Monday, February 12, 2018

From the Salton Sea to south of Joshua Tree National Park

Monday, February 12, 2018 – Location: Mountainside at south entrance to the Joshua Tree NP

Yesterday morning when Yuma and I took a walk around the American Legion it was just at sunrise.  There had been a wind late yesterday afternoon and evening so this morning the sky was gold from all the dust in the air.


We were out of there and by noon we were approaching Slab City.   When we turned on the road leading to it out of Niland, California, it was just a beautiful sunny early afternoon.  As I approached Salvation Mountain in my RV, it is the first thing you see as you come in to Slab City and it really stood out against the stark desert!


Here’s the sign at the entrance just before you get to the mountain.  I think this is new.  Don’t remember seeing this last time I was here.  Very nice!

IMG_0832  I parked on the side of the road because they don’t really have a parking lot per say.  Everyone just parks  around it.

As I walked towards the mountain, I could tell it was going to be crowded.  There were people everywhere.  It must be getting famous. 

They allow people to follow the yellow brick road up the mountain to the cross and then walk down around the back side.  Lots of people getting their pictures taken at the top, so you wait in line for your turn to stand at the top.


Must warn you.  There is a lot of color around here and easy to get carried away with taking pictures.   There are a lot of people here, so there will be an audience in my photos.

A painted truck sitting the parking area.



Here is where the yellow brick road starts at the mailbox.


I walked the yellow brick road like everyone else.



At the top I took a picture for a nice young couple from Texas and they did the same for me.  Say “cheese”.  Now to get down off this thing before I break my neck.



Off to the right of the mountain is a bunch of rooms with different biblical meanings.  Very large and interesting.  I think they have repainted a large portion recently.  The paint looks so bright and fresh.  It is just amazing what one man has done.


You can see from the people, the size of this thing is amazing.  Kinda looks like a ship from this angle.  See all the empty cans of paint?



Going inside the rooms now.


Looking up at the ceiling structure.  Like a large tree with limbs everywhere.  A waterfall coming down from above.

IMG_0865  IMG_0867

IMG_0869IMG_0870IMG_0872  IMG_0880  IMG_0874



Here is a trailer all painted up.


I thought I could get through the photos in one day, but I’m overloaded as is.   Finished with the mountain.   So, we will continue with Slab City and my night on the Salton Sea tomorrow.   Not many photos there, so shouldn’t have an overload problem.   Hopefully, I will be all caught up tomorrow evening 

See you later.


  1. Slab City is an interesting place. Many odd characters there. The sanctuary does look very bright and colorful. The rooms are something to behold. It's really a fascinating place, but I'm still surprised so many people were there! Have a good night! ❤

    1. Thanks Dolly. The mountain looked all spruced up. Slab City not so much. Gone downhill I think.

      Goodnight 😘

  2. You really have a way of stumbling onto things ! Did some "googling" about Salvation Mountain. Turns out you were there on the anniversary weekend of Leonard Knight's death - died at age 82 on Feb. 10, 2014. He built the mountain over a period of 28 years and 500,000 gallons of paint. He lived in that painted truck in your photo. Fascinating reading . So maybe the anniversary & the glorious weather brought even more tourists than normal. Mountain sure looks colorful and beautiful - but, I heard Slab City itself is becoming a little dangerous - glad you listened to your gut and camped elsewhere. 😨

    1. Thanks Moonfly. Interesting man. Wish I could have met him as many have.

      Didn't realize it was his anniversary. Probably why it was so crowded. Lots of Japanese tourists there too.

  3. Salvation Mountain is sure colorful. I haven't been there (yet) but the pictures of it I saw certainly didn't show it looking so good. Wow, a must-see on our list.

    1. Good. It is well worth the side trip if you are anywhere around the Salton Sea.

  4. First, thank you for the information about Split Mountain and Sandstone Canyon. We will be stopping at the Visitor Center to pick up the map you suggested. From your picture you are right, if we get that far, we will not be going over the boulders...LOL
    Great pictures of Yuma on the climb you made in Sandstone Canyon. Actually great pictures period.
    Tom and I have been talking about taking a ride over to the Slabs I think this will be the year. We had no idea it was quite that colorful or large.

    1. You're welcome. Have fun in the ride through the Mountain.

      You will find that Salvation Mountain is beautiful, but the Slabs not so much.

  5. The morning we toured Salvation Mountain years ago Leonard Knight the builder was still alive and had gone into Nyland that morning so we missed him but his friend and helper, an older Mexican fella showed us all around. It's quite a remarkable place and judging from your photos some additional work has been done and for sure there has been some repainting done.

  6. I thought it looked very nice this time around. I'm glad they are taking care of it and keeping his hard work alive.

  7. Wow, that sure is bright. An interesting looking place for sure. Looks busy too. Love the old truck, well done. Wonder if anyone lives in it. The trailer was interesting too.

    Glad you enjoyed your visit.

    1. Thank you. I was glad to see the mountain so popular. Lots of Japanese tourists there.

      Had a good day.

  8. Beautiful pictures Doug! The colors are amazing and very busy! I can see why you'd have a hard time narrowing down which pictures to choose.

    1. Thanks. Kinda over did it but so many colors and settings I couldn't leave out.

  9. Met Leonard Knight one August as several folks gathered for the meteor shower. A very interesting guy. There's an NPR DVD of him and Salvation Mountain at the Slab City library.

    1. Interesting. He must have been a dedicated and hard worker. That place is something.

  10. Salvation Mountain is so bright and vibrant! Looks like a great day!