Local · Wander

Salvation Mountain & Slab City


Just down the road from the Salton Sea, in the town of Niland, there stands a monolithic testament of folk art glory. Salvation Mountain has been featured in numerous documentaries, PBS, BBC, and in the film, “Into the Wild.” It’s an incredible feat of devotion, artistic ambition, and perseverance.



Just beyond the Salvation Mountain’s shadow, lies Slab City–a road that leads to what appears to be the end of the Earth (and not the end you want to be in). Whereas Salvation Mountain represents ambition and vision, Slab City stands in stark opposition, as a haven for people looking to escape life, responsibility, reality.  I read about Slab City being a thriving artistic community, a sort of mecca for artists looking for inspiration and lack of artistic constraints, but while driving through, I felt a sense of sorrow and isolation. Here’s a link to Slab City Stories, an assemblage of videos and anecdotes of a few of its residents, that does a much better job of describing the residents and their reasons for living here.