Salvation Mountain, United States of America

General Attributes
Project NameSalvation Mountain
CountryUnited States of America
Spatial DataDownload (Links to all available data types will be emailed)
Point Cloud Viewer
Data Bounds (approx.)

Data Types

Data Type Size Device Name Device Type
Photogrammetry - TerrestrialNot availableSony A7 RIV Mirrorless
Photogrammetry - AerialNot availableDJI Phantom 3 Drone
LiDAR - TerrestrialNot availableLeica RTC 360 Time of Flight Scanner
LiDAR - MobileNot availableStonex 120GO Mobile Mapping System
Survey DataNot availableLieca TS02 Total Station
Site DescriptionSalvation Mountain Inc. is A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit is working to raise money to create a foundation for the permanent care and maintenance of this important American folk art site. Get involved at

Salvation Mountain is a widely acclaimed American folk art installation of national significance, built by Leonard Knight over a 30 year period from 1984 until his death in 2014. It includes an area of approximately 9.5 square kilometers, an artificial slope rising approximately 11.5 meters, creating a vista overlooking the Salton Sea (west) and Slab City (east). Atop the slope stands a large wooden cross rising another 7.5 meters above the adobe construction. On the southern side of the mountain are several interior chambers: the hogan, a Navajo term for a mud covered dwelling, consisting of 3 chambers, and the museum, a 10 meter high church-like structure which was also temporarily closed awaiting restoration work. The structures are composed of bales of straw and locally sourced clay, covered in latex paint, which is periodically reapplied. Various other framing materials are employed to shore up the walls, including pipes, telephone poles, ladders, branches, and full trees. Across this area are a number of sculptures and vehicles, painted and decorated in the same style.
Project DescriptionSurvey report available at
Following hurricane Hillary in August of 2023, The site had suffered minor damage to the painted facade, and some significant erosion on the eastern slopes behind the mountain, causing temporary closure of the access path running along the back eastern slope. Another major storm had occurred some three years before. Such storms are rare in this desert region, and can cause significant flooding and soil erosion. Staff working for the Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) and AlertCalifornia at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and visiting members of the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) of the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy, (PoliTo), reached out to Bob Levesque at Salvation Mountain Inc. to organize architectural site documentation.
Additional InformationLearn more
Collection Date2023-10-25 to 2023-10-25
Publication Date2023-10-30
License TypeCC BY
ContributorsFiliberto Chiabrando , Loren Clark , John Driscoll , Scott McAvoy , Dominique Rissolo , Alessandra Spreafico , Beatrice Tanduo
PartnersCultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) , Politecnico di Torino Architecture and Design Department , Alert California - UC San Diego
Site AuthoritySalvation Mountain Inc.
Filiberto Chiabrando , Loren Clark , John Driscoll , Scott McAvoy , Dominique Rissolo , Alessandra Spreafico , Beatrice Tanduo 2023: Salvation Mountain - Photogrammetry - Terrestrial , Photogrammetry - Aerial , LiDAR - Terrestrial , LiDAR - Mobile , Survey Data . Collected by . Distributed by Open Heritage 3D.

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