Salvation Mountain: A Life Long Mission

In the middle of the desert, just outside of a small town in California, stands Salvation Mountain. A testament to a mans unwavering determination to spread the message of love. This man was Leonard Knight, whose life mission was to create a structure depicting his vision of "God is Love." 

During the late 60's he had an epiphany while visiting his sister in San Diego. He was suddenly overcome by an uncontrollable urge to repeat the sinners prayer. And eventually in 1984, Leonard left his home for wherever his van and faith would take him.

"I was just going to stay one week. It's been a very good week." Leonard Knight 1996

Eventually, he was led to Niland, California — an hour and a half south of Palm Springs. After many years of hard work, failed attempts, and relentless determination, his monument in what seems to be the middle of nowhere now attracts people from all over the world. It was even featured in the film Into the Wild, where Leonard Knight plays a brief role. Unfortunately, on February 10, 2014 Knight passed away at the age of 82. However, his mission and legacy continue to live on.

Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.

The drive from Palm Springs to Salvation Mountain takes you down Highway 111. With train tracks on one side and an apocalyptic Salton Sea on the other. I made a brief stop at Bombay Beach, located on the east shore of the Salton Sea, to witness what it would be like if the world was to end and I was the only survivor. Which is the exact feeling you'll get if you ever visit this eerie place for yourself.

After walking along the shore riddled with dead fish, I jumped back in my car and continued to drive, until I had arrived at Salvation Mountain. It was an incredible sight to see and it can only be appreciated by experiencing this massive structure for yourself.

Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.

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Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.
Visiting Palm Springs? Make sure you pay a visit to Salvation Mountain! Click for more.

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About The Author

In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.