Slab City’s East Jesus

East Jesus

According to Urban Dictionary, East Jesus refers to a place that is “way the fuck out there” or “ungodly far away.” Certainly, East Jesus, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City in general, sure felt like they were “a thousand miles from nowhere” (to quote Dwight Yoakum) — in more than one way!

East Jesus o’er yonder

Yet, logistically speaking, I’d say Slab City is easy to add to a road-trip itinerary if you’re planning on visiting Vegas, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego, or Phoenix. As for me, once I’d personally decided to make Slab City a part of my itinerary, I was definitely interested in experiencing more of its alternative art — as per Greg’s suggestion.

To give you some background, the East Jesus art installation got its start in 2011, according to their website. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find there.

Free* Thought
*Only $89.99
Nothing Ever Happens
Nothing Ever Happens again, from another angle

Here’s a little description from the “About” section of the East Jesus website:

“Itself a reworking of the waste products of post-industrial excess, East Jesus is a place for those who continuously interact with and remake the world around them.” 

Could you fucking not?
Don’t Kill Mermaids!
Cosmic flying machine
You’ll even find the Wicked Witch of the West in East Jesus!
Getting “tired” of these pics yet?
Haha. Get it? 😉
Just a creepily painted mannequin, that’s all.
Low-Cost Promise
Sometimes you just need a good ark.
More creepy mannequins. And are those the birds of Alfred Hitchcock?
That’s a righteous vehicle there.
Seems legit.
Reminds me of a 1986 David Bowie movie.
Swim at your own risk!
If you weren’t “tired” before, maybe you are now? 😉

Donations Accepted!

After ambling through and past lots of wacky sculptures, I finally arrived at the East-Jesus exit. That’s when I saw the donation bucket. And, basically, I felt like an asshole when I realized I had no cash on me. I mean, I’m used to paying admission fees to see art at home, and this place was fantastic, free, and totally worth the visit.


The moral of that little mention is to bring cash for a donation if you’re so inclined. And while I’m on the topic, I didn’t see a donation bin during my visit to Salvation Mountain, but the option is available on the official Salvation Mountain website!

(Hey, I’ve gotta give a plug for supporting art and artists!)

One more thing before I wrap this up — Greg mentioned that Salvation Mountain can get crowded on weekends, so if you’re planning a visit, weekdays are preferable. I sure was glad I went on a Wednesday morning, bright and early! 

So Long for Now, Slab City!

I’m going to close with a quote from Rene’s blog post, “So Long Slab City (for now),” which I referred to earlier. And in case you’re too lazy to scroll back and find the link, I already provided it for you again just now! 🙂 Here’s the quote:

“And everyone who is curious but not brave enough to make the trek wants to know, ‘Is it really as bad as they say it is?’

“To that we say: do you really believe everything you see and hear on the Internet?

“The Slabs aren’t for everyone but if you have an open mind and heart you’re bound to enjoy yourself. Stick around, get to know your neighbors and do things. Pretty soon you might find that it grows on you.”

“Is this your only window to the world?”

What do you think? Would you like to visit Slab City’s Salvation Mountain and East Jesus? If so, would you go as a day trekker, like I did? Or would you stay a night, or three? Maybe you’ve already been? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

Thanks for staying tuned. 🙂 

11 thoughts on “Slab City’s East Jesus”

  1. This is a super cool place, apocalyptic scenes. Slab city, what a name! “Last free place on earth”, eh? Even East Jesus is interesting. Both are in my lists now. Very captivating post, I would definitely add these in my list of places to visit in the USA.

  2. I’ve heard about Slab City and find it intriguing. I would probably have been a bit apprehensive to visit, as well. What a unique experience though, and so different than the life most of us live.

  3. Ok so reading through this I got such a mad max post apocalyptic feel to slab city, especially with that slogan of ‘last free place on earth’. I would love to visit and experience both Slab city and east Jesus. Haha I love that introduction – Why do you even want to come here ?- It has got me intrigued too. Looks like I have place to visit in the USA where I will have to role my sleeves up and hope I don’t slow them down 😀
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  4. Hahaha, I think it’s natural to get a little apprehensive about going in to somewhere that has a unique, idiosyncratic vibe all of its own, no matter what country it’s in (not been to Cuba, but I found Morocco and Istanbul to be just fine as well). But this place looks helluva fun, and some of those art pieces are mad, in the best possible way. Great name too 🙂

  5. omg..this place looks very unique..honestly i never heard of it before and m surprised how..
    i luv going to offbeat places …its such a refreshing post..m so tired of reading about venice, paris and london…added to my bucket list but surely not gonna go alone..haha

    1. Hi Ritika! It’s unique for sure! And, actually, I was there by myself and it was absolutely fine. Just don’t arrive after dark! 🙂 🙂

    1. It actually ended up not being scary, once I was there though! It’s funny how that works. Sometimes it’s just the idea of a place that’s scary, when the reality is not! 🙂 Hope you can get there sometime!

  6. Yea, I get why you were apprehensive about going to the place – it does seem the sort of place even I’d be a little scared to go. And definitely not alone! Haha, the ‘garden gnome’ Greg is cute 😀 The doll’s head is definitely creepy but also artistic, in a strange way, don’t you think. Haha. Interesting little town, I’d say.
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    1. Haha, yeah, I’m really glad I met the Garden Gnome! 🙂 Otherwise I would have completely missed out on East Jesus! It was definitely cool to see that they’ve repurposed junk and made it into art. Even the creepy dolls! 🙂

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