sure to stay on the designated yellow pathway. Follow the yellow brick road (ok, that’s the Wizard of Oz, we know)!

According to Salvation Mountain’s official website, this colorful art piece took twenty-eight years to make (and it’s still not entirely done!). Artists are continually adding to it, making it more unique each time you visit.

What started as just a pile of dirt became a quirky roadside attraction people drive for hours to come to see. Now, it’s your turn! As Dr. Seuss would say, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!”

Salvation Mountain

Location: Beal Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233

Hours: Sunday - Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Why You Should Go: You can walk along a giant colorful man-made mountain and explore artist’s caves!


Editor’s note: Make sure to respect the hours of Salvation Mountain as noted in this article and the privacy of the locals. It is important to stay on the designated yellow pathway while walking on the art piece. Since Salvation Mountain, East Jesus, and Slab City are technically outside of local California law jurisdiction, use caution and your best judgment when exploring the area.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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